Why Martial Arts Is the Best Exercise for Out-of-Shape People

Though we may all have slightly different goals, we all want to get in better shape.

We all want to like the way we look in the mirror and occupy capable bodies that don’t court health concerns.

Unfortunately, for some, the path to fitness isn’t always straightforward.

There have never been more options that hold the promise of giving you the best body ever – but which one is really the best exercise for out-of-shape people?



8 Reasons Martials Arts Is The Best Exercise For Out-Of-Shape People


Before you join a gym, hire a personal trainer, or pay for exercise classes, consider the potential of martial arts.

Here are eight reasons martial arts is the absolute best exercise for out-of-shape people.




When you’re carrying around some extra weight or otherwise don’t feel great about how you look, the last thing you want to do is strip down to your bare essentials and go to the gym or join a workout class where you’ll be surrounded by people with “perfect bodies.”

It’s completely understandable and also one of the reasons martial arts is the best exercise for out-of-shape people.

Plenty of the world’s greatest martial artists don’t have the types of bodies we tend to see on magazines. Look up any heavyweight fighter, from MMA to boxing to Olympic wrestling. The vast majority don’t have washboard abs, and yet they’re world-class athletes.

That’s because the truth of the matter is that healthy bodies don’t always look like the kinds the media likes to show us. Martial arts will help you better appreciate this. It will also give you an environment for pursuing better health that doesn’t force you into discomfort because of how you currently look.




Another reason martial arts is the best exercise for out-of-shape people is that you’ll be working out your entire body with every session.

This is a major benefit for a few reasons.

First, it keeps things simple. If you’re currently out-of-shape, one of the worst mistakes you could make is getting way too granular with your workouts, overcomplicating things, and relying on unnecessarily complex regimens.

That kind of approach might work for the 1% of fitness-freaks who live at the gym, but it’s not manageable for those of us who have other priorities to juggle. It’s inevitable that you’ll miss a day here or there, which will throw off everything. Soon, you might feel so behind in your workouts that it’s easier to just take the day off.

You’ll never need to miss martial arts practice for this reason, which means you’ll never have to miss an opportunity to improve your level of fitness.

Furthermore, martial arts will help you build muscle while you’re also doing cardio. So, you’ll lose weight and get toned without having to ever choose between the two.

Unlike other methods of building muscle, you never need to take off a day, either. As you won’t be working toward hypertrophy or hitting failure (as with weight-lifting), you can always train in martial arts.




Carrying extra weight can make some forms of exercise dangerous because it puts your joints at risk.

For example, you need to be very careful about running, especially at a face pace or uphill when you first start out. A lot of jumping can also cause unnecessary wear-and-tear on your joints.

This kind of damage never feels good the following morning. Of course, it can also lead to long-term problems, like limited mobility, rheumatoid arthritis, or the need for joint-replacement surgery. Even in their earliest phases, these issues can sideline you long before you ever hit your fitness goals.

Then there are the dangers involve with regularly lifting weights, even for people who are otherwise in good shape. Anything from bad form to attempting to lift too much weight can quickly cause an immediate injury that makes working out harder than ever.

By comparison, martial arts are incredibly safe.

If your joints are up to the task of supporting you through a normal range-of-motion, they’ll have no problem doing so when you practice martial arts. In fact, as flexibility is such a high priority in this sport, expect your range-of-motion and joint-health to improve.

And while sparring is also a part of martial arts, your instructor won’t let you do it until you’ve learned enough to be safe.




If an exercise isn’t challenging, it will eventually stop producing results.

For example, doing 20 pushups today might be tough, but do those every day and, a year from now, they’ll be no problem. Unfortunately, your physique will have plateaued by then, too.

That’s not to say you should jump right into the deep end, though. If you’re currently out-of-shape, you want to start with a fitness regimen that will take that into consideration as you work your way into better health.

Therefore, the best exercise for out-of-shape people should be one that allows them to begin in whatever condition they find themselves while promising to continuously challenge them over time.

As you progress through martial arts, you’ll always find yourself facing new challenges. Whether it’s learning a new move, learning how to do a move better, or simply moving up to higher levels of competition, this kind of progression will continue to benefit your body.




For similar reasons, there’s never anything boring about martial arts. Every class will be different. As you improve, your whole experience of the sport will continuously change, too.

The fact that martial arts is fun and exciting – and definitely not boring – is no small advantage, either. On the contrary, it’s actually one of the most important reasons it’s the best exercise for out-of-shape people.

That’s because studies have shown that people – especially those who are overweight – struggle to stick to exercise regimens they find laborious or unpleasant.

While you should certainly expect to get a good sweat in every time you show up to your dojo or gym, you’ll never be forced to slog through a boring workout.




Martial arts may be an individual sport, but it’s definitely not a solitary one.

After you’ve been to practice a few times, expect your dojo or gym to begin feeling like a second-home full of familiar faces who all greet you as you walk in.

Again, the fact that it’s fun makes martial arts the best exercise for out-of-shape people. And what’s more fun than hanging out with your friends?

There’s also a positive form of peer pressure that arises. Even after you fall in love with the sport, there will probably be plenty of times when it will be tempting to skip class.

While that’s okay every now and then, it will be much harder to turn class-skipping into a habit if you know your friends are expecting you. This makes long-term results much, much easier to achieve.

Also, if you have children, they can join the community, too. Martial arts offers all kinds of unique advantages for kids, not the least of which is that they tend to absolutely love it.




One of the worst parts about being out-of-shape is what it does to your self-confidence. You can be a great husband or wife, excellent at your job, and beloved by your friends, but if you don’t like the way you look, you can still find your self-esteem lacking.

Learning martial arts puts you into an elite group of individuals, which is something that will definitely inspire pride.

You’ll also know that you’re capable of defending yourself against an attacker. Hopefully, that situation never arrives but knowing you have the confidence to deal with it – because you’ve sparred in class – will absolutely make you walk a little taller.




Finally, martial arts is the best exercise for out-of-shape people because it can become a lifelong passion that will continue showing them positive results, year-after-year.

Ip Man, the famous instructor of Bruce Lee, was still practicing his beloved Wing Chun well into his 70s. All over the world, people of all ages – including senior citizens – practice Tai Chi on a daily basis. Many members of the legendary Gracie family still train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu despite being in their 60s and 70s.

Many forms of exercise and athletic activity are only safe up to a certain age, but martial arts are appropriate for everyone from children all the way up to the very elderly. Many wouldn’t want to go a day without at least a few minutes of practicing their favorite martial art.

When you find the one that really grabs you, that kind of passion will keep you practicing it – and in shape – for decades, which is just one more reason the martial arts are the best exercise for out-of-shape people.


Start Your Best Exercise For Out-Of-Shape People Today

Again, the best exercise for out-of-shape people is often the one they’ll enjoy doing most!



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