Strength & Conditioning In Karate

shareable logo

Strength and conditioning are two areas of karate that people can sometimes overlook. Strength can allow you to exert more power in each movement, it can allow you to push and pull heavier loads, improve grip and endure more activity. Conditioning helps you to control your breathing, optimize your energy and stay alerted.

Old karate masters knew the important of strength and conditioning and regularly trained in such a way that allowed them to operate at their bodies full potential. Bruce Lee is an excellent example of a martial artist that fine-tuned his body to the requirements of his art, which is evident in the list of impressive physical feats that he was known for.

Training in the correct way to increase your strength and improve your conditioning can allow you to get more out of your Keswick Karate classes and the movements you have learnt. No weights are required for this type of training, as your bodyweight is sufficient.

There are four main exercises that you can perform using bodyweight that will greatly improve the composition of your body as well as your functional strength. These moves are the press-up, the pull-up, the sit-up and the squat. You can Google these terms for accurate demonstrations of how to perform them.

The press-up focuses primarily on your chest and your triceps (the muscle located at the back of your upper arms). Press-ups can be performed in various motions that can shift the emphasis throughout different muscles.

The pull-up is an excellent arm-builder. This move uses the muscles in your forearms, biceps and upper back. A pull-up performed with your palms facing outwards will make better use of your back, whereas palms facing inwards will put greater emphasis on your arms.

The sit-up is an excellent and easy-to-perform exercise. This exercise will develop and strengthen your core, which can help improve balance, stability, and strength in other areas of your body.

The squat uses your quadricep muscles, calves and hamstrings; making it a great leg builder. When squatting on two legs becomes easy, you can create more of a challenge by squatting on only one leg.

The above four exercises will give you an excellent foundation to build on. You should attempt each exercise to see how many maximum you can do, then take this number and perform three sets of that number per exercise, adding two or three repetitions each week. When exercises get easy, try wearing a weighted vest or performing variations for a challenge.

Conditioning your body can be achieved through simple exercises including running, swimming or cycling. While performing these exercises regularly will improve your cardiovascular fitness, to see benefits quicker, you must be prepared to push yourself.

Instead of running a set amount of kilometers in a set time, or swimming a set amount of laps, try using and approach called Fartlek. Fartlek requires you to mix your activity between high intensity and low intensity intervals.

For example, if you were to go for a three-kilometer run, you could make it more challenging by sprinting for 100m, then jogging for 200m, repeating this after each 100m and 200m respectively. In swimming, you could do a forward stroke for 1 lap followed by breaststroke for 2 laps. For cycling, you could cycle on a low gear for 1 minute followed by a high gear for 2 minutes.

So whether you’re preparing for your first class with us at Keswick Karate, or you’re simply finding that your strength and conditioning could do with some improvement, try the exercises above to get your body prepared.

To Try Keswick Karate and to shake up you fitness program for this coming new year contact us by filling out the form on the right hand side.