Hitting the gym gets dull after a while; it’s always the same routines, the same equipment and the same faces; sometimes you need a fitness routine that’s a bit different and a bit more fun! Why not consider a martial art and hit a punching bag instead of a treadmill? In this post we look at 5 martial arts you can try instead of boring gym workouts for fun and interest – let’s kickstart!
Taekwondo is one of the first activities you think of when someone mentions martial arts, perhaps because it’s one of only two martial arts included in the Olympics – the other being Judo. But taekwondo is popular for other reasons; it’s a fun way to stay fit and sharp.
That’s right, taekwondo might look like a fighting sport, but it’s not all about landing blows with high kicks. Taekwondo has twenty-four patterns to learn by heart before you can rise through the belt ranking and obtain top status – these patterns are excellent for the body and the brain.
Along with taekwondo, Judo is the other martial art that’s included in the Olympic games. Judo is based on throws, and you will spend a lot of time on your back, but don’t let that put you off; Judo is an excellent cardio exercise and very good for strengthening local muscles groups.
Get stronger, fitter, and have some fun at the same time with judo classes. Although Judo is a contact sport, it’s also a gentle one with zen-like movements involved – Judo actually translates as the gentle way. Expect to be humbled by this contact sport and to make new friends.
If punching is your thing, then you might have the spirit of a boxer in you! But once again, boxing is not all about fighting; it’s an excellent way to keep fit and build strength – both inner and outer. Boxing training includes running, skipping, medicine ball work, and punching.
Boxing is probably the most popular martial art in the western world, and most people know it from the professional fights and epic history, but the sport is also popular at an amateur level, and big fights are often arranged – but if you don’t want to fight you don’t have to, you can spar.
In many ways, jiu-jitsu is similar to Judo in that both martial arts deal with groundwork and hold; incidentally, both martial arts are also known as “the gentle way” because they use an opponents strength against them. Like Judo, jiu jitsu is another fun way to stay fighting fit.
Jiu-jitsu requires upper body strength and stamina for long holds on the ground until your opponent taps out. The martial art itself will develop the qualities needed for effective fighting, but you can supplement these with weight training and cross-fitness to gain an advantage.
Aikido is a martial art with a difference; instead of being attack orientated, it’s defense orientated; it’s all about using the opponent’s strength and momentum against them while preventing harm or injury to yourself. And to practice this you need excellent body strength.