Cross-Training (Strength & Conditioning) For Martial Arts

If you’re active in the fitness and workout community, then you’ve probably heard of cross-training. If you’re accustomed to a specific sport such as running or biking, you’ll want to look into cross-training to continue building up endurance and recovery rates while preventing injury. 

Once you find a sport you’re accustomed to, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You’re already good at it, you’re at a ceiling you just can’t push through, and there’s nothing in your current sport you can do to improve your performance. Let’s look at martial arts, for example. 

Strength And Conditioning For Martial Arts

Martial arts focus more on speed, agility, and vitality than strength, but what if you’re already maxed out on those strong points? What are your weak points? Building up your endurance is not going to do much for you. You need to cross-train where karate doesn’t focus: strength and conditioning. Cross-training with strength training will only help boost your martial arts performance. For example, working out on a bench press, doing chest flys, or doing push-ups help develop your pectoral muscles. Strengthening your pectoral muscles will put more power behind your already quick and agile punches in martial arts. 

If you’re doing a martial arts style with many pulling motions, you want to work on strengthening and conditioning your back muscles. You can work on your back muscles by doing pull-ups, bell rows, or any other strength training motion that works on your back muscles. 

Finally, martial arts is about defense as much as it is about striking. When you’re guarding, you’re using your shoulders to help brace any impacts. Doing shoulder presses with weights, bicep curls, and tricep extensions will help build your arms and shoulders to take impact during martial arts training or performances. 

If you’re going to take martial arts seriously, you can only train so much in a sport you’re already at the highest level for. Cross-training will help push past the average limit so you can be at your best.

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