Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Training
Training to Be an MMA Fighter
Mixed martial arts is an up-and-coming sport around the world. It is a sport with no shortage of varieties of fighting techniques. Subsequently, training for competition is far from a science.
Depending on the athlete and their skill-set there is no easy formula to determine what training methods should be used and in which proportions. Most MMA athletes use a combination of boxing, wrestling, kick boxing and at least one form of martial arts like Jiu Jitsu in order to compete in MMA. Each fighter must determine their own areas of need related to those disciplines, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some standard types of training that should prove useful to most fighters.
Cardio – But Not Boxing Cardio
One of the most important aspects of mixed martial arts training is cardio-vascular training for stamina. As fighters bounce around the ring like boxers, engage in grappling and wrestle to the ground, the necessity for premier conditioning is obvious. Boxers go 12 rounds so cardio is more important than strength. When two fighters are engaged, or grappling each other for a dominant position the constant use of their muscles leads to extreme fatigue. As a result MMA fighters spend lots of time on cardio. Many of the same cardio exercises that are used for boxing are used by MMA fighters. This includes the basics like jogging and jumping rope, to biking, swimming and pretty much any other kind of fitness machine you would find in your local gym.
Another obvious area of importance for MMA fighters is strength training. Unlike body builders, most MMA fighters don’t want to lift weights in a manner that will see them bulk up too much. MMA fighters are more interested in gaining strength in multiple muscle groups while also maintaining flexibility to remain competitive in wrestling and grappling. Many MMA fighters use very basic exercises like push ups, pull ups, squats and other calisthenics in order to work large muscle groups at the same time.
The Abs are the “Core” of Fighting
One major area of focus for MMA fighters is their core. Core training is based around strengthening abdominal muscles and is key to MMA athletes. Building the abdomen helps in taking punches. Successful core training could include exercises like sit-ups, crunches, and leg raises. Many athletes work with additional weights and medicine balls in order to accelerate their strength development.
When many MMA fighters train, they keep the length of a standard five minute round in mind by doing circuit training. MMA fighters need to get used to pushing themselves for five minute periods of time just like rounds in fights. So, they organize their workouts into five minute periods with short rests in between. For, example, a fighter might jump rope for five minutes, take 30 seconds to rest, shadow box for five minutes, take 30 seconds of rest, and then run on a treadmill for five more minutes. This example would help a fighter simulate a three-round fight.
Be Intense When Training But Don’t Overtrain
MMA fighters train brutally hard to compete in their sport. Their workouts vary widely between working on skill-sets, extreme conditioning, and strength training. Some fighters also learn the hard way that it is possible to over-train for a fight, if you can believe it. Fighting might come from some of the earliest most instinctual place of human evolution, but modern fighters have taken training and preparation to whole new levels.
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