Taekwondo Strenght Training

Taekwondo Strength Training: A Weightlifting Guide

Taekwondo as both a sport and a Martial Art requires both flexibility and physical strength. The best Taekwondo athletes are able to balance a full workout routine throughout the week and still train at Taekwondo

Weight lifting for TaeKwonDo is a regimen of muscular strength, fatigue endurance, and explosive motion exercises that increases the power of kicks and punches and gives the TaeKwonDo student a full workout routine

Not sure if weight lifting is the best thing for you just because your not yet convinced that it will actually benefit your TaeKwonDo Training? Here’s a helpful guide that will walk you through the benefits of strength training and just how it can help you improve in TaeKwonDo if you do it right

Why Weight Training for TaeKwonDo?

The goal of lifting weights for the sport of Taekwondo is to maximize strength and to develop powerful movement. With this in mind, the best weightlifting for Taekwondo will get you stronger, not bigger like a bodybuilder. Also, since flexibility is crucial to the sport of Taekwondo, large muscle growth is counter intuitive.

The lifting weights for the sport of Taekwondo are important to create powerful, strong, fast-twitch fibers of muscles to react with power. High-intensity, low weight volume lifting is the best for these types of muscle gains. Don’t let big bodybuilding weight lifting limit your explosive potential.

Lifting weights that create explosive, powerful movement comes from high intensity, low weight training and can add length to your kicks and punches as well as speed to your striking, overall, not to mention the muscular endurance for more power maintained for longer periods of time. In other words, hit harder, more times, for longer.

Muscles To Strengthen For TaeKwonDo

The muscles that go into sparring with both feet and hands require certain muscle groups that need to take the brunt of your forceful attacks and balance techniques.

The muscles groups that are emphasized in a strength training routine for Taekwondo include most of the major “lower body” and leg muscle groups including  

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Gluteals
  • Abductors
  • Adductors
  • Hip flexors

Because of the greatest emphasis on the lower body and large explosive motions of the legs, many of the strength training exercises replicate some of the most common movements in Taekwondo, such as the back kick or the front snap kick so that you can deliver some force and power to someone’s chin!

Benefits of Strength Training In Taekwondo

Even if you are in the gym working out and practice Taekwondo now, you may want to reassess if:

  • You lack endurance during rounds.
  • You do not feel that you are striking with optimal power.
  • You are sacrificing range of motion(R.O.M.) and flexibility for muscle growth.

Some of the best training that you can do for strength in Taekwondo will actually be more about power generation, speed, flexibility, than muscle growth.

In a sport such as Taekwondo, power come from force generated and speed, so workout routines that incorporate explosive, high intensity exercises will be the most beneficial for your Taekwondo practice.

The right kind of strength training can help you develop into a fully rounded Taekwondo athlete and you can expect benefits such as:

  • Strong balance and base
  • Muscle control
  • Full R.O.M.
  • Better endurance and stamina from cardio
  • Lower body fat
  • Heart, lung and muscular strength
  • Muscular explosion; generate force

These sound like some great benefits, right? If you can internalize the mentality that weight lifting for a sport like martial arts or, more specifically, Taekwondo, is less about muscle growth like a body builder and more about power generation and speed, like an Olympic track star, you are on the right path to bringing your practice to a greater level.

But, how to know what workout routines are the best and how often?

TaeKwonDo Weight Lifting Programs

Of the types of weightlifting programs out there, there are a few that stand out as the best for creating explosive, fast twitch muscle fibers that generate quick power.

Finding the right program that fits your needs and schedule is just as important as finding the right exercises to do, as recovery should always be included in any workout plan, as well as the consistency with which you are competing, so that you can plan to be working out and remain at peak performance for competition day.

Two strength training workout programs among many stand out to deliver the most consistent benefits for those looking to create explosive power and lasting endurance for the sport of Taekwondo.

Olympic Lifting: Olympic lifting focuses on the creation of fast twitch muscle fibers with plyometric exercise and other explosive exercises. Muscles that are strong and quick and create force fast.

The exercises and athletic movements that go into Olympic lifting emphasize a form of athletic training that creates full R.O.M., muscle control, and solid technique.

Some of the most popular Olympic Lifting Exercises include:

  • Powerclean
  • Front Squat
  • Squat Clean
  • Power Snatch(And other snatches)
  • Squat Snatch

Olympic Lifting Schedule 3x’s/week:

Monday Wednesday Friday
Power Clean 10×2 Power Snatch 5×2 Power Clean 10×2
Front Squat 10×2 Squat Snatch 5×2 Front Squat 10×2
Squat Clean 10×2   Squat Clean 10×2

The Importance of Squats for TaeKwonDo

Weightlifting for Martial Arts

Not only does the action of the power squat replicate the motion a back kick, but squats strengthen the lower body in ways that influence explosive motion and quick power generation. Maximum weight is not the goal, so 10 reps is fine. The idea is that strength is being created coupled with speed. A deadly combination.

Also, allowing time for recovery from olympic strength training which is why a day on and a day off schedule for continued recovery and your Taekwondo practice. Also, heavier weight training for snatches can be coupled with Taekwondo training to intensify the cardio aspect of Olympic training.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

To focus on small portions of high energy exercises gives the muscles periods of time to build explosive power. These include exercise like plyometrics and interval training where you continue to workout until you fail or time expires, pushing your body harder than simply finishing sets of lifting. This type of “burnout” exercising” at intervals builds strength and stamina of heart, lungs and muscles.

Most Plyometric Exercises can be done on the track or in an open gym and with your own body weight, focusing growth in muscle fibers and explosion to generate power and speed, instead of bulky muscles that can weigh and slow you down. These exercises include:

  • Squat to Squat jump
  • Lunge to Plyo Lunge
  • Step Jack to Star Jumps
  • Plank to Plyo Spider Lunge
  • Plank to frogger.

A full workout with both Olympic Style Weight Lifting and High Intensity Plyometric strength training might look something like this:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Friday Saturday
Power Clean 10×2 Plyometrics Power Snatch 5×2 Power Clean 10×2 Plyometrics
Front Squat 10×2   Squat Snatch 5×2 Front Squat 10×2  
Squat Clean 10×2     Squat Clean 10×2  

Mixing the weight lifting with the fast twitch muscle fiber explosiveness of plyometric power training is the best of both worlds and give your muscles intervals throughout the week to break down and build up both small muscle fibers(plyometrics) and large muscle groups(Olympic weight training).

Further training tips can be found in these detailed and illustrated books on Amazon about Taekwondo and the best strength training that goes into the sport.