4 Types of Tae Kwon-Do Strength Training Exercises


In Tae Kwon-Do training, we need our bodies to be strong, but not bulky. There’s a difference between being strong and building large muscles. When people think of strength training they usually think of pumping iron in the gym which isn’t great for martial arts. Our training is not about increasing your muscle size, but to work on speed in order to develop power.

Strength Training Workout & Exercises

As with any high-impact physical activity, I recommend for everyone to get their doctor’s permission before training. Below is a list of strength training exercises that we will do in class.

  • Aerobic Exercises – Many of the exercises are aerobic. I like jumping rope, jogging in place, jumping jacks, and running around the dojang doing air punches. All these exercises will get your heart rate up and lean out your muscles.
  • Stretching – Stretching is key to strength training, because as people get stronger their muscles become more stiff and rigid. We want long, fluid muscles to make them more usable.
  • Push-ups & Sit-ups – I run through many, many different variations of push-ups and sit-ups. Leg lifts, leg pumps, side-ups, planking, inverted sit-ups, back-ups. We do push-ups on your palms, on your knuckles, with your fingertips, switching your hands high and low, moving side to side. We’ll do pull-ups, chin-ups…honestly, the list can go on forever.
  • Wrist & Ankle Weights – Your own body weight is a great form of resistance when exercising, but I will also incorporate light wrist and ankle weights. Sometimes even some elastic bands and dumbbells. Again, nothing too heavy, just enough to provide a little more resistance while doing exercises and patterns.

The strength we’re looking for is built through speed to develop the “twitch muscles” to be explosive. We discipline our body by repeating our patterns. We’ll do them fast and slow, hard and soft, over and over again.

I’ve trained students who progress very well and then decide to incorporate heavy weight lifting into their training. They always end up slowing down. They can’t fight as well and are unable to move quickly.

Look at a martial artist’s body. It’s long and lean. Very defined. That’s the kind of strength I develop.

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