The Health Benefits of Mixed Martial Arts Training
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training has exploded in popularity, recently. We believe that MMA is a fantastic way to get in better shape, mentally, and physically that anyone can do. Why? Here, we have outlined just a few of the various health and fitness benefits that those training in MMA may experience. We will also talk about a differing opinion on the training that you may have heard, and why we simply do not think it is true. Lastly, we will also let you know where to find instructors, and how to choose the right one.
What the Other Side Says
You may have read articles that have made you afraid to try MMA. Some of these articles say that participants can very easily get hurt. They are quick to point out what they deem as the violence of MMA. Often, they argue that this violence may lead to greater injuries. Quite a few of these same people say, because of these very reasons, MMA is not safe for everyone. Particularly for younger participants, or even women. However, we feel very differently.
How We Feel
In fact, we think that MMA is great, healthy, and safe training. Sure, just like any other sport, precautions must be taken to assure safety. Injuries can always happen, no matter the age, health, or sex of the participant. But with the right equipment, instructor, and regimen, MMA training can be rewarding in so many ways. There is no doubt that we are not the only ones to feel this way. Just take a look at the recent surge in popularity this sport has had! In actuality, there are hundreds of reasons to love and try MMA training.
Why We Love It
The main reasons that we love MMA so much is because it is fantastically fun. It promotes total body training and fitness in a way that nearly no other sport does. Anyone can do it! We mean anyone. Best of all, it is a great way to get away from run-of-the-mill workouts. Whether you are just starting to hit the gym, or have been doing so for years, MMA training can help you. Where other diets and exercise regimens fail, MMA training succeeds. It can help you in your personal life, with your performance, self-esteem, how you look, feel, and much more.
Why Others Love It, Too
Why the sudden rise in popularity of MMA training, as both a sport and a way to keep fit? Many who participate in MMA training love how it makes them feel. They love that the workouts can be intense, fun, and done in a group. They also love that the skills that they learn during training can be put to use as part of a sport, or just to defend themselves. Lots of people doing MMA on a regular basis comment on just what a difference the sport has made in their lives. Not only can they see, but also feel, the differences made by MMA.
There are lots of fitness benefits to practicing MMA. Studies have shown that MMA training, unlike other types of exercise, works on your total body. We are not just talking muscles, either. You get a cardio and a strength training workout, all in one. Or, you can concentrate on one area more than others in order to tone and sculpt your body. Working out on a regular basis, in and of itself, offers plenty of benefits. But intense workouts like MMA training can offer you even more in the way of fitness benefits that can, over time, become good habits.
One of the most noticeable benefits or MMA training, according to participants, is the increased strength. Increased strength will happen after only a few weeks of regularly participating in training. You will notice it when participating in other activities like lifting. But, most importantly, you will also notice the benefits in your everyday life. Certain activities will become easier. Improving functional strength is one of the most popular reasons that people often choose MMA training over other forms of exercise. Bodyweight exercises and weight lifting are often the two most important exercises in training to help you gain strength.
Experience More Power
Power is, of course, related to strength. However, not all exercises effectively build both strength and power. MMA, however, builds both. The fact that you are focusing on strength as much as movements gives you true power. You will be better prepared to face others in competition. You will also notice that your skills in other areas (like how far you can throw, run, jump, swim, etc.) will also be greatly improved. In as little as a few weeks of this
Sure, we have all heard that things like video games help with hand and eye coordination. But, believe it or not, MMA training, as well. When you are engaged in a fight with an opponent, you need your jabs, kicks, punches, and other movements to all flow together. You need to be able to quickly judge things like timing, distance, and more to deal and dodge blows. If you truly want to work on this area, just ask your training what sorts of skill training exercises can help. Also, try stability and balance-board activities to help with coordination.
Just like so many other sports, MMA training improve flexibility. For participants approaching older ages, flexibility can be very important. In older age, more flexibility can mean you run a lower risk for things like pulled muscles, fractures, and issues with mobility. For younger participants, greater flexibility can help in your daily life. It can also help you, greatly, if you are engaged in another sort of activity or sport. MMA teaches both passive and active flexibility. Whereas grappling can help with passive flexibility, more active training, like that of high kicks, stretches, etc. can help you much more with active flexibility.
