Fitness and Workouts

5 Best Functional Exercises for Martial Artist

Martial arts is intense training that requires you to not only stay motivated for work. It also helps you to make conscious decisions about what kind of workout you need to incorporate into your daily routine. Most people think that old-school fighting patterns are a result of martial arts training. It has nothing to do with the life we live right now and our daily tasks. However, if you are martial artist you will notice that it uses the same body patterns. Also, body functions that we perform every day and utilize in daily life.

Nearly everything you do has some connection to the routines of your everyday life that your workout reflects. Similarly, the workout we choose to support our martial arts training for strength, body movement, motion range, and increasing the muscle range of the workout are all driven by our daily life movements.


As a martial artist, the kicks and punching style is linked with technical training. There is no doubt that it helps but this has a very limited benefit. It is because no matter how well you know your kicks and punches. You can never use them fully to control your opponent unless you can control your body perfectly. Here you will need some supportive workouts like yoga, strength training weight lifting, endurance-building workouts, cardio, etc.

These workouts will help you become better, and improve your workout patterns. Also, they will further help you in improving the motion capabilities of your body. Yoga is one of the prime examples of a functional workout. Because it uses all the movement from our daily lives. These workout poses are so well coordinated that you will notice that you are using them as your workout as well as your fight against any opponent.

With the help of this article, we will look at some of the functional workouts, we will also look at what makes a workout functional. For martial arts training, we can use some basic functional workouts.

What Is The Functional Workout?

In case you are a martial artist you might have come across a martial arts movie like the karate kid. In the movie, you will notice that the instructor uses daily household tasks to teach his student martial arts. Almost all daily life works from scrubbing the car to moving things can be converted into martial arts. This same pattern was used in ancient fighting patterns. People would use simple movements that they learned from daily household and then use these patterns just to fight. You are consistently making the daily movement a part of your muscle memory. When the time comes most of us move in certain ways that benefit our defense.

In short, functional workouts are the supporting workouts that you will use for your martial arts training. This workout is derived from daily movement. From sitting, and picking up things to pushing things in opposite directions and gripping things. Every learning maneuver has a pattern and you can use that in daily life. Most of the yoga poses are derived from our sitting, sleeping and walking, and moving patterns. Similarly, Our cardio poses help us stay healthy and active throughout the day.

Top 5 Functional Exercises for Martial Artists


Squat is a cardio-based workout that has its root in the way we sit. Technically if we sit on a chair or if we sit on our own we try to balance our body weight on the feet. We also try to make sure that our back stays straight and our body maintains a balance. These workouts later come in handy in shrimping. That is one of the most important techniques that is used for escape in the case of BJJ. Also, you will notice that squatting is a good workout for balancing as well as strength building.


Perfect for upper body strength this workout has a root in the way we lift our body when we lay flat on the ground. This workout is also perfect for gripping the opponent or pushing the opponent. Also, if you use that as a punching technique you will notice that it plays a very important role in how much power you need to exert just to push an opponent with enough weight and strength. Where most people complain about a weak punch, push up can help with that as well.


An excellent workout for strengthening the upper body, especially the shoulder, arms, and hands. You will notice that your grip will become hardcore. Eventually, the way you attack the opponent will become very calculated and you will not be reckless at all. Dip also offers you complete upper body control because you will be practicing with good enough power. Dip can help you target your opponent and control his body.


Perfect for burning up the core and melting all the extra fat in your core region. This workout will help you strengthen your back as well as your core. Eventually, in your martial arts training, you will notice that sit-ups are very important in getting in shape. Technical standing up helps you bounce back from the submissive position and convert it into the dominant one.

Side plant

Another perfect workout to help you target your core strength, your arms as well as your upper body strength. This workout will change the course of your grip and your punching style. However, another thing that it will influence is the way you stand up and the way you utilize your upper body for the sake of controlling your opponent.

Bottom Line

To sum it all up, functional workouts are part of the exercise no matter what kind of martial arts you choose. From helping you lift things to improving the way you grip objects and people around you. Almost everything you do has some link to the pattern of your everyday life that your workout reflects. This is the reason people living in a specific geographical location perform much better as compared to people living in another geographical location. Their daily movement is used in martial arts. However, if you are relying completely on daily life patterns and not on any other workout. This doesn’t offer you the balance that you need to win. To make it work for you, you need some functional workouts but also some basic technical workouts.