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5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Padwork in a Martial Arts Workout

All martial arts that include striking use pads to help develop a practitioner’s punches and strikes. If they don’t they should start using them! Whether you train with the boxing style mitts or the larger Muay Thai pads these five tips will help you get the most from your equipment.
Big Fat Head – often the pads are held too wide apart. The key is to be able to strike the pads as if you’re striking an opponent’s head, to enable this, the pads need to be held close to the padman’s face. To avoid the padman getting hit in the face, punches should always be thrown diagonally. That is the right hand strikes across to the left, which is the holder’s right pad and vice versa. A badly directed strike will then slip off the pad to the outside.
Human’s can move – often the padman stays rooted to the spot and in effect becomes the equivalent of a static hanging bag. A good idea is to mimic the movement of a real opponent. It is essential to include lateral and backward/forward movement.
Human’s can return fire – again mimicking a real opponent punches and kicks can be executed by the padman. These can be performed either before or after a combination from the striker. For advanced students these can also come before a combination is completed, to test the defences, for example.
Distance training – once more mimicking a real opponent the padman can move in and out of range forcing the striker to move accordingly. If the striker is in range but inactive the padman can throw a shot at the striker, to test his defence and to remind him of the range.
Timing training – the padman can throw a series of punches which can be used to develop good timing. The striker has to throw his shots between the strikes. This takes skill on the part of the padman as he must return the pad to a position that is hittable!
Through experimentation these tips can be employed to develop drills to greatly enhance the skills of a martial artist regardless of style. By keeping these tips in mind when making the padman as much like a real opponent as possible, while retaining the role of pad holder, greatly expands the possibilities for using these essential pieces of equipment. The martial artist can then train as closely as possible to real, very safely.
While these drills take a bit of training to get the hang of, the padman plays a very important role, they will improve your ability to strike hard and effectively, guaranteed! They also offer an effective workout. Pads really are essential kit!…

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Throw Out the Martial Arts Training Videos – Here’s A Simple, Highly Effective MMA Home Workout

The only trouble with Martial Arts training videos is they require a player to be able to use them. Busy modern lifestyles often leave little time for fitness training, this simple, highly effective workout can be performed almost anywhere without the need for a DVD player or almost any other equipment. And better still it can be done in only four minutes! Although a warm up and cool down are recommended.

The Tabata method consists of eight rounds of 20 seconds effort preceding 10 seconds rest, that’s 8 x 20 + 10 seconds = 4 minutes. Quick but not easy, this workout will make your cardio conditioning go through the roof while stripping fat from your belly.

It’s best to choose exercises that use large muscle groups rather than isolated body parts as the idea of the Tabata method is to work flat out during the effort section of each round during the cycle. This is key to gain the benefits in just four minutes you really have to work at very high intensities, nothing less than flat out will do.

Here’s an example of a good Tabata Workout

Hindu press ups

Fast press ups

Hindu squats with jump

Burpees

Hindu press ups

Fast press ups

Hindu squats with jump

Burpees

This will stress both the upper and lower body giving a full body workout in just four minutes! Of course, a warm up and cool down are recommended, which will prolong the workout a little but the whole thing can be completed in ten minutes or so. Alternatively, you could have a good stretch after the Tabata with the aim of developing flexibility. The muscles will be nicely warmed up and conducive to flexibility training.

Obviously, you can substitute your own exercises for those in the example but remember that the idea is to work at as high an intensity as possible. Fast repetitions are the key. You can judge progress by recoding the total number of reps during the entire Tabata cycle and attempting to beat that score and subsequent scores in later Tabatas.

The beauty of this workout is you can perform it almost anywhere. The one piece of kit I recommend is the Gymboss Timer which is small and light and takes the nuisance of watching the clock out of the Tabata method. This interval timer beeps when you need to rest and again when it’s time to start again. It can be set so that it lets you know when the workout is complete.

Combined with the Gymboss Timer the Tabata method makes for an excellent MMA home workout!…