Krav Maga Krav Maga Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art. (Photo: oneinchpunch / Shutterstock)

Why this fitness trend should be your next workout

Learn all about the martial arts craze that's beloved by celebrities and hardcore exercise enthusiasts.

If you're someone who desires a workout with a purpose beyond just getting in shape and losing weight, you're going to want to take a hard look at Krav Maga.

The self-defense system, a form of martial arts invented in Israel, is quickly becoming a popular discipline for building strength and getting fit. It's also an inclusive physical art, capable of transforming people of all sizes and weight classes into powerful self-defense gurus.

For those looking to embrace a workout that doesn't feel like another boring routine at the gym, Krav Maga is an extremely engaging way to get fit. The system's drills, composed of punching, kicking, jabs and takedowns, work the entire body, providing you with a complete workout that targets nearly every muscle. It's no wonder that celebrities like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig and Tom Cruise have embraced it to stay fit for action roles. Most recently, American actress Jessica Alba praised its virtues during media tours for her upcoming action flick "Mechanic: Resurrection."

"I've learned a bunch of different disciplines in martial arts, but I'd never learned Krav Maga," Alba explained during an appearance on the "Today" show. "You take your opponent down basically with anything that's around as quickly as possible and then you get out of the situation, so it's brutal, it's fast ... and it was fun to do!"

gal gadotIsraeli actress Gal Gadot has trained in Karv Maga, as well as other physical activities, to get in shape for her action roles. (Photo: Gal Gadot/Instagram)

Similar to Israeli actress Gal Gadot's approach as the new Wonder Woman, Alba says she was attracted to taking on "Resurrection" because of its strong female character.

“I jumped at the opportunity,” she added. “Also being able to see the female lead not just be the damsel in distress, but get to actually get in there and do the action and kick some butt.”

While moviegoers can see Alba light it up on screen when "Resurrection" premieres in theaters this weekend, she also gave fans a small preview by posting a video of her training with American Krav Maga master Michael Margolin.

Margolin, who studied Krav Maga in Israel and was at one point the youngest person to have received a Krav Maga black belt, told People that Alba's workout consisted of a lot of punching and kicking at various targets. They also mixed in kettle bells, medicine balls and light weights.

“[Alba] works hard, and that’s on both the diet and the exercise part,” he shared. “You need to combine the two.”

Those looking to follow Margolin's advice would do well to power their Krav Maga training with a Mediterranean diet, a regimen of olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheese, beans, whole grains and high amounts of protein-packed fish. As Men's Fitness recently declared, it's one of the "uncontested best diets" for living well and building muscle.

To get a feel for the Krav Maga system before you look for your nearest training facility, check out Margolin's video below for the best way to throw an uppercut punch.

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