From Muay Thai to Taekwondo, Krav Maga to kickboxing, the options for self-defense are numerous and varied. And, along with helping you protect yourself in the case of an attack, many of these methods are also great for getting into shape. While traditional gym-style workouts can quickly become boring or repetitive, the benefit of self-defense classes is that they engage both body and mind. Because students are focused on ways to ward off danger, they’re more likely to stay focused and stick with it. Read on to learn about three of the best self-defense workouts for women.
You’ve probably heard of Krav Maga, as it’s the official hand-to-hand combat method of the famed Israeli Defense Forces. However, you might not realize this defense system is also a popular fitness regimen for thousands of Americans. Involving a unique mix of techniques designed to increase strength, boost endurance, and improve flexibility, Krav Maga enables women to defend themselves while supporting overall fitness goals like toning and weight loss. And unlike traditional workouts like Pilates or spinning, Krav Maga is unlikely to get boring. That’s because practitioners are actively engaged in learning techniques designed to protect them and even save their lives. You can burn calories and build muscles while taking steps to safeguard yourself in the event of an emergency. In fact, a Huffington Post article revealed that it’s possible to burn 464 calories in just one hour of training.
A combination of Muay Thai boxing and karate, kickboxing is a fun and beneficial workout for the whole body. While some people kickbox competitively, plenty more just practice the sport for fun and exercise. Not only does kickboxing help men and women learn self-defense tactics, but it also allows for maximum calorie burning. In fact, a Fitness Blender article reveals that the average cardio kickboxing workout burns as many as 15 calories per minute. If your primary goal is fitness, kickboxing is a great choice, but experts note that the purpose of these classes tends to be more weight loss than self-defense. So, if you’re truly focused on protecting yourself, you might want to choose another workout option.
If your goal is to tone and train both mind and body, this Korean martial arts method might be the ideal choice. Developed during the 1940s and 50s, Taekwondo involves a mix of speed, agility, and self-defense. Explosive kicks help develop the legs and strengthen the core while learning to block punches provides an effective workout for the arms. And research shows that this martial art can produce impressive results in overall body composition. In fact, an article in the Journal of Sports Sciences reveals that adolescent girls who engaged in low-frequency Taekwondo training saw positive changes in their muscles fitness and flexibility in a short amount of time.
If you’re tired of your old gym routine, consider self-defense classes as a way to re-engage both mind and body. And who knows? You might just learn something vital that will protect you in the coming years.