Weight Training for Punching Power
For self defence the ability to throw a good punch is perhaps one of the most important skills to develop. This means developing technique and martial arts can help a great deal, but what also helps is to build your strength and fitness to make sure you have the ability to really hit hard. The muscles that you need to train to this end are the pecs, the triceps and the deltoids, and by getting them strong you'll be able to really pack a punch. Here are some exercises that you might find help to compliment your boxing or martial arts training.
Push Ups: Push ups are one of the essential 'cornerstones' of most workouts and for good reason as they are so incredibly convenient to use - being something that can be used wherever you need to with absolutely no equipment yet meanwhile training almost every single main muscle group. Press ups are best known for hitting the chest but also use triceps, deltoids, legs and more – just as you need them too if you want to improve your punching power. Furthermore press ups are ideal for making you use them in unison just as you would if you were punching. On top of all this there are also many variations that lots of people aren't familiar with like clapping press ups which provide a plyometric (explosive) exercise that work the 'fast twitch' muscle fibers, rocking push ups that require you to rock from side to side and thus isolate each pec, push ups using just one arm, or push ups on an un-level floor.
Bench Press: If it was only ever possible to use a single piece of fitness equipment it would preferably be the bench press. A member of the 'big three' 'compound' (meaning they work the whole body) stations, this is a move which you can use to work most of the upper body and put yourself in an 'anabolic state' at the same time for optimum muscle growth. To do a bench press, simply lie down on the bench and then bring the weight down to you before pushing it directly back up. Having your feet planted firmly flat on the floor will help you to muster more pressing strength and thereby lift heavier weights. If you want to see growth as fast as you can, then you need to lift a heavy weight that you are only able to lift for a few repetitions and find a way to go past the point of failure - e.g. using drop sets or negatives. Finding a gym buddy is highly advisable too to enable you to train with heavier weights without potentially letting go of the weight – so find someone else in your self-defence class. The majority of bench presses can be adjusted allowing you to be on more of less of a gradient so you use the upper or lower part of the pectorals muscles more and if you do a more upright press you'll again engage the deltoids more.
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