Go Harder, Longer
What do we mean by this? Endurance, of course! Endurance is important in many sports, such as running, swimming, soccer, tennis, or nearly any competitive sport. The same can be said of MMA fighting. Because of this, MMA training can increase your endurance when you train in intense intervals during various sorts of training exercises. The best sorts of workouts to improve overall endurance are, most typically, cardio workouts. Cardio workouts can consist of shadow boxing, working out with a punching bag, running, skipping rope, swimming, and much more. Even dancing at high intensities can be considered a great cardio workout!
How MMA Can Help You in Other Sports
In case you have not already picked-up on it, MMA can greatly help you in other sports. Performance in any sport where endurance, strength, power, balance, and coordination is needed can be improved through MMA training. Athletes often note a marked improvement in the performance after starting to MMA train. Even if you do not wish to train for actual MMA fights, you can still MMA train for a bit and put to use what you have learned while training for your sport. Simply make note of what exercises seem to work best to improve the areas you need help on, then do those, often.
A Better You that You Can See and Feel!
MMA training can transform participants from the inside, out. How? In the first few weeks, expect to feel better, overall. This is a typical benefit of exercise. However, the fact that you are learning to compete and learning a skill may give you even more of a boost. Your energy levels may rise. Sleeping may become easier. Daily tasks may also become simpler to perform, with a bit of time. After a bit longer, you will notice that you are losing weight. If you are working on one area, specifically, more so than others, you may also notice a difference in the way that area appears in just a few weeks.
Look Great Again by Sculpting Your Body
If you want to totally transform your body, MMA training is the way to go. Not only can you get a workout of your entire body quickly when participating in MMA training, but you can also focus on certain areas. When doing this, simply let your instructor know what areas you would like to see improved. Chances are, they can give you a few tips on exercises that can help you shape those areas. You can bet that these exercises can also help you improve your overall fighting game. No matter if you want a sexier, tighter core, hips, thighs, arms, or a smaller waist, MMA training can help.
Boost Any Diet’s Effects
Are you currently dieting? Many Americans are. Not only that, but many complain that they simply do not see results. However, when you combine a healthy, balanced diet with MMA training, expect the results to quickly swing the other way. In no time, you will be losing more weight that you may have even thought possible. Most doctors highly recommend some form of exercise when you are dieting to lose weight. Often times, instructors and trainers can also help you to improve your diet to boost your performance, as well as results.
Mental Health Benefits
Studies show that there are a bevy of mental health benefits to MMA training. A few even suggest that those suffering with issues like bipolar disorder may greatly benefit from MMA training. But besides that, there are also mental health benefits that nearly everyone can experience when participating in this sport. Many of the benefits that we talk about in greater detail below are benefits that overlap with regular exercise. Still, the sort of exercise that you choose to participate in does nothing to hinder these benefits. If you want to become calmer, more centered, more confident, and more, try MMA training.
All sorts of martial arts improve self-discipline. Often, participants must teach themselves to work out on a regular basis, and remain persistent to learn new moves, techniques, etc. Self-discipline can come in handy while working out, playing sports, controlling your emotions, at your workplace, and more. Developing this skill take quite a bit of time, especially in younger participants. But a martial art can certainly speed up that process. Many see self-discipline as a positive trait that can help people to better succeed in a number of realms in their lives, from personal to professional.
Just like other forms of martial arts, MMA training is meant to help you learn to fight opponents. At times, these skills can come in handy to defend yourself. Just imagine that you are walking alone, one night, down a dark alley when you and your friends are confronted. What do you do? Fight! MMA teaches you moves like kicks, punches, blows, grappling, and much more. Using these skills, you can defeat your opponents both inside and out of the ring. Although you must use common sense while putting these skills to use, they could, in some cases, save you or others.
Boost Your Self-Confidence
Training can improve you in plenty of ways, from how you look to how you feel. It can also help you when it comes to how you carry yourself. Improvement in various areas of your life will, undoubtedly, mean that you will appear and feel more confident. Confidence can come in handy professionally and personally, just like self-discipline. A boost in confidence can also help to make others perceive you as more in control. They may also find you much more attractive. Others may feel that you are more intelligent because you seem so sure of yourself.
