Strength Training

Strength training for martial arts performance can be very beneficial.  One thing to keep in mind is that the most important muscles to train are the muscles used in each type of martial arts movement.  It is easy to get caught up in the body building routine.  It has been said by some that weight training is not good for martial artists.  They believe that your muscles will get too large and tend to slow you down.  I do not buy into that way of thinking.  If you are to practice your martial arts and use weight lifting as a supplement, you should have no problems at all.  If your workouts were to consist of primarily weights with little work on speed and flexibility, then you may have a problem. 

Building Strength For Punches

There are many different muscle groups involved in a punch.  Starting with the forearms, the bi-ceps and tri-ceps, the deltoids, traps, pectorals, lats, and to some degree, the abdominals.   

A drill that will help increase all the muscle groups in a punch is to purchase a piece of surgical tubing from a medical supply store.  Tie on end to something stationary and make a loop in the other end.  Put your hand inside the loop and make a fist around it.  Stand so that your back is to where you tied the other end.  Throw a punch, feeling the resistance of the tubing.  Repeat this as fast as you can until you feel the muscles burn.  Do this in three or four sets on each arm.  This will not give you great gains in physical strength, it will not improve your bench press or squatting ability but it will help the muscle endurance in all the muscles that count.  A variation of this drill that will more substantially impact your strength, (if you have access to a machine with cables) is to put a handle on the lower cable and throw punches with progressively more weight. 

The best course of action to is to use exercises that will isolate the muscles involved in a punch.  They are too numerous to name but there are numerous books and magazines on weight lifting that will help.   



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