Thursday, July 12, 2012

Can You Lose Weight With Martial Arts?

   Millions of Americans and people all over the world are constantly looking for a way to maintain a healthy weight. Because activities like running or weightlifting is mundane for many people, funner activities are often desired. One of these is martial arts. Can they help you lose weight? Yes and no.

There are many different kinds of martial arts. There are hard martial arts, soft martial arts, martial arts that focus on striking, and others that attempt to submit the enemy. Which ones are best for weight loss?

One category can be ruled out almost immediately: internal martial arts. This includes Aikido, much of Hapkido, Tai Chi, and certain schools of Kung Fu. These schools often focus more on meditation and mental development. Exercise is often very light. The techniques rely mostly on leverage and control in a manner that exerts little or no energy. Thus, these arts are not ideal at all for weight loss or muscle gain.

The two most effective genres of martial arts for weight loss are striking arts and grappling arts. Striking styles such as Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Karate require lots of aerobic and anaerobic exercise to achieve a level of skill. Bodyweight exercises that require management of your own weight are very common, such as pushups and situps. Repetitions of kicks and punches are a consistent part of exercise and can be executed in an aerobic or anaerobic manner, depending on whether speed or strength is the goal.

Grappling arts are also very effective for weight loss. Although much of judo and jiujitus relies on using you and your enemy's momentum and weight against them while actually sparring/rolling, practice consists to a great extent of incredibly difficult core exercises ideal for losing weight.

1 comment:

Diana Guess said...

Really useful article! So, I need to start taking some Toronto martial arts lessons if I want to get rid of my extra pounds! I'm sure that I will do a great job, because I really want to have a slim, fit body and I think that it's an interesting discipline. Besides of this, I will know how to defend myself!