In the fitness world, cross training is a huge trend. Cross training is, in the most general terms, an exercise program that uses different types of exercise and fitness methods to get in shape.

Experts tout cross training as offering individuals the following benefits:

  • Lower risk of injury
  • Increased weight loss
  • Improved overall fitness
  • Higher adherence to exercise program

While many in the martial arts world are not sold on cross training martial arts with other forms of exercise, that doesn’t mean it is always a bad idea. In fact, many individuals who might otherwise never have been introduced to the martial arts decide it is a discipline in which they would like to delve deeper into once they are exposed to it during cross training.

So, what are the most popular cross training programs that incorporate martial arts into the mix?

  1. Cage Fitness: This method of cross training combines the tenets of martial arts without hand-to-hand combat. This is achieved through the use of a heavy bag and can be tailored to all fitness levels. Cage fitness workouts are popular with those pressed for time because even a short workout can achieve impressive results.
  2. Choreographed Kickboxing: This is basically kickboxing set to music, this form of exercise appeals to people’s desire to have a fun, fast-paced workout that burns a lot of calories and strengthens the major muscles groups.
  3. Crossfit Defense: Not for the faint of heart (or body), crossfit defense features hand-to-hand combat and self-defense training techniques that burn fat and increase self-confidence. While it can be used to train for actual fights, it also can be used solely as an exercise routine.
  4. Piloxing: Piloxing uses boxing, dance and Pilates to create a workout that burns fat while increasing flexibility and strength. This workout is especially popular with women who want more than a basic kickboxing class. Piloxing tones, strengthens and increases cardiovascular fitness.

Anyone who trains in the martial arts will tell you that it is a life-changing pursuit. Not only does it benefit the body, the mental aspects of the practice are significant as well. While it would be nice if everyone understood the benefits of the martial arts, in some cases, exposure and commitment to the martial arts will require a different route. As long as the road leads to the right place, it is a road worth traveling.