Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Martial Artists Training Every Muscle Group

Most martial artists now realise the importance of supplemental weight training to strengthen there muscles for better technique, however, some think that they should avoid training certain muscle groups or shouldn’t train too much weights so they do not develop bodybuilder type physiques.

It is actually very hard to develop ones muscle mass of that of a bodybuilder. Years of hard weight training, and heavy eating will lead to very large muscles, but if one controls there food intake and is regularly training martial arts, it is almost impossible that they will get as big as a Ronnie Coleman or a Jay Cutler.

It is very important to train every muscle group in the body, not neglecting one over the other as each has a function and a purpose. If strength training is neglected in one muscle group over the other, one will firstly create a muscular imbalance which is not good for the body, but secondly as a martial artist, one will be leaving a broken link in there chain so to speak. A weakness that may cause problems to ones fighting. Below are the reasons why every muscle group must be trained.

Arms - The arms are used with all hand strikes, and defences. The wrists need to be strong to grip an opponents gi or tough enough to grip an opponents head when clinch fighting. Arm strength alone should not be the main focus when concerned with most martial art techniques but it is definitely needed and for this reason arm training is important.

Legs – The legs are a major muscle group and the muscles of the thighs are used with almost every martial art technique, weather on the ground or standing. A lot of people neglect leg training simply because it is very hard, but the fact is, without strong legs one could seriously be losing out as an overall powerhouse of a martial artist.

Back – Like the legs, the back is also very important to train. For grapplers especially, a strong back will help prevent injury when lifting, pulling and turning. The lower back is part of the core body muscles and by strengthening it, one will be able to make hip turning, which is used for striking and throwing, much more explosive, hence effective.

Chest – A push and a punch are the main ways in which the chest is used through martial arts techniques. Strong chest muscles are vital if one wants to become a stronger puncher. Plus strong chest muscles will help take the impact from strikes to the chest, something that Kyokushinkai Karate fighters strive to improve constantly.

Shoulders – If ones shoulders are weak, it will be very hard to keep ones guard up which result in one being susceptible to a head shot which could cause one to be knocked out. Also many techniques with the arms such as punches, wrestling and clinch fighting will become almost useless. Strong shoulders are another important muscle group that must be given attention.

Neck – A strong neck will help in preventing one getting knocked out through heavy punches, and will allow a grappler to bridge on his head without straining himself Enough said!

Abs – The core is one of, if not the most important muscle group that a martial artist has to develop. Involved in all strikes, nearly all grappling techniques and nearly all movements, a strong core will help keep a fighter strong, well balanced and able to take body shots. It should never be neglected.

These are merely some of the ways in which the muscles of the body are used for martial arts, why they as so important to develop and why they should never be neglected. If one is worried that there martial arts will deteriorate whilst strengthening the muscles through weights, then don’t be. Ones martial arts will actually become better (as long as the weight training movements are carried out correctly).

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Neal Martin said...

I have found weight training to be very beneficial over the years. Despite what people say about technique being more important than strength, it is certainly very helpful to have that back up of added strength to make your tecnhnique that bit more effective.

I always do the big compound exercises to work the whole body and I do sit-ups and stretches in between sets just to make the routine more of a workout. I also find diet to be important, especially protein supplements. I couldn't eat that much in my food so I use them instead for convienience. Good post.

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