Martial Arts That Can Help You Get Fit

Many people look to fitness as a means to build muscle, strength, and endurance, and as a way to ensure they can protect themselves in dangerous situations. For many, martial arts style fitness can offer several benefits. The following martial arts offer a great way to get in shape, boost heart rate, burn calories, and also teach a few protective tactics…

1. Taekwondo

This widely known Korean martial art that focuses on kicking has been a big part of the Olympics for nearly two decades now. Because Taekwondo is centered on kicking, much of your training will involve strengthening the legs, meaning you’ll be required to run and squat in order to build your speed and agility.

The good news is that this type of exercise is perfect for burning calories and fat and building lots of lean muscle. Doing so can help boost your metabolism and keep your body burning fat even after your workout has stopped. If you’re looking to get in shape this year, you may not need to look any further than this unique martial art.

2. Capoeira

Fans of ultimate fighting will be very familiar with Capoeira, a martial art style that comes to us from Brazil. To become an expert at this increasingly popular martial art, one must improve their balance and flexibility.

This requires focusing on the legs and core primarily, which means fans of this martial art often come from backgrounds in gymnastics and yoga. If you’re looking to become skilled in Capoeira, it’s recommended that you add gymnastics and yoga exercises to your overall workout routine. However, if you’re more interested in bulking up and focusing on upper body strength and endurance, this may not be the martial arts style for you.

3. Jiu Jitsu

This distinct martial art style, which focuses on using leverage and maneuverability to gain advantage in a confrontation, is extremely popular in South America. The goal of Jiu Jitsu is to use one’s own body weight—and the body weight of their opponent—to defend one’s self. This makes it a potentially ideal martial arts style for people of smaller stature.

Because Jiu Jitsu relies so much on agility, workouts focus on building lean muscle and flexibility. That means lots of cardiovascular exercise capable of burning fat and calories while building core strength. The focus here is on grappling rather than striking, so endurance is absolutely crucial. For those who want a lean rather than bulky appearance, this could be the ideal martial art.

4. Tai Chi

Don’t scoff just yet—while Tai Chi is a far slower art than many of the other martial arts styles mentioned in this list, that doesn’t mean it lacks significant value for those looking to build physical and mental strength.

Here’s why: Tai Chi is an excellent way to increase balance through the strengthening of the joints and muscles. Thanks to its slow, meditative pace, it’s also an excellent way to clear the mind of worry, an important part of building concentration. This can help improve one’s focus, particularly in tense situations. For these reasons, martial arts experts of varying backgrounds consider Tai Chi an excellent way to round out a complete workout routine. That said, it won’t get your heart beating, so it shouldn’t be the central part of a martial arts-based workout routine if you’re looking to burn calories and fat and lose weight.

5. Muay Thai

If you’ve ever watched a movie that focuses on kickboxing, you’re probably familiar with some elements of Muay Thai, which originated in Thailand. Muay Thai is a hybrid martial arts style that employs many parts of the body, which is why it’s widely known as the “art of eight limbs”.

That means Muay Thai training is gruelling, intensive, and takes a long time to perfect. Experts in this martial art focus on building a fighter’s overall fitness and endurance levels to their absolute maximum, ensuring they can be agile, inflict heavy damage, and handle the damage dished out by opponents. For this reason, Muay Thai is geared towards people looking for a complete exercise regimen that requires utmost dedication in all aspects, including diet. That means it may not be the best choice for the average person looking to shed a few pounds.

6. Judo

If you’re looking for a martial art that focuses on building overall flexibility and agility through the use of free weights, look no further than Judo, one of Japan’s most popular martial arts.

Judo is about building both physical and mental fitness and requires complete dedication, even beyond the gym. For those who follow it, Judo is a way of life that requires reevaluating how one moves, how they view themselves in the world, how and what they eat, even how they breathe. By taking such a complete approach to mind, body, and lifestyle, Judo can offer an excellent way for one to change their life—if that’s what you’re looking for.


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a weight loss expert who specializes in healthy living. She is dedicated to providing health-conscious individuals with the information they need to make great lifestyle choices that will make them look and feel better. In her spare time, Emily teaches Pilates at a local studio and enjoys activities like hiking, rowing and biking.