Fight­ing Fit

Com­bat moves to im­prove your run­ning

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

A YOUNG WO­MAN moves back­ward, for­ward, left and right across the stu­dio mats on the balls of her feet. Strands of her hair stick to her sweaty face and the knuck­les of each fist rest against her cheek­bones. Her eyes track her op­po­nent as she ducks punches and kicks. She's prac­tis­ing Krav Maga, the hand-to-hand com­bat sys­tem used by the Is­raeli mil­i­tary. In a Krav class, you'll build strength, stamina and con­fi­dence in your abil­ity to stay vig­i­lant and safe on the roads.

In­struc­tors Colleen Daly and

Chris Tor­res (pic­tured) have for­mat­ted the de­fence moves into hour-long classes. Daly, a marathon run­ner, thought she had a strong fit­ness base – un­til she tried Krav. ‘I don't feel I've had a work­out that has chal­lenged me as this has,’ she says. Be­cause Krav classes sim­u­late at­tack sit­u­a­tions, stu­dents must con­tinue each move un­til the in­struc­tor calls ‘time’, which makes for an in­tense, un­pre­dictable work­out. So sched­ule Krav ses­sions just once or twice per week.

Tor­res rec­om­mends learn­ing to do the fol­low­ing moves with a Krav in­struc­tor to de­velop cor­rect form and tech­nique. This 24-minute part­ner work­out is a good way to hone skills be­tween classes.

1. SHOUL­DER AND KNEE TAG (8 min­utes)

You and your spar­ring part­ner face each other in the fight­ing stance: knees bent, feet shoul­der­width apart, with one leg in front of the other and the knuck­les of both fore­fin­gers rest­ing on your cheek­bones. Move by step­ping in all di­rec­tions, main­tain­ing your fight­ing stance as you try to tap the out­side of each other's shoul­ders and knees. Con­tinue for three min­utes, rest for one minute, then re­peat.

2. SQUATS (1 minute)

A strong punch comes from the core and lower body. Keep your feet shoul­der-width apart, push­ing your knees over your toes as you squat low, then push through your heels to stand. Re­peat con­sis­tently for 60 sec­onds. This will be your ac­tive break be­tween each move.

3. ARM STOP AND KNEE TO GROIN (4 min­utes)

Your part­ner holds a tomb­stone strik­ing pad and charges. Block his progress with your fore­arms, then grab his shoul­der as you hit the pad with an ‘up knee’. He steps back, then charges again. Switch af­ter two min­utes.

4. SQUATS (1 minute) 5. PUNCHES (2 min­utes)

Make a fist with your thumb on the out­side of your grip. Ro­tate at the hips as you ex­tend, ex­hale as you hit the pad, bring your hand back, then strike with your other hand. Switch af­ter one minute.

6. SQUATS (1 minute) 7. FLURRY AND SPRAWL (6 min­utes)

Throw a flurry of hard punches, go­ing ‘all out.’ Your part­ner may call ‘de­fence’ to force you to drop your hips to the ground be­fore pop­ping up and con­tin­u­ing the flurry. Switch af­ter three min­utes.

8. SQUATS (1 minute)

In­struc­tor Colleen Daly demon­strates ba­sic punches.

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