Better Mood and Less Stress
Exercise improves mood, greatly. It can also help to banish stress. MMA training is no different. For many participants, a better mood can help them to greatly improve their outlook, relationships, and just how they feel. When you reduce stress in your life, you put yourself at a lower risk for illnesses and complications often related with stress. These can include, but are not limited to, anxiety issues, heart disease, sleeping problems, addictions, and even issues with concentrating and memorizing details. Exercising just a few times per week, starting now, can go a long way in preventing these issues. And hitting a punching bag with some muay thai skills is a great stress reliever!
Challenge Yourself to Go the Distance
As you start and continue you MMA training regimen, you may notice that things become a lot easier, over time. MMA training is fantastic because it allows you, at any time, to ramp up your regimen. Just ask your instructor! They can help you to modify your routine to help you sculpt an area, lose weight, develop a particular skill, and more. When you push yourself, you will get more out of such training. Best of all, when you succeed in an area where you challenged yourself, you will feel an even deeper sense of accomplishment. Such a sense of accomplishment drives us on to do even better, and work even harder.
Fun (and Safe) for Everyone!
Remember how we commented, earlier, on how some people seem to think that MMA training is not for kids, women, or the elderly? We are here to tell you that it is fun and safe for everyone. If anyone can participate in martial arts classes, then they can attend MMA training sessions, as well. Various gyms, schools, or even local martial arts academies may offer classes in MMA training for people of all ages, and at all levels of fitness. Instructors know how to help you stay safe. They also know how to keep your workouts fun and constantly fresh. This is why we highly recommend seeking out the guidance of a professional instructor, coach, or trainer when you first start MMA training. Their knowledge can really help you.
Especially Recommended for Women
Out of all the groups listed above, women might be the ones to benefit most from MMA training. MMA training allows them to stay fit while also learning to defend themselves. It gives them to opportunity to sculpt their bodies and feel sexier and more confident. If you have longed to get your younger body back, lose weight, keep up with your kids while they play, or just feel safer, this sort of training can help with all that. We are sure that in only a matter of sessions, most women will see various benefits that will keep them coming back for more. Believe us when we say, ladies, that MMA training can help you to really get that diet working for you (finally). MMA training might be one of the sexiest things that a woman could do for herself.
Make It a Family (Or Friend) Activity
Want a way to keep motivated even more? If so, consider inviting friends or family members to train with you. Participating in physical activities together can bring you closer to your loved ones. It also means that you can train with them outside the gym and improve your skills, together. When you are just starting out at a sport or regimen, certain moves, exercises, and drills can be embarrassing. But having someone beside you whom you feel comfortable with can make a huge difference. Studies show you are also more likely to keep coming back to train if you are comfortable and training with people you like. You can more easily encourage each other, and help one another to strive to be your best.
Learn to Compete, If You Wish
Remember, MMA training is not just a way to get fit! It is also a sport. If you want, you, too, can compete. MMA competitions are held at every level of experience, from beginner to pro. Today, gyms, schools, and certain promotions hold MMA competitions around the US. When you first begin training, you may want to inform your instructor if you are hoping to compete. They may be able to give you lots of tips to help. Or, they might be able to point you in the direction of another trainer better suited to help you achieve your goals. Becoming an MMA competitor is a fantastic way to push your training to the next level, as well.
Where to Look for Instructors
So where should you look for instructors? Start out at your local gyms. Inquire about whether or not they offer classes or MMA training programs. If they do, you may want to ask about the price, how often they are held, levels offered, and just who the instructor is. Ask about their credentials. If no local gyms offer instructors, then you might be able to design your own workout regimen that an instructor could help you to modify. In some instances, a personal trainer or coach may work just as well as an instructor. Peak Performance MMA only uses certified instructors!
Choosing the Right Instructor
So how do you choose the right instructor? As mentioned before, start at local gyms. Once you have found a few MMA trainers, see if it is possible to set-in on a session with each. Ask others that are working with that particular trainer what