Over the years as a martial artist, competitive athlete and certified personal fitness trainer I have been asked many times as to which exercises that I feel benefit performance the most in the weight room. This has alway been a very easy question to answer and has not changed over the last two decades. The short answer is squats, deadlifts and powercleans. From a very simple perspective we can see why.
Squats help build leg strength and leg drive. This improvement helps the martial artist or athlete develop a stable stance, aids in nimble movement and helps develop powerful kicks. In addition to those benefits it helps build up strength throughout the entire body. There are a rare few competitive athletes that do not include this exercise for those reasons.
Deadlifts help build the posterior chain muscles, again adding considerable strength to your root and structure. The very top, or lockout position helps us learn to bring our hips under our body, much to the same position as the Ving Tsun’s famous ‘Yee Chi Kim Yeung Ma’ horse stance. The lockout position is almost identical to the horse stance in its static state, and for good reason, it allows you to bring the power up through the body, from the legs, through the hips to the upper body and allows us to access the strength of the lower body for devastating strikes with the hand…. most notably the vertical fist.
The third lift I would consider essential is the powerclean. The powerclean allows us to transfer all of the strength we developed in the first two exercises and convert them to speed and power. In my experience, nothing improves explosiveness quite as well as Olympic lifts and Olympic style lifts. For many people the idea of doing true Olympic lifts may be daunting. Many gyms are not set up well for these types of lifts, and hoisting very heavy lifts over you head may seem like a disaster waiting to happen. Does this mean you shouldn’t do Olympic Lifts…. of course you should if you are up to the task. However, if not you can incorporate the Olympic style lift of power cleans into you training to gain much of the advantage of the full Olympic Lifts.
If you haven’t been incorporating these lifts into your regimen already, now may be the time to test the waters. Start slow and build up focusing on form. If you are not sure how to properly execute these movements, be warned, they can be dangerous is proper form is not in place. Take the time to learn the lifts properly before trying to test yourself and see what these lifts have to offer in terms of Strength, Speed, Endurance, Power and Explosiveness. After about three months of training them, I am certain you will see performance in martial abilities.
Ready to get the best Martial Arts Experience in the Greater Pittsburgh Area? Academy of Ving Tsun Kung Fu Offers training for ages 5 and up in the Ip Man Lineage of Wing Chun. Sifu Dale Steigerwald has over 23 years of experience training and teaching Wing Chun. With an academic background in elementary education and curriculum and instruction, he knows how to teach and ensure that students are learning the best way possible for their individual style. If you have been looking for a no non-sense approach to martial arts and self-defense that anyone can do, contact us today at 724-847-3300 or inquire online at iLoveWingChun.com