MMA is one of the most demanding sports out there. It requires a high level of physical conditioning. So, what’s the best way to prepare for it? Many people believe that strength training is the key ingredient. And while it’s certainly important, there are six other sports that can better prepare you for MMA.
In this blog post, we’ll look at those sports and why they’re so effective in preparing fighters for the rigors of MMA competition.
Why Strength Training is Important For MMA
Strength training is essential to any mixed martial arts (MMA) training regimen. It helps reduce the risk of sustaining an injury during intense physical training and offers a host of other health benefits, such as increased bone density, improved metabolism, and better joint function.
Furthermore, while cardio workouts burn fat and tone up muscles, strength training helps build stronger muscles that provide more power when executing strikes or grappling in the ring. Having strong and toned core muscles improves MMA fighters’ performance, as they are less likely to rely heavily on one-on-one fights with larger opponents.
Ultimately, strength training forms the foundation for creating a healthier, fitter, and more effective fighter for competition.
Wrestling is the backbone that supports a wide array of MMA techniques. Most wrestlers can attest to the physical conditioning and mental tenacity that it provides. With it, fighters would find it easier to control action on the ground and bridge the gap between striking and submission.
In addition, it teaches athletes how to recognize an opportunity and capitalize on it, understand body positioning, and know when to use a technique quickly and explosively. For example, while striking is great for crowd-pleasing action, wrestling can effectively allow a fighter to control an opponent during a bout.
Ultimately, wrestling provides an excellent workout in strength and technical skills by developing grappling skills, takedowns, and control on the ground.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is an increasingly popular martial art. Founded centuries ago, BJJ focuses primarily on ground fighting techniques such as grappling and submissions. Its unique combination of positional dominance, joint locking, and pressure points gives practitioners an edge in close-quarter combat when applied correctly.
While advanced practitioners typically use BJJ in fights and competitions, others find it helpful in building confidence, coordination, and general physical fitness. Overall, BJJ provides a great way to get involved in a martial arts discipline or stay physically active.
Boxing is one of the most popular and oldest combat sports, with a long and rich history. It effectively develops agility, hand speed, power, and evasive techniques that MMA fighters can use to avoid strikes. In addition, boxing works on one of the essential MMA skills—evading an opponent’s attack while launching your own.
Advanced boxers can read their opponents and react quickly to incoming strikes with the proper counter or parry to gain an advantage in the ring. Boxing also teaches you to be a flexible athlete by rewarding control, balance, timing, and sound judgment. So if you’re looking for an excellent all-around workout that conditions both body and mind in preparation for an MMA competition, consider borrowing a leaf from boxing.
Muay Thai is a striking martial art with roots dating back hundreds of years. It has become a popular MMA sport due to its emphasis on punches, kicks, knees, and elbow strikes. However, developing powerful striking skills isn’t the only advantage of learning Muay Thai; practitioners can also hone their footwork and clinch technique, making them more efficient fighters in MMA competitions.
Muay Thai can also provide fantastic full-body workouts that help tone muscles quickly and burn fat efficiently. With all these advantages, it’s no wonder why so many MMA athletes turn to Muay Thai for their training needs.
Kickboxing is a popular form of MMA that combines powerful punching and kicking techniques from other martial arts disciplines. It provides an excellent way to develop strong, striking skills and evasive footwork and allows practitioners to practice various combat styles.
Combining multiple martial arts styles in kickboxing ensures the training is varied and engaging, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to hone their MMA skills.
Judo is an impressive and powerful martial art that has been around for centuries. It emphasizes throws and takedowns, which makes it an especially useful tool for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters.
Some of the world’s top MMA competitors have trained extensively in judo and use its techniques to take opponents to the ground. A great example is Japanese MMA superstar Hiroki Kuroda, who regularly uses judo-based takedowns to win fights.
Judo remains a popular choice today among MMA fighters due to its innovative throws and takedowns that can be a great advantage in any situation. For anyone looking to gain an edge in the ring, studying judo can be a great way to learn the techniques necessary for success.
The Bottom Line
Succeeding in MMA requires dedication and discipline. As such, strength training is essential to any fighter’s preparations and should not be overlooked. So whether you want to be in the next UFC fight night or just the local cage, the right training can prepare you for anything that comes your way in the ring. The six sports we listed above are all great examples of how cross-training can help improve your MMA game.