Every martial art will help you lose weight, but it’s no secret to those who practice them that some are more effective than others. Whether it’s because of the sparring exercises, techniques, or rigorous warm-up and cool-down exercises that are required, it doesn’t really matter. Let’s explore the most effective martial arts to lose weight.
Every martial art will support you on your weight loss journey. However, there is one that stands out as the most effective martial art to lose weight in a fun way, so today this post will shine a spotlight on it.
As well as learning what that martial art is, you’ll also learn about why it’s so effective, what to expect from a typical training session, and the reasons it’s a slightly funner way of losing those pounds!
What Is The Most Effective Martial Arts to Lose Weight?
Of all the martial arts, the most effective one for weight loss has to be Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (or BJJ). That’s because BJJ is a full-body workout that makes you engage every muscle whilst practicing your techniques.
Yes, all martial arts engage all of your muscles in some way or another, but none require you to do so as often, or as intensely, as BJJ does.
One session at a MMA gym focusing on BJJ and you’ll feel it. You’ll work muscles you never knew existed and burn calories like you never imagined you could before. But what does BJJ do that makes it so effective for weight loss?
Why is BJJ So Effective for Weight Loss?
Perhaps the most important reason BJJ is effective at helping you lose weight is that it was never intended to do so. Confused? Don’t worry.
What that means is that BJJ was created as a fun-filled martial art designed to better your self defense, teach discipline, respect, and control over one’s aggression, and help your confidence blossom. The fact that you lose weight is just a fortunate side effect.
It’s no secret that BJJ involves a lot of intense movement, and the martial art is known for the demands it places on your body. But the best thing about it is that you don’t start out having to go full-throttle on the intensity.
Instead, every BJJ class follows a similar pattern. What to expect from a typical session and how it helps you lose weight is in the section below, but for now, all you need to know is that every BJJ instructor encourages you to start off at a pace that is comfortable for you. BJJ allows you to ease into it. In fact, it encourages you to do so!
How BJJ Is Different From Other Forms of Exercise
Unlike running, or cycling, or swimming, you’re not asked to go from zero to 100 at breakneck speed.
Nobody in BJJ wants you to go from a couch potato to a MMA fighter in a week. Instead, you’re encouraged to get your body used to the martial art. Muscles are worked in BJJ that aren’t often worked elsewhere, so you need to listen to your body as you’re starting out.
Once your body is used to BJJ, you can then up the intensity of your workouts during BJJ for maximum results, but in your own time. And this is potentially the biggest reason BJJ is so effective at helping you lose weight: It welcomes you cautiously, lets you get used to it, and then encourages you to work harder when you’re ready to.
It’s not like other methods of losing weight in that sense, because there’s no pressure. It’s easy to run away from running, but it’s not so easy to run away from BJJ.
But there is one more reason BJJ is so effective too; the confidence you gain through practicing it. As you develop your skills, spend time with your partners, and learn from your mentor, you become a more confident person.
This then makes you believe that anything is possible. A month before starting BJJ you might not have thought you could go out running, but one month later you’ll have the confidence to know that you can.
So now you’re probably thinking that BJJ sounds great, but you’re still not sure how a session would help you with the losing weight thing. Well, you can read the section below to find out!
How Does A Typical Martial Arts Session Help You Lose Weight?
The first thing you’ll need to do in a BJJ session is warm up. This will involve cardio exercises to get your muscles working, dynamic stretches to ready your entire body for the class ahead, and other exercises to get your heart rate up and your muscles moving.
But don’t worry, this usually only involves running around the mats, jumping jacks, guided dynamic stretching, and other similar exercises.
And remember, your BJJ instructor will expect you to do these at the intensity you’re happy with. You won’t be forced to push yourself beyond the limits you set, so anybody can complete these warm up exercises with no issue.
This will help you lose weight because cardio exercises are the best way to burn calories and help you shed those pounds. And that’s before the class has even begun!
Next up are the techniques. This is the guided part of the session led by the instructor. They’ll demonstrate BJJ techniques, such as grappling techniques, stances, and certain positions you’ll need to know.
Then you’ll copy them. You’ll probably also be partnered with somebody of a similar size and skill set and then be asked to practice the techniques on each other.
This is a great way to lose weight because even simple BJJ techniques require you to engage almost every muscle imaginable.
By working these muscles over and over, and pushing yourself little by little each week, you’ll burn more calories and lose weight quicker.
Having guidance from an instructor will help you with proper form, and working with a partner in a controlled way will let you master these techniques so you feel confident to give even more of yourself to the exercises.
This helps you lose even more weight over time too!
Rolling (or ‘sparring’ in other martial arts and similar sports and activities) is where you’ll see the most difference.
As you’re partnered with someone of a similar experience level and physical size again, you’ll be asked to try out ALL the techniques you’ve learned so far in a ‘live’ environment. In BJJ, a live environment is where you spar against someone for real now.
It’s no longer just practice, you’re genuinely trying to use the techniques you’ve learned against one another in a controlled way.
This is where you lose the weight in BJJ. The intensity required to counter your partner and use the techniques for yourself in a live situation is high.
You’ll burn far more calories this way, and as you progress through your BJJ sessions, you’ll have even more techniques to practice, which means the rolling becomes even more intense, leading to even more weight being lost!
And the best thing of all? It’s all done under the guidance of your instructor and with the support of your rolling partner, so you’re never left alone in BJJ to fend for yourself with no clear direction.
What Makes BJJ a ‘Fun Way’ to Lose Weight?
To finish, let’s just consider why BJJ is so fun. First, you’re learning a new skill that will benefit you in every aspect of your life.
Then you’re getting to practice techniques that are genuinely fun to try out with support from like-minded individuals.
And if all that wasn’t enough, BJJ doesn’t even feel like exercise. Instead, you’re getting to leave your comfort zone, meet new people, practice new things, and get fitter and healthier whilst you’re doing it. BJJ really has it all!