By Shotokan Karate Leadership School in Santa Rosa, CA
This article is about increasing your strength through three popular martial arts techniques. The techniques are punching and two different kinds of kicks.
People come to martial arts for a number of reasons. Some are attracted to martial arts because they want to learn to defend themselves. Others come because they want to tap into martial arts’ vast power as a tool for personal growth. Still others come merely because they are looking for a way to get in shape that’s fun and spares them the tedious repetitiveness of the gym.
While martial arts can give a student all of these things, it is at its heart, a form of strenuous physical activity. The practice of any martial arts can be an excellent means of becoming leaner, suppler, faster, more flexible and stronger.
Strength Equals Power in Martial Arts
This rule holds true in any kicks in martial arts technique. At many martial arts schools, increasing strength is one of the things we focus on. Lifting weights is great but for a martial artist, it’s not desirable to develop a bodybuilder’s physique. Much of the strength training at martial arts facilities is inherent in the techniques itself.
Front Snap Kicks for Core Strength in Martial Arts
All martial arts kicks utilize the muscle groups in the legs, however, many of the kicks they practice also call on core muscle groups like the abdominals and lower back muscles. Practicing martial arts front snap kicks with their high chambering of the knee is a particularly good way of increasing core strength in your abs, while simultaneously strengthening the muscles in your legs.
Punching Your Way to a Stronger Upper Body in Martial Arts
When it comes to punches in martial arts, strength equals speed which equals power; the three are intertwined. So, while a certain amount of weight lifting may help to increase your punching power, similarly, throwing punches in martial arts will help you develop better upper body strength. Working out on the heavy bag, hitting focus pads and other methods of practicing punches are all ways to enhance upper body strength through martial arts technique.
Side Kicks for Lower Body Strength in Martial Arts
The side kick is one of the most immediate and devastating techniques in martial arts. Like a front snap kick in martial arts, side kicks utilize core muscles to some degree. However, side kicks place a greater demand on the lower body than many other martial arts kicks. Practicing side kicks is an excellent way to build greater strength in your legs, hips, and thighs. The hard work you put into building this strength through practicing your kicks in martial arts will pay dividends by translating as power when you unleash that side kick on a target.
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