Professional MMA fighters are some of the toughest athletes in the world, and the training involved is far from easy. Fighters must possess a wide range of different abilities to become successful, which includes being skilled in martial arts and having superior endurance, strength, and power.
Whether you’ve got dreams of one day fighting in the octagon, or just want to work some MMA training into your fitness routine, in the following we put together everything you need to know in collaboration with our friends over at MONEDEROSMART.
Master different disciplines
Competitive MMA fighters are, of course, excellent martial artists. In order to be a good fighter, it’s important to master different disciplines as you’ll find yourself against opponents who have different skill sets. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight and lightweight champion Connor McGregor has previously said how variety of movement is crucial. If you want to train like an MMA fighter, you should focus on four martial arts: boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu jitsu, kickboxing and wrestling.
Learning these four different styles mean you’ll be prepared to face any opponent, by ensuring you’re proficient at both defending and attacking when the fight moves to the ground. Just make sure that when you’re starting out you get an expert to instruct you so you can learn the technique properly.
Increase Your Endurance
Professional MMA fighter continuously work on their endurance so they can sustain power round after round, and it’s no easy task. Power endurance training is the ability to execute multiple explosive movements over a longer period of time, and it not only helps during an MMA fight but also aids recovery, as the muscles are better supplied with nutrients.
To work on your power endurance, circuit train with 30 second long intervals or perform short bursts of moderate exercise for about 30-45 seconds. You’ll need to rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat for another five rounds.
Train Your Core
Core development is essential for any MMA fighter, and it’s more than just lower back extensions and sit-ups. The power you’re able to put behind your punches, kicks and throws depends on how strong your core is, which is why core-strengthening exercises are so important to MMA training. Mix up your routine with a combination of planks, hand walkouts, advanced side planks and Russian twists.
Boost your cardio
There’s no question how important cardio is for martial arts, it’s an integral part of any MMA workout. To power up your cardiovascular performance without getting bored, alternate training days with hill running, sprint interval training and high-intensity swimming. Your routine should also include exercises like jumping rope and circuit training, as well as completing a lot of endurance work on the rowing machine. Using a rowing machine won’t overstress the body like other exercises can.
Enhance technique with a heavy bag
A heavy bag workout can seriously test your limits and is one of the most realistic forms of training. Heavy bag training is used in every MMA fighter’s routine, and will help you to develop striking range, power, speed and your footwork. Heavy bag drills using jabs, power shots, ducking and punching are also great at toning your upper body.