Fitness is vitally important to our health, gives us energy, and helps us to be strong and fit. Martial arts are a fitness genre in itself, but basic fundamentals in exercise should be a part of every martial artist’s journey. There are many benefits fitness has on martial arts, but for the sake of this article, there are five.
Running – Running is the most well known and proven exercise. It is also probably my least favorite exercise, but you cannot ignore its benefits. Running increases improves endurance and stamina. When fights go for two, three, or five minute rounds, endurance and stamina are vitally important in the ring. It is also a great exercise in those cases you have to take the “flight” approach.
Sprints – I am separating sprints to running because they focus more on anaerobic exercise. Sprinting really pushes your body where traditional running does not. In some cases, fights can get very intense at times and sprinting provides the level needed to go toe to toe with a well conditioned opponent. Not only that, but sprinting improves agility and quickness.
Interval Training – Interval training confuses the body and pushes it further than other more traditional exercises. Sprinting drills can fall under this category. For example, sprinting for one minute and a jog for thirty seconds is a form of interval training.
Jump roping – Using a jump rope in your routine is another very proven exercise. It is widely used in a variety of sports. Jump roping has other benefits as well. From my experience jumping rope has improved my footwork and ability to move quickly as well as improving my heart rate and lung capacity.
Plyometrics – Plyometrics, vertical jumps, and other related exercises provide a multitude of benefits. You are able to improve your vertical jumping higher than before. Plyos improve strength, agility, footwork, and range of motion, and it benefits a great cardiovascular system as well.
These are just a tip of the ice when it comes to cardiovascular exercises. These exercises not only benefit the average gym rat, but also martial artists and athletes in any sport. They are great building blocks to improve your level of fitness and equip you to be better at what you do.