Fitness is said to be “functional” when it transcends the gym and extends to real-life situations, and it doesn’t get any more functional than martial arts. This kind of workout improves your strength, mobility and cardiovascular prowess while giving you the skills and the confidence to defend yourself. But you don’t have to join a dojo and earn your black belt to be able to fight off an attacker. Incorporating some basic martial arts moves into your workouts will enhance your self-defense capabilities while amping your fitness level.
These moves were curated from combat experts across various disciplines and include suggestions on how to integrate them into your workout programming. Implement them for a few months and you’ll be functionally fit to fight off the bad guys — and body fat.
Nothing is more satisfying than hitting an actual target, but you don’t need a heavy bag or a partner holding mitts to get a good workout. Shadowboxing against an invisible opponent is a valid training protocol, and while throwing punches against the air may seem harmless, it’s actually pretty easy to hyperextend a joint or strain a muscle. Use these tips from Adam Zart, strength and conditioning coach and instructor at Dyme Boxing & Fitness and Hayastan MMA in North Carolina, to properly fight with yourself.