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Strength Training for Martial Arts should be a combined total of about 80% Compound Exercises and 20% Isolation Exercises.Strength Training Compound Exercises are weight lifting techniques that lead to higher caloric consumption, weight loss and growth of lean muscle mass.
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Martial Arts Training : Compound Exercises for Strength

Strength Training for Martial Arts should be a combined total of about 80% Compound Exercises and 20% Isolation Exercises.


Strength Training Compound Exercises are weight lifting techniques that work multiple muscle groups at the same time.


This requires more energy to perform since more muscles are activating, leading to higher caloric consumption, weight loss and growth of lean muscle mass.


Popular Compound Exercises you should incorporate into your workout routine include:


- Bench press

bench press is a compound exercise for martial arts
bench press is a compound exercise for martial arts

- Squats

- Deadlifts

- Shoulder Press

- Dips

- Pull Ups

- Bent Over Rows

Compound Exercise

Compound Exercises help build two simultaneous sets of muscle; those for lifting and those for setting down. This helps build even muscle mass and body stability at the same time, improving overall physique while raising Basal Metabolic Rate.


Compound Exercises should be done in sets of 3 days, with a rest day between them. Scientific studies have shown that overuse or overworking a muscle group can halt results. This is the same theory of way a rest / cheat day is so important and how human nutrition is vital to healthy athletics.


Compound exercises should be done in combination with Isolation exercises as well as isometrics, stretching, and cardio for a complete fitness routine.


Isolation exercises help build focus areas of muscles groups and are rotated out through the week. In example, you’ve probably heard of Leg Day, Chest and Back Day, Core Day, Etc. These Isolation exercises often include:


Examples of Compound Strength Training Exercises


  1. Bench Press

Starting with the spine elongated on the bench, with feet flat on the floor, and arms slightly wider than the shoulders, engage the core to keep your back straight as you lower the bar close to your chest. Keeping the core and glutes tight, use explosive force to push the bar upward to arm extension. Hovering at chest level. Repeat to maximum reps.


Remember to start small and practice good form, so that you build healthy habits. This also gives you mental stimulation as you work your way up through new personal records each month.

This will help build explosive strength for Martial Arts punches and strikes.


  1. Dead Lift

Standing with your feet shoulder width, bend the knees and jut out the hips as you lower to grasp the bar. Keep your back and neck completely straight as you lift, and engage your core and glutes for stability.


Lift the bar as close to the center body as possible, mindful not to scrape the shins or knees. Extend the hips forward and squeeze the glutes and abs as you lift into full standing position.


Repeat to maximum reps.


Remember to start small and practice good form, so that you build healthy habits. This also gives you mental stimulation as you work your way up through new personal records each month.

The Dead Lift helps work lower back and hip strength for stability and stances in Martial Arts Training.

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Colton Woodard and Rika Usami Karate Japan WKF

About the Author:
Colton Woodard is a 7th Degree Black Belt in Kuniba Kai Karate Do and holds the title of Kyoshi as well. He loves to teach Karate, Kobudo, and Iaido and considers himself a lifetime student in pursuit of self improvement in both Martial Arts and in Character. Colton loves to visit Japan and speaks conversational Japanese and can write quite a few Kanji. He is a Karate competitor and coach and loves to exercise and make new memories with people all over the world.

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