Developing Aerobic Endurance
Written by Michael A. Krivka


One of the hardest aspects of a physical fitness program to develop and maintain is the aerobic element. Often ignored and sometimes avoided all together, a regular aerobic workout is essential to maintain overall health and increase your performance in the martial arts.


There are many ways to develop your aerobic endurance. The most common methods are running, swimming, and aerobics. While these may be excellent methods to get you in shape, they have very little to do with the muscle movement skill you need to perform the martial arts. They will increase your overall aerobic capacity, but there is a more efficient way of a martial artist.


The best way for a martial artist to develop their aerobic endurance is to practice their art(s) in such a manner as to keep their heart rate up for an extended period of time. Continuous movement over a long period of time will not only increase your aerobic capacity but will also burn calories at a higher rate than short bursts of activity.

Some suggested aerobic workouts are:

  • working on your stick coordination, power and control, while doing various footwork drills
  • working on the heavy bag or focus mitts to develop your hand and foot combinations
  • doing grappling drills with a training partner to develop sensitivity and control on the ground

Whatever method you use, be sure to maintain your target heart rate for 20 - 30 minutes at a time, 3 - 4 times a week. Remember, an extended aerobic workout, that maintains the target heart rate, will stimulate growth in your aerobic capacity faster than a short explosive workout.

The Kutting Edge (MAK) April 1994


For training contact Mike Krivka at (301) 404-2571 (9AM - 9PM EST).
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