Strength and conditioning exercises are not only good for all-round fitness but also helpful in martial arts. These workouts can also help with injury prevention. Most schools that teach martial arts do not dwell on upper body training. That is the reason why many martial artists may have excellent leg strength but fail to portray equally powerful punches. Most exercises for strengthening the upper body involve working with shoulders, which is a body part that is usually neglected in martial arts.
Generally, to get stronger, lifting weights and doing lower reps helps in building endurance over time. The use of legal steroids may help stir up performance and allow for faster recovery. They can enable you to perform high-intensity workouts that build muscles.
Besides that, here are exercises that can help you build strength for martial arts.
Pull-ups help build the upper body strength through working the forearms, biceps, abs, and upper back. You can start with negative pull-ups by doing jump pulls or stepping on a platform, lowering your chin above the bar then slowly lowering yourself. These progressions are focused on the downward controlled motion of the pull-up, which builds the strength required to do a proper pull-up. They are more effective when you can feel your body weight.
Whether or not you are doing proper pull-ups, the focus should be on squeezing your shoulders together to strengthen the back muscles. Pull-ups are essential for pulling movements in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and mixed martial arts.
Push-ups are helpful for striking arts. The pushing motion helps build strength to generate more power into your punches. For proper push-ups, hands should be placed shoulder-width apart and elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body. Your back should be flat to get the core strengthening benefits of the motion.
Another form of a push-up involves using a medicine ball and rolling it to your other hand. It is mainly useful for BJJ artists because it helps in enhancing your balance.
An overhead press is an all-round compound workout. It involves standing with kettlebells at shoulder level and pressing upwards until it is overhead. This exercise can be done while seated, with your back on a bench, standing with your heels together or shoulder-width apart, or using the power or push jerk where the kettlebell is pushed instead of pressing it upwards. Another way to do it is by using dumbbells. This exercise helps strengthen the deltoid muscles and shoulders.
Burpees may be challenging, but they work your entire body and give a great cardiovascular workout. Incorporating burpees in your workout schedule is a great way to boost your results.
To do them effectively, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Ensure you tighten your abs and keep your back flat during each burpee. Lower yourself into a squatting position by bending your hips and knees. Place your hands on the floor or surface in front of you, then put your feet in the plank position. Lower your chest on the floor, press your arms and then jump your feet forward. Finally, jump straight upwards then repeat the process.
Many people tend to avoid this workout due to its high level of intensity. However, burpees are great for martial artists as they help build endurance.
For the best results out of your workout session, it is essential to focus on general body fitness while also targeting the muscles. Always remember to warm up before the session, stay hydrated during and after workouts, follow a healthy diet, and get lots of rest. These exercises will activate your body strength and place you at a higher advantage over your fellow martial artists.