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With MMA gaining popularity on a global level, many people are using it in their training and many are also getting involved with the sport. From a Strength & Conditioning perspective, here are three tips to get you started in training for MMA.
1. MMA Is Not The Same As Street Fighting. It's A Sport.
- "A fight is not won by a punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard." - Bruce Lee
- Mixed Martial Artists are regarded as some of the most conditioned athletes. Not only is strength and technique important, endurance is equally crucial.
- Keep the work rate of your training up to ensure you build your anaerobic as well as aerobic endurance to last through the duration of a fight.
- This can be done by introducing both long periods of cardiovascular activity (I.e. Long runs) or the use of interval training with different rest periods to elicit different cardiovascular adaptations.
2. Circuit Training Is A Good Way To Train For MMA.
- As the sport's name suggests, there is a mixture of different movements to be performed.
- Circuit training is a good way to train for many different movements involved in MMA.
- Research has shown that heavy-resistance circuit training brings about similar physiological adaptations to traditional strength training (fixed sets and repetitions).
- With MMA being a sport involving continuous movement for at least five minutes per round, Circuit Training can meet the same cardiovascular requirements during a fight.
3. Learn To Stretch Properly.
- Stretching is commonly misunderstood by many and wrongly used in their training.
- Static stretching (i.e. Holding a stretch in a fixed position) is normally done by many before training which can be detrimental to your muscles and tendons.
- Dynamic stretching (I.e. Arm swings, leg swings, trunk rotation), involving contracting the muscles while increasing their length, should be done before exercise as part of the warm-up to prevent injury.
- Foam rollers are also effective for warm-ups. They provide similar activation patterns while lengthening the muscles as dynamic stretching would which help loosen the tone of the muscles and warm them up. Moreover, they are easy and safe to use.
- Only utilize static stretching after performing a good warm-up if you still feel tight, or after your workout to begin the recovery process.
So three simple tips to think about when you embark on your MMA training! Give them a try and you will realize you will perform in the sport of MMA!
P.S. This article has been written in assisting the development of a MMA-inspired fitness program. Stay tuned for more details on this MMA fitness program the Training Geek is involved with!