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Combat Fitness Training

author image Nick Ng
Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.
Combat Fitness Training
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Combat fitness training is becoming a more popular method of exercise to improve strength, power, balance and stability among many who exercise, particularly among men. This type of training uses many non-traditional methods and tools to train, such as sandbags, kettlebells, yoga, basic gymnastics and suspension cables. Combat fitness focuses on how you move rather than training specific muscle groups like weight-training.


Striking combat involves any type of hitting with any parts of your body, such as your fist, palm, elbow, kicks, or knees. Grappling combat involves non-strike attacks, such as holds, joints locks, throws and takedowns. Each type of training requires different body positions and strength for conditioning. Jeff Fields, who is the founder of Integrated Martial Arts Concepts, Inc., recommends that you combine both training styles to earn the best results so that you can use both methods for self-defense or for sports.


Combat fitness training conditions many facets of human movement and performance that few other sports and training methods incorporate. It emphasizes proper movement, posture, balance, endurance and coordination for each specific move. Aside from learning the striking and grappling skills themselves, you also learn how to transfer strength and energy from your lower body to your upper body, which is applicable to functional movement even in your every-day activities.


Since combat fitness is movement-based, focus on movement rather than muscles. This training approach differs from traditional strength training. Rather than focusing on the development of one muscle group, focus on perfecting the execution of a particular strike or move. Exercises like kettlebell swings, medicine ball throws and rope whips focus on enhancing the effectiveness of a movement, and the subsequent muscles used are conditioned as an added benefit.

Interval Training

Interval training is doing short bouts of high-intensity exercises followed by a short period of rest. This helps you resist fatigue, improve muscular endurance, and decrease rest periods. If you wish to burn a lot of calories in the least amount of time, then you must do interval training as part of your workout. You can use any style of combat and tools for interval training, such as punching bag, sandbags, kettlebells, your own body weight and ropes.

Sample Workout

A beginner's combat fitness workout should consist of five exercises that trains that basic movement patterns in combat. These include rotating, pushing, lunging, striking and pulling. Zach Even-Esh, owner of Underground Strength Coach, recommends that you do choose five to six exercises that train different movement patterns. Do one exercise for 15 to 20 seconds, and rest for 30 seconds. Then do another exercise that trains a different movement pattern for the same duration.

For example, do 15 seconds of push-ups, then rest for 30 seconds. Do 15 seconds of medicine ball ground slams, and rest of 30 seconds. Repeat the same pattern for the remaining exercises.

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