Cardio Exercise Ideas for Martial Artists

nathan3

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Good morning, everyone. I find myself in what is probably not a unique situation. Two of my biggest limiting factors as I train in the martial arts are my weight and my endurance. I need to shed about 20 pounds (which I suppose could be worse), but even more troubling is that I just don't have any real endurance to speak of. I know the answer to both problems is to do more cardio training, but most of the typical cardio exercises are either so boring that I can't bring myself to do them, or are hard on my already weak knees/ankles.

That's where all of you come in. What do you use for your cardio training?

Thanks,
Nathan
 

Shuto

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I've recently started using an elliptical trainer which I find to be very easy on my knees.
 

meth18au

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Well Muay Thai is enough cardio for me really. But outside of class I jump more rope, and do a fair bit of running for cardio. Not that this solves your problem! If your knees and ankles are weak, then cycling and swimming could be the best way to go- but I don't know if they'd be any less boring than other cardio exercises. You can try HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training. It might be a minute at a moderate pace, then a minute going all out. Or whatever time intervals you are comfortable with. And vary the intensity from interval to interval.

Try these 2 link, they contain some different sorts of cardio exercises and have basic information on HIIT:

http://www.shapefit.com/cardio-exercises.html

http://www.hussmanfitness.org/html/TGHowtoWorkout.html


HIIT session are shorter than getting doing cardio for 40-60 minutes at a slow pace. And constantly changing your intervals, it just seems to make it all go by quickly. You gotta train it intense though! Watch your fitness go up, and the weight shed off!
 

morph4me

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Hittng the heavy bag has helped me with my endurance. I also jump rope and walk on the treadmill. Mixing up my cardio routines keeps it interesting.
 

CoryKS

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If you have a video console, consider getting a copy of Dance Dance Revolution. It's actually a lot of fun, and you can work up a serious sweat, not to mention the heart rate. The copy we own has a workout mode which counts calories and whatnot. I prefer to run, but that doesn't fulfill your requirements of being a) not boring; and b) easy on the knees.
 

gnrail

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I'm not sure what style you study but our instructures are always recommending Kata as a cardio exercise. Depending how you do them at the time hard, soft, fast or slow each method works out different things. We have at least one instructor that really enjoys giving us a Kata workout.

I tried various machines at my local gym but I have this attention problem. I think they would call me ADD if I was in school these days.

One newer machine that has appreared (up here in the Great White North we might be a little behind the times) is a skating machine. The movement is basically like skating on Ice or Rollar blades. I have never tried one but talk to a trainer at one of your local gyms and it might actually help with the knees and ankles as well (depending what the actual problem is)
 

ehsen

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Rope Jumping is overall the best cardio exercise. But it may put excessive stress on your knees.
 

Phoenix44

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You like MA, so try cardio kickboxing. Leave your ego at the door--the teacher may be a fitness instructor and not a martial artist. You won't throw perfect kicks and punches, but you will throw a lot of them, fast. MA technique is not emphasized, pivoting is discouraged (concern about blowing out the dependent knee) but if you concentrate, your technique will get better. Plus, you usually get to meet nice people who are trying to get fit. Just make sure your class uses heavy bags, and doesn't just throw punches and kicks into the air.

I also like bicycling and walking, because you can actually go somewhere.

And if you like looking at hot men (I do) or if you like to dance, buy the Hip Hop Abs DVD...it's a lot of fun, and a great cardio and ab workout.
 

Shirt Ripper

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There are good suggestions above. There is also something to be said for simply know where you are now, have to tools to move up and the willingness/patience to do so...

Here's a thought:

If you do any kind of weight training, try doing "complexes" of exercises or going from one directly into another. Essentially it is combining two exercises as one.

DB Curls, Squat (with DBs at the shoulders), Press. That's a simple example but it illustrates the point.

This is not steady-state cardiovascular activity but it will ellicit an increase in cardiovascular performance and, perhaps more importantly (depending...), muscular endurance.

This same philosophy can be applied to "running type" activities, heavy bag work, etc. When your bodies capacity to handle the currently imposed stress is depleted, change the stress. This will allow you to continue to stimulate adaptation and continue to expend energy.

Train hard a SMART. No your limits and push them.
 

searcher

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Go take a cycling class at your local gym. I have been cycling for a while now and it is a killer workout.
 
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