This Martial Arts Workout Targets Physical and Cognitive Health

This program is centered around the exciting forms of combat exercise. Kick boxing, boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Tae Kwondo and Karate are some of the fastest growing sports in the country. The opportunity to take a self-defense class and workout while learning important motor skills is not only great for your physical health but also for your cognitive (brain) health.

Here are some movements that pull from all of the above disciplines in martial arts. The movements are patterned after the art and will assist in the tissue preparation and motor skill required in each.


Jump Rope

5 minutes

Get yourself a jump rope! It is the most accessible and portable piece of cardiovascular equipment you will ever buy. Get into a rhythm of two feet jumping over the rope and then switch to a different foot pattern. The more often you switch your feet the longer you will be able to go without tiring.


Core Plank Reach

Three sets of 20 reps, rest 45 seconds

Deep Squat to Inchworm Push-Up

Three sets of 10 reps, rest 45 seconds

Ape Lateral Travel

Three sets of 60 seconds, rest 60 seconds

Boxing Jab and Straight Right Combination

Three sets of 60 seconds, rest 15 seconds

In this movement you will practice your left jab and your straight right. If you are left handed (south paw) you will jab with the right and throw the straight with the left.

Double Hook

Three sets of 60 seconds, rest 15 seconds

The Kick Boxing Knee

Three sets of 60 seconds

This movement involves grabbing the back of the head or shoulders of the opponent and bringing your knee to the side of the ribs or the head.

The Karate Side Kick

Three sets of 10 kicks each side

This is a staple in Karate. This involves kicking to the side. It is both a defensive and offensive kick.

The Karate Front Kick

Three sets of 10 reps each side

The Front Kick is a kick straight ahead to the head.

The Tae Kwon Do Roundhouse Kick

Three sets of 10 reps each side

The roundhouse is a 45 degree angle kick usually to the head or shoulders of the opponent. The roundhouse comes from the rear foot in your fighting stance.


5 minutes


Photo credit: Jason Briscoe, Unsplash
GIF credit: Tom Casey,