Apr 7, 2008

Training Post: Neck and Body Conditioning for Martial Arts

It's become apparent that many martial artists, surprisingly, don't give much thought to conditioning their bodies for fighting. So, for those of you that don't, pay attention:

Those of you that study under kung fu 'masters' that urge you not to work out because you might lose your speed... stop listening to dumb advice. While it's true that being a completely steroid-ed beefcafe with massive amounts of unusable muscle will probably mean that you are slower than you could be, not working out altogether in combative arts is a terrible idea. Also, the 'don't work out' advice only works for people who spend enough time conditioning using MA training... which doesn't apply to most of the people who spew that crud from their mouths.

Anyway, before I go into a huge rant about the things people in the TMA world buy into, here are 3 excellent bodyweight exercises:

Neck Bridges: a fighter's best friend. While a strong neck may not save you from a locked-in RNC, having one might save you from training injuries, and from getting knocked out.


Plyometric Push Ups: Don't worry, you can still do it without the ball, although having the ball will make the move hit your core pretty well.


Directional Lunges: I don't know if you all of you know this, but leg strength is more important to punching than arm strength, as they are the starting point of the kinetic linkage that goes on to produce a powerful punch. Also, lunges will definitely improve your shot, along with toning your body.


So, regardless of whether you're training in MMA or Aikido, keeping your body in shape is important. And besides, even if you never get into a fight, what do you think a girl would prefer? your average fat karate teacher's John Goodman-like beer belly, or a 6-pack from a fit martial artist? Don't be lazy- work out!

PS- For great Strength & Bodybuilding articles, check out Straight to the Bar

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