Krav Maga vs Kickboxing for Building Overall Fitness




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Krav maga and kickboxing are two of the most well-known forms of martial arts. They both have their own set of advantages when it comes to fighting. However, if you want to learn one of them for fitness, you might be wondering which one is better. So, in this article, we’ll compare krav maga vs kickboxing for fitness.

For building overall fitness, kickboxing is better than krav maga. Kickboxing being a combat sport, you are required to have an athlete’s fitness level and the training will be much more intense. Krav maga, on the other hand, focuses more on self-defense rather than physical fitness.

However, there is more to say about these two forms of martial arts. In this article, I’ll discuss in-depth about how each of them can help you build fitness.

I’ll also provide a detailed comparison of the two in terms of fitness, so you can easily decide which one is best for you.

Krav Maga for Fitness

Is Krav Maga good for fitness? You will get fit by doing the workouts, but that is not the primary goal. Self-defense is the primary goal of Krav Maga. As a result, all of the workouts and drills are designed to improve your physical abilities and self-defense performance.

Krav maga training improves your fitness in four ways. The training improves your functional strength, conditioning, mobility, coordination, and balance.

Functional Strength

Improving your functional strength is an important part of Krav Maga training because you need to inflict damage to your attacker. In Krav Maga, two types of training are used to improve functional strength. These are strength training and explosiveness training.

The goal of strength training is to increase your strength. You will not be training to increase your muscle size or aesthetics. This training includes goblet squat, renegade row, push-up, plank rows, and so on.

Now, comes explosiveness training. Krav Maga requires you to generate massive amounts of strength in a short time. That is why plyometric exercises are required. Plyo push-ups, squat thrusters, tuck jumps, kneeling jump squats, and other exercises will be included in the workout.


Krav maga encounters are usually brief. Endurance training and conditioning are still required, however, because violent encounters and counter-attacks can quickly exhaust your body.

Sit-ups, walking lunges, planks, bicycle crunches, jump lunges, side plank, mountain climbers, and other exercises are used in krav maga for conditioning and endurance training.


Mobility and flexibility are a must for krav maga training. Here mobility or flexibility does not imply that you are going to need fancy techniques. What you are going to have to improve is your range of motion.

For this training you will be required to do inchworms, PVC passes, lunges, tabletop bridge, band pullovers, stretches, and so on.

Coordination and Balance

Proper balance and hand-eye coordination are essential in krav maga. You will have more control over your body after this training, your agility will improve, and your reaction time will also be faster, giving you an advantage over your attacker.

You are required to do calf raises, jumping jacks, shuffle steps, banded triplanar toe taps, cross-body punches with a single leg, and so on.

Kickboxing for Fitness

The primary goal of kickboxing is competition. In a kickboxing competition, fitness is just as important as technique. The better your fitness, the more likely it is that you will defeat your opponent. As a result, you will be required to participate in rigorous fitness training sessions every day.

Kickboxing training for fitness includes strength training, conditioning, mobility, and coordination and balance.

Strength Training

Strength training will be necessary because you will need to increase the power of your punches, throws, and kicks to defeat or knock out your opponent.

For strength training you are required to do push-ups, pull-ups, dumbbell rowing, overhead press, neck pulls, lunge steps, squats, jumping squats, one-legged squats with kicking, shoulder bridge, crunches, beetle, lateral plank, reverse plank, superman, leg pulls and so on.


Endurance is a critical component of how good you are as a kick-boxer. That is why kickboxing requires rigorous conditioning and endurance training.

You must run every day and perform lateral bounds, burpees, fast rotation, explosive push-ups, hip rotation, and some of the krav maga conditioning exercises as well.


Having excellent mobility and flexibility is a must for kickboxing. You will stretch your muscles a lot during a fight, and you might even have to try fancy moves. You will also need agility if you want to win.

After completing this training, your chances of becoming injured will be significantly reduced. Your joints and muscles will be able to fully extend, resulting in increased power and speed. For this training, you will need to do swing movements, joint rotations, and various types of stretching.

Coordination and Balance

Without proper hand-eye coordination and balance, you will not be able to evade your opponent’s attacks. Coordination and balance are also required for setting enemy traps and flawless execution.

The training for coordination and balance is pretty similar to krav maga. You might need to perform some advanced training for kickboxing though.

Which is Better for Fitness? Krav Maga or Kickboxing

The truth is Kickboxing is better for fitness. In kickboxing, being fit is not optional and training is much more advanced and intense.

Kickboxing is a type of combat sport. That is why, to compete against others, you must be a professional athlete. Athlete training is much more intense and involves many more repetitions. In kickboxing, you will be assigned a single coach for fitness and another for diet.

If you’re learning Krav Maga, you can eat whatever you want. Your coach will not have much influence over your diet. But in kickboxing, during fight week, you can only eat foods that your coach instructs you to eat.

You can only consume foods that improve your physical performance. This diet will help you lose weight and get in shape.

In krav maga, fitness is optional. Your instructor is not there to help you get in shape. Your task, however, is to learn proper self-defense. You can learn krav maga even if you are out of shape.

However, to participate in kickboxing, you must not only be physically fit, but you must also stay within a certain weight class.

If you weigh more than the weight class limit, you will have to go through an extreme weight loss process, but you must still make the weight if you want to compete. Being out of shape is therefore not an option in kickboxing.

The main goal in a Krav Maga encounter is to hit your opponent and get away as quickly as possible. In a kickboxing match, however, you may be required to fight for five rounds.

As a result, endurance is far more important in kickboxing. Kickboxing requires a lot more endurance training. This will assist you in becoming more fit.

Stretching will be much more important in kickboxing for mobility and flexibility. If you get hurt while practicing krav maga, it’s not a big deal. However, in kickboxing, you will need to compete on a regular basis, which is why injury can derail your career.


In terms of body shaping and fitness, both krav maga and kickboxing contribute in different ways. As of now, you’ve figured out the details on krav maga vs kickboxing for fitness. So, it would be easier for you to choose the one that best suits your demands.

Thanks for taking your time to read through the article. All the best!

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