Fighting Off the Pounds: The Best Form of Martial Arts for Weight Loss

The studio shot of group of kids training karate martial arts on gray backlground

Is lifting weights and running on the treadmill on a weekly basis not getting the weight-loss results you’re looking for?

If so, it may be time to add martial arts classes to your regimen.

Whether you’re an adult looking to trim down or want your children to have a healthy lifestyle early on, you can get more out of martial arts than knowing how to defend yourself against an attacker.

Multiple styles can help you build strength throughout the body and improve endurance so that you can perform any physical task for longer periods.

With our classes and tips, you can get into the shape you imagine yourself in while looking in the mirror.

Here are the best forms of martial arts for weight loss.

1. Hapkido/Judo

If you’re looking for martial arts styles that don’t involve striking, then Hapkido/Judo is the way to go.

This option focuses on working out the entire body. Instead of punching or kicking, you will be doing a lot of throwing and tossing. You will need to focus on making the right movements with your hips, feet, hands, shoulders, and legs in order to keep your opponent from landing any hits.

Techniques also include grappling and pinning, meaning that you’ll have to do some groundwork. Kapkido involves wearing a white uniform known as a gi, and you must be able to grab your opponent’s gi and use it against them.

We focus on also using martial arts for relieving stress, as there will be breathing exercises you do in between more active parts. Meditation will also help you achieve a state of mind that allows you to block out distractions and master the technique.

2. Capoeira

Other styles allow you to have more fun while your fighting, among the prime examples, being Capoeira. Originating from Brazil, this form involves dancing as a way to move and land your hits. You will be constantly moving around, which helps with burn calories and boost your heart rate so that you can be active for longer periods.

Capoeira involves similar techniques as those in Hapkido, such as grappling, sweeping and takedowns. However, you will be able to strike your opponent with hands, feet, knees, and elbows.

Building strength in your core, abs and upper body is a major benefit of this style. You will need to be able to move fluidly in a short period of time, which helps develop speed. Loosening up when you’re performing this style will also help you move smoothly and land hits.

When you’re not in the gym, you can also show off these moves at a dance party with friends or family.

3. Muay Thai

Moving over to more physical types of martial arts, Muay Thai will give your legs a good workout. This form focuses on kicking, which holds some of the largest muscles in your body. Your feet and knees will become effective weapons as you learn how to throw kicks and knees at different heights.

Warming up is a major part of Muay Thai, as your legs need to be in the right condition to be able to land techniques perfectly. Stretching will help you reach the right heights for certain kicks, and striking pads and bags will prepare you for combating another person.

People who are new to martial arts can use this form as a weekly addition to their current workout schedule. However, athletes can enter tournaments and competitions for Muay Thai if they really want to test their skills.

4. Karate

Our list of martial arts includes options for building upper body strength, such as karate. You will practice plenty of quick movements, such as punches, kicks, elbows, and grappling.

Warm-ups are also crucial with this style, especially if you’re having your kids practice it. Jumping jacks, jogging, stretching and push-ups will get them in the condition needed for the more intense workouts.

You will be moving your arms in different ways to keep attackers from landing any punches or kicks on you. As a result, you will gain plenty of arm strength out of this style.

The use of your legs and core will allow the rest of your body to get a good workout and burn calories, as well. The tenseness you feel in your muscles with each strike allows you to build strength in whatever limb you’re throwing.

5. Kung Fu

Improving health comes from more than building muscles, as kung fu helps you make improvements in different areas of your life. In regards to the physical benefits, you will be able to develop speed and strength by learning how to punch, kick and block in different ways.

Your brain also sees benefits from kung fu because of the concentration involved in the fighting moves. As a result, you will have more awareness of the people and objects around you. Being able to physically defend yourself is a good way to boost your confidence, especially if you find yourself in tense situations often.

If your child is dealing with confidence issues, classes are a good way to help them feel better about themselves. This can help them with school, work, dating, and other situations.

Having self-confidence has also been shown to make it easier to avoid health issues that can get in the way of a long life.

6. Taekwondo

Some of you or your kids may be more on the competitive side. In this case, we advise giving taekwondo a shot.

Classes are available at different levels to suit rookies and veterans. This comes in handy in case you plan to join a tournament down the line. You will see an increase in endurance and flexibility by staying dedicated to this style.

This form involves kicking, jumping and flipping in order to dodge hits and land your own. This Korean style is known as “the art of the foot and fist.” While the majority of strikes you will learn involve kicking, there will be some punching involved in order to stay ahead of your opponent.

The leaping and flying will help you improve your cardio. You will be moving constantly in order to stay clear of hits and look for openings of your own. As a result, burning fat and calories with taekwondo is a piece of cake.

7. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Another option for those who want to avoid striking is Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu. The mind and body get an equal workout with this form, making it among the best martial arts. Takedowns and groundwork are the main focus here, and you will need to position yourself and your opponent in the right way in order to apply a submission hold that will force them to give up.

The techniques in this style have made it a common form of self-defense for both men and women. Beginners are introduced to tactics such as shrimping, gripping and bridging so that they can ease their way into Jiu-Jitsu. As you get more experienced, you will learn techniques that will test your endurance and strength to withstand your opponent.

This will help you burn the amount of fat and calories needed to fit into older jeans.

8. Krav Maga

Some forms of martial arts are more helpful in real-life situations. If that’s what you’re looking for, then Krav Maga is the way to go.

Speed and power are the main focuses of this style. You will need it to defend yourself from people attacking you from different angles. This includes people in front of you, from the sides, and from behind.

You will also get to learn how to defend yourself from and disarm attackers with weapons ranging from pipes to guns. Instead of landing hits that look cool in the movies, the tactics you get from Krav Maga intend to lay the right amount of impact on the right body parts. The effectiveness of this style comes from combinations of Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, judo and wrestling.

By learning to use different parts of your body, you will have more ways to lose weight.

9. Boxing

Increasing strength and focus is also possible thanks to boxing, which is among the more physical options we have on this list. If you want to burn as many calories as possible, you will need to box at high intensities. The more tired you are after rounds, the better since you’ll get off a good burn.

Cardio comes from the footwork and constant moving you’ll do to avoid hits and figure out how to land strikes. Hitting the bag or pads is a good way to warm yourself up before you practice against another person. Stretching is also important if you want your arms to be able to hit opponents at great heights or farther distances.

The movements include rapid punches that increase strength in your arms and breathing that boosts your core. Footwork and moving around the ring will also help develop the muscles in your legs.

10. MMA (Combining Forms of Martial Arts)

The final option on this list for getting into shape is mixed martial arts (MMA). Like Krav Maga, you will be combining techniques from different styles. This gives you a chance to work out every part of your body.

The striking and grappling will keep your upper body strength intact. The footwork and the need to move around the ring to avoid hits will keep your heart rate up and burn plenty of calories. Mental focus is a major part of MMA.

You need to be able to change your stance in order to defend yourself and go in for an attack when you see an opening. Using different styles will also help you be prepared for different situations, whether it involves multiple attackers or someone with a weapon. With moves that improve power, speed, and motion, you will be able to build muscle, reduce fat, and stay active all at once.

Our Take

Martial arts is just as handy at losing weight as it is at helping you stay safe. The different forms of martial arts out there focus on improving strength, speed, heart rate and endurance with a variety of techniques. All of them allow both adults and kids to achieve better states of well-being, physically and mentally.

Check out our classes and services today so that you can learn how to stay safe and maintain a long, healthy life.

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