Life & Style | Health

Defense Fitness: How to burn fat with cardio exercises

Win the fight for fitness with these tips

  • By Nathan Brown
  • Published: 07:00 October 3, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Getty Images
  • Defence fighting fitness is a new way of keeping fit. Picture for illustrative purposes only.
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Many of us seem to forget the important role that fitness plays with regards to our safety.

‘Defense Fitness’ is a concept that has been spreading like wildfire around the globe; of course, it goes by different names in different parts of the world, but the basic premise is the same – a fitness programme that has the double positives of keeping you fit while give you some ‘basic’ training required to keep yourself safe.

Now here comes the disclaimer part. I would also like to state at this point that learning defense fitness should not be confused with the learning of martial arts itself. Sure, you will know how to kick and throw a punch but this does not make you a black belt in anything, and defense fitness’ range in terms of self-defense moves is limited.

It is vital to understand that defense fitness moves may resemble an actual fighting technique but are not about making body contact with your fellow trainee or trainer. However, your basic moves like kicking or punching will be worked on and this can come in handy if you ever find yourself in a tight spot.

In a world where you and I are not Bruce Lee or Jet Li, our chances of surviving a confrontation of a physical nature are better if we are fit. Here are a few points you must keep in mind before we proceed any further:

  • A confrontational situation could range from a mugging or an attempt at molestation, to a parking lot brawl, or an actual round of kicking and punching at your local gym under the watchful eye of your trainer.
  • Except for the situation in a gym, every other confrontation would last for a few seconds at the most.
  • These seconds will be intense and full of explosive power.
  • While it is ideal to avoid confrontation and walk away from it and let the authorities know, sometimes it becomes essential for you to defend yourself. The only way to respond in such situations is to be direct and quick.
  • There is no way you can be quick and think on your feet if you are unfit.

Burn that fatCardio exercises are one of the best ways to burn fat and cardio exercises based on defensive moves provide one with a great cardio workout. This is a win-win situation. When the exercise programme is based on self-defence moves, consistent training can help one refine the technique and also improve focus and confidence that in turn enhances your defensive skills. This can be achieved from regular martial arts classes, and if that is not your cup of tea then from kickboxing classes and boxing classes.Keep the following points in mind.1) Get The Equipment: Be it gloves, hand wraps, focus pads or the right shoes, investing in the right equipment will save you from injuries. Practise your punches on a punching bag. Do not try practising your punches on impractical striking surfaces. Save those punches for a real confrontation. 2) Focus On Form: Use the same torso, shoulder and hand movements for your jabs, cross punches, hooks, uppercuts and palm strikes. The constant focus on your form will help you in perfecting the move and throwing a strong and powerful punch will come naturally to you. A definite plus point if you are ever in trouble. 3) A Range Of Moves: Keep in mind that if you are ever in a tight spot, you may not necessarily be in your trackpants and could also be in your office wear or wearing stilettoes. It is important to have some moves in your arsenal that will not be hampered by your tight or fitting clothing choices. I am not saying that you should not perfect your exciting and even flashy kicks. You should. At the same time you should also work at perfecting moves that can be made wearing a pencil skirt like a deflective hook with your palms, that can ward of a potential incoming grab or strike.4) Fighting Footwork: When moving around the gym keep your movement functional. Instead of just jumping rope, try using fighting footwork such as those used by boxers. This will improve your balance and your ability to weave in and out of hands that are trying to punch or grab.5) Use Your Body: Defence fitness is not just about kicking and punching. Use your whole body including you elbows and knees. Incorporate cardio moves that include these body parts. Practice ducking and straightening up and out.6) Get Into The Move: This is not the time to feel awkward and self-conscious. Put your heart and soul in to your moves, focus on form and your ultimate goal -– getting fit and learning a few basic defence moves.7) Sprint: Incorporate quick and short bursts of sprinting in to your workout. This can work as stimulation for running away from an attack. Between sets, add a quick sprint to a point and back, and with time you will find that your stamina and speed have both increased.8. It’s All In the Mind – While defence fitness will get your body in to shape, the constant repetitions of the moves will also break down emotional and mental barriers and allow you to believe in yourself and your ability to assess a situation and react correctly.

What it does

1) It increases your self-confidence and makes you less anxious. You feel more capable of handling any situation that life may throw at you.

2) You learn to think on your feet and improve your ability to read a situation and think of things like how to make a quick and safe getaway, how to minimise damage and how to turn your disadvantages around to your advantage.

3) You lose weight. This may not be your primary motive for joining a defence fitness class but I am certain this is an added bonus. You find yourself becoming more toned with better defined musculature and you will also find that your stamina and strength has increased.

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