Exercises to Develop Your Mind-Body Connection

If you’ve just started doing martial arts, then there’s a good chance your strikes and stamina are behind your peers. These will develop as you continue to train, but it will take time, there’s no helping that. You can speed up your novice period thankfully. All it will take is a little effort on your part.

Being successful in martial arts involves technique and dedication. However, a third element is the mind-body connection. This can be developed independently, with the right exercises.

Performing the exercises below won’t take more than 25 minutes a day. Not a sizeable time investment, but an investment nonetheless. Regularly doing these exercises will help you rapidly improve the effectiveness of your martial arts training.

Exercises to Improve Mind-Body Connection

  • Squats – With a horse-back riding stance, perform a single-legged squat. When you reach the bottom of the squat, hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat the exercise, holding for longer each time until exhaustion. This exercise will develop your stability and core.
  • Dumbbell punches – Use dumbbells to punch upwards as many times as you can. Hold each rep for 30 seconds before brining your arm down. This exercise helps your arm and shoulder’s reaction time.
  • Roundhouse kicks – Commonly called ‘the swinging kick’ or the ‘power angle kick’, this exercise has a functional purpose as it’s a common strike in several different martial arts. Swing your leg in a semicircular motion, using the side, or ‘blade’ of your foot to contact your target. The exercise develops the flexibility of your legs, loosens your hip muscles and helps you improve the strength of your kicks.
  • Speed rows – Perform this exercise with a rowing machine or a resistance band. Anchor it high up on a pull-up bar and begin pulling on it and slowly loosening tension. Ensure that you’re doing the rowing motion quickly, this will boost the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • Plyometric push-ups – Get into push-up position. Do push-ups as you would normally, but at the end of the exercise, explode out with extended arms. Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds. This maneuver will help you develop the connection between the muscles of your upper body.
  • Medicine ball slams – With a medicine ball, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep the ball overhead and then slam it onto the floor. Have your body follow the ball going down and, without bending your waist, go into a squat position and catch it. Repeat until exhaustion.

These exercises may seem easy when you first start them, but a solid minute of any of these and your body will feel it. Remember, ‘no gain pain, no gain’, meaning if you want to improve the connection between your mind and body, then you’ll need to put in the work.