Tag Archives: roundhouse

Fitness benefits of training in kicks

Functional core strength

Martial arts strikes focus on producing power through arms and legs in the most efficient way. The core is not just the ‘six pack’ when it comes to martial arts. It includes the trunk, belly and the legs. Anatomically the following major muscle groups are involved

  • rectus abdominis, the six pack
  • transversus abdominis, crisscrossing set of muscles that connect with the diaphragm
  • obliques
  • psoas, the longest muscle from the ribcage to the thigh bone
  • vastus medialis, the inner thigh muscles (a part of quadriceps)

Practicing kicks target all these areas which translate into further benefits.

Improved posture and relaxed spine

Take the example of a roundhouse kick. There is a twisting power generated that involves the obliques, psoas and inner thighs. When practiced correctly, it opens up tight hips, releases tension from the lower back and builds obliques that holds the spine in place. Once the muscles are developed functionally, extra load is removed from the spine which returns it to its natural relaxed S-curves shape.

Reduces tightness in the thighs and calves

Kicks work on engaging the major leg muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves etc. In a front kick, both the hamstrings and quadriceps are engaged and relaxed alternately. As awareness of these muscles increase with repeating the kicks, the muscles become supple and toned.

Strong glutes

The gluteus maximus, the ‘butt muscle’ is the largest muscles in the body that powers lower body movements. A sedentary life at a desk weakens this muscle along with tightening the psoas (see above) that can cause lower back pain.

With the right kind of training in kicks, these muscles can be re-activated that allows for relaxed walking, running and general comfort. Consistent movement that re-educates these muscles are the safest way to correct imbalances that arise from weak glutes. So show up in training and keep at those kicks.

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Power packed 30 minute MMA workout for beginners

Here is something that I put together today morning for those who have recently started training martial arts or want a taste of it at home.

  • Warm up the major joints by moving, rolling, spiralling, rotating (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, spine, hips, knees, ankles) – 5 minutes. Look up Scott Sonnon’s free Intu-Flow videos for beginners to learn more about warming up your joints and making them healthier.
  • 5 rounds of Suryanamaskar10 minutes. I prefer to do it in a relaxed way that loosens up the entire body.¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hSdq-50PG0
  • Shadow box for 1 minute without breaks. This is where you let loose and have fun with jabs, cross, hook, front kicks, roundhouse kicks, elbows. Apply the breathing lessons from this post.
  • Do 10 counts of push ups, squats, sit ups, leg raises for the next 2 minutes. Go to our Basic MMA Skills page to have a look at how to do these exercises in a relaxed way without getting tired.
  • Repeat Shadow Boxing + 10 counts of above exercises for a total of 5 sets.

Once you are done, take the next couple of minutes to bring your breathing back to normal, shake off tension from stiff regions and relax.

This is a glimpse of how the training sessions at Forge MMA progress. Call 8308252872 to sign up for our yellow belt, orange belt or green belt courses in mixed martial arts.