10 Martial Arts Fitness Training Tips
Here are 10 martial arts training tips to take your skills over the top. Whether you are training for karate, kickboxing, or an aerobics-style martial art, perfecting form and preventing injury should always be high on your priority list. Martial arts training often asks a lot of your body and mind. Training regularly, several times a week, can help improve form and technique. The following ten tips will help in your martial arts training.
- Do not forget to stretch before and after every session. Stretching helps muscles recover, grow, improve, and prevent injury. Hold stretches for several seconds, and stretch for at least five good minutes before and after every workout.
- Build muscle through toning exercises with light weights to help improve your endurance. Pay attention to the muscles that frequently become sore or shaky or fatigued during your martial arts training and try to make a point to train these muscle groups at least a couple of times a week with light weights.
- Perform plyometric or jumping exercises to improve form, balance, and stamina. These will also help train your lower body muscles for kicking, blocking, and stances.
- Calf raises can help improve balance. If you have trouble balancing while performing kicks or blocks, calf raises can help improve this and protect your lower body during kicking.
- Push-ups will help build your upper body, back, shoulders, and chest muscles. This will help with core balance and strength as well. Alternate between push-up styles to work different muscles, including finger and knuckle push-ups.
- Proper nutrition is key to any physical activity. By fueling your body with what it needs, when it needs it, and how much it needs you will find better, stronger, more accurate performance in your martial arts training as well as a clearer head, better focus and concentration, and better muscle training results.
- Water is essential for the body. During physical activity, sweating can lead to dehydration if you are not properly replenishing your body's fluids. Drink water throughout your workouts and training to help muscles perform their best, and be certain to drink plenty of water following workouts too. If your workout is excessive, electrolyte drinks or performance recovery drinks can be a beneficial investment.
- Proper sleep is vital for muscle and body recovery. Just as important as the proper amount of sleep, is your sleep cycle. Staying up late, waking up late, and changing your sleep and wake times during the week and weekend can affect your overall performance. It is best to develop a schedule and stick to it everyday. A general rule of thumb is six to eight hours of sleep depending on your needs.
- Avoid caffeine, sodas, and energy drinks before a workout. These will elevate your heart rate and can lead to a shaky, nervous sensation after you start exercising. At very high levels, caffeine can cause irregular heartbeat which can affect overall athletic performance and may become unsafe.
- Workout with a buddy. Having a buddy to workout with can help monitor where you need to perfect your form, give you someone to focus on when sparring in martial arts training, and provide motivation and encouragement along the way. It is also safer to have a buddy present, especially if doing any weight training.