Add functional movement to your workout for self-defense strength


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You don’t need to have a black belt in martial arts to protect yourself from a violent attack; being fit can be your key to survival. Jarrett Arthur, one of the highest-ranking female Krav Maga black belt instructors in the United States, says simple tweaks to your already existing workout can add an element of practical fight training, while also shocking your body into burning extra calories.

Arthur notes that the key areas you should be strengthening in order to survive an attack are explosive strength, speed, anaerobic endurance and core strength.


Explosive strength

Because a violent attack usually doesn't last more than two minutes, according to Arthur, it is vital to have explosive strength.

“During those two minutes, it's an all-out physical war, so you want as many advantages as possible to get out of it," Arthur told HellaWella.

The ability to run, jump, push and pull are functional movements that can save your life.

Add explosive exercises to your existing workout. For example, if you’re doing push-ups, Arthur recommends lowering down slowly, then pushing back up quickly. When working out your legs, incorporate jump squats into your regular leg workout. Do not trade in good form for speed. Start out at a slower pace and build up as you gain more explosive strength.


Speed & anaerobic endurance

According to LiveStrong.com, anaerobic endurance is “a form of endurance characterized by the absence of oxygen. Without oxygen, your body can sustain a specific intensity level for only a short period of time. However, anaerobic endurance can be trained and improved to meet the metabolic demands of various sports.”

“You should have the ability to generate a lot of power and speed in short period of time, for about two minutes,” Arthur said. “You should be able to maintain that explosive power.”

Adding sprint- and high-intensity intervals into any workout can help build up your anaerobic endurance and speed so you can ward off an attacker for at least two minutes.


Core strength

Victims are targeted because they are at a size/weight disadvantage, Arthur explained. Nothing is worse than being pinned to the ground during a fight. Having a strong core helps you maintain balance and establishes as solid platform on which to strike from.

“The goal is to stay on your feet and balanced,” Arthur said.


“Don’t Mess With M.A.M.A.”

Jarrett Arthur is the founder of M.A.M.A. Self-Defense, a system designed exclusively for moms, as well as all women responsible for the care of children. Her first DVD, “Don’t Mess With M.A.M.A.” launches Jan. 16 on her website, Jarrettarthur.com.

“Self-defense is all well and good when you’re by yourself, Arthur explained. “The goal changes when you’re with kids.”

The first in a series, “Don’t Mess With M.A.M.A.” is a 30-minute DVD that teaches you the basics and fundamentals so you know how to shield your kids when faced with an attacker and how to fight back when you’re holding an infant.