Get Fit and Stay Safe With an Empowering Krav Maga Workout

Get Fit and Stay Safe With an Empowering Krav Maga Workout

Krav Maga Workout. Jarrett Arthur

Self-defense and safety expert Jarrett Arthur shares her essential moves to live life safer and work up a sweat.

Your safety, and the safety of your family, is of the utmost importance. While you might agree, chances are you haven't sought out self-defense training. Americans spend a lot of time each year participating in best safety practices, from wearing seat-belts to locking doors, but few actually learn how to physically defend themselves. Lack of time, and even the fear of addressing scary circumstances, are reasons for this oversight, but being proactive about learning effective self-defense doesn't making a 10-year commitment to pursue a Black Belt. Practical training can be acquired easily and in a relatively short amount of time.

Krav Maga is the official self-defense system of the Israeli Army (IDF) and was created in the 1940s specifically to be easy to learn, easy to execute, and easy to retain. It's considered a tactical system, not a martial art. Widely recognized as the most effective system of self-defense in the world, Krav Maga techniques are meant to work regardless of the defender’s size, strength, gender, athletic abilities, or fitness levels. The moves, based on natural instinctive responses and combined with muscle memory from repetition, have been proven effective in some of the most high stress environments in existence. And one fantastic side effect from the training is that it’s a one-of-a-kind total body workout!

It’s best to practice Krav Maga techniques in a group class setting under the tutelage of a certified instructor, but you can get started on the basics by clicking through the slideshow for this beginning level workout, designed to make you safer and get you sweating. Get comfortable with each move before practicing them as a workout. Once you feel solid on each technique as a stand alone, perform each one in order for 2-3 minutes. When you finish the first round rest for about a minute, then repeat the entire sequence another 2-4 times depending on your fatigue level.


Jarrett Arthur is one of the highest ranking female black instructors in Krav Maga (Israeli Self-Defense) in the country. For over 10 years she’s been educating and instructing men, women, and kids about the importance of practical, effective self-defense and personal safety knowledge. In 2009 she founded M.A.M.A. (Mothers Against Malicious Acts), a self-defense system designed exclusively for moms and all people responsible for the wellbeing of children. You can find out more about Jarrett on her website:, or by following her on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+, and Instagram

Fighting Stance And Movement:

Fighting Stance. Jarrett Arthur

This “home-base” stance gives you balance and a solid platform on which to deliver powerful strikes.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a natural step forward with your left leg if you are right-handed (opposite if you’re left-handed). Your feet should be nice and wide front to back, and left to right. Keep all of your toes pointing forward. Bend your knees and take your back heel off of the ground slightly. Bring your hands up in front of your face with your elbows in. Tuck your chin and shrug your shoulders slightly in a “turtled” posture. This is your fighting stance.

When you move in this position always make sure that your feet don’t cross and don’t come together. They should stay nice and wide left to right and front to back no matter where or how quickly you move. To move forward, push off with your back foot and step with your front foot first, followed by a small step with the back foot to return back to a stance. Repeat to move backwards stepping with the back foot first. Move left now, stepping with the left foot first. Finish by stepping right, moving the right foot first but always returning to a nice balanced stance.

Knee Strike

Krav Maga Knee Strike. Jarrett Arthur

This close range strike is delivered by making contact with the front of the knee to the groin of an assailant.

Start in your fighting stance and deliver the knee strike with your rear leg (right leg if you’re right-handed). Drive off the ground with back foot bending your leg completely and tucking your heel towards your butt as you drive the knee strike up and forward in a straight line. Power comes from driving hips forward after the knee strike is initiated. Immediately recoil the leg and foot back behind you and land in your fighting stance.

Palm Heel Strike

Krav Maga Palm Heel Strike. Jarrett Arthur

This medium range strike is delivered by making contact with the heel of the palm (bottom part closest to the wrist) to the nose of an assailant.

From your stance with your hands up, send your “jab” (left hand if you’re right-handed) forward in one straight line away from your face. Keep your non-punching hand close to your face and in front of it for protection. Rotate the same side shoulder and hip in order to generate power. As soon as you push the hand out, snap it back to your face (called a recoil) quickly. Repeat with your “cross” (right hand if you’re right-handed), rotating your shoulder and hip forward again to generate power, and recoiling immediately. This strikes should be explosive to generate power.

*Be careful not to let the arm straighten completely in order to protect the elbow. At full extension you should still have a very small bend in the elbow.*

Front Kick

Krav Maga Front Kick. Jarrett Arthur

This long range strike is delivered by making contact with shin bone to the assailant’s groin.

Starting in your fighting stance you’ll deliver this kick with the rear leg (right leg if you’re right-handed). First, drive the knee up and forward just as you did in the knee strike. Once the knee has reached it’s peak height, let the lower leg unfold in a whipping motion, keeping the toes pointed. Immediately recoil the leg and foot back behind you and land in your fighting stance. *Be careful not to kick with too much power unless you’re striking a target or pad as it’s easy to hyperextend and injure the knee.*

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