Beyond the Gym: 5 Butt Kicking Martial Arts Styles
Need to shake up your fitness routine? Martial arts training may be the answer.
When Tia D. May started kickboxing classes a year and a half ago she wanted to tone up and build her physical and mental strength. It wasn't long before she noticed her body weight dropping and her confidence levels rising. "My initial goal was to get a good workout, but I've gotten much more out of it," says May. "Within three months I lost 20 pounds."
Kickboxing was also Casey Bohrman’s foray into martial arts. She then moved onto Tae Kwon Do, but soon discovered that neither activity was challenging enough. Muay Thai, a standing fighting style, was the next logical step. She loved it so much that she became a professional fighter in 2009. "It became my passion," says Bohrman.
What both of these ladies discovered is that martial arts is not only a great self-defense tool; it's also a wonderful way of getting fit and losing weight. Picking the style that works best for you will insure that you'll stick with the sport and have fun.
Not sure if martial arts is right for you? The following five forms of the sport may be just what you need to kick your workout into high gear!
Muay Thai: This form of kickboxing makes use of your hands, elbows, knees, and feet. It’s one of the best standing fighting styles out there because your entire body is continually engaged.
Jui-Jitsu: Various forms of grappling and wrestling are used, including chock holds and limb locks. Like Muay Thai, this style is one of the more intense martial arts out there. But if you're looking for a great workout, it can't be beat.
Tae Kwon Do: If your goal is to tone your legs and butt and strengthen your core, then this style is for you. It relies heavily on kicking--about 80% legs and 20% hand strikes.
Kickboxing: This style is one of the best forms of training out there. You won't learn intricate techniques, but you will greatly improve your stamina and cardio conditioning.
What's your favorite martial arts style?
Jillian Bullock is a Loop21.com columnist and the CEO of Jillian Bullock Enterprises, LLC, a fitness, wellness, and empowerment company based in Pennsylvania.
Photo Credit: istock