Korean-American music star Jay Park relies on MMA training to keep him fit for his many endeavours. The man has an extensive resume: he's a singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer, dancer, choreographer, and entrepreneur.
"I've been working out for a very long time, and so for me to be singing and dancing on stage and not faint, you definitely need to be very, very fit," says Park. "Dancing-wise, I do choreography and b-boy and break dancing. I also do flips, so you need to be fit and light on your feet in order to pull all these off."
His workouts are designed like MMA fighters, because they have to be "strong, flexible, sturdy, have good balance, but be quick on your feet as well. Their workouts correlate well with what I do."
Besides that, working out keeps him healthy in all aspects of his life.
"Fitness is very important for your bodily health, for your immune system, and for your mental health as well," says Park.
Park took the opportunity to give the MH crew an inside look his workout at the Korean Zombie MMA gym in Seoul, South Korea. He works out with his trainer, Chan Sung "Korean Zombie" Chung, who is a successful UFC featherweight fighter, and training partner and music producer Woogie.
Exercise 1A: Forward Leg Kicks
Exercise 1B: Lateral Kicks
Exercise 1C: High Knees
Exercise 2: Foot Tap to Burpee (Sprawl)
Exercise 3: Quick Step Burpee High Jump
Exercise 4: Pushup to Sit-Through
3 sets of 10 reps
Park likes this combo exercise as a warmup for his most intense sessions because it helps to loosen up his lower body. "And also at the same time, it gets your heart rate up so you break a little sweat so you're ready for your workout," says Park.
He also notes that in order for him to be able to move very smoothly and sleekly while dancing, you have to have firm, strong calf and leg muscles, which you work with the burpee. And the pushup sit throughs also help him engage his core, stretch out his shoulders, and balance and stability work.
"This is a very good cardio workout, as well as just a good full-body workout in general," says Park. "There's a lot of footwork, a lot of switching, a lot of core, a lot of balance, and a lot of shifting. You use every muscle in your body."
Exercise 1: Boxing Pad Work
5 rounds of 5 minutes
"Hitting the pads, doing the drills and combos, it's an excellent source of cardio and a full body workout," says Park. "As you can see, I'm very out of breath. Secondly, it feels good to see the progression. As you work harder, you see yourself hitting the pads more precisely, you see the strength in your weight behind the punches. And third, it's a very good stress reliever. You have a bad day at work, you think of your boss...,"
Exercise 2: Single-Leg Dumbbell Row
3 sets of 6 reps
Park gets some help from his friend Woogie for balance. If you don't have a partner to help you stabilize, consider using a staggered stance until you can balance on your own.
Exercise 3: Plank Band Pulldown
3 sets of 5 reps per side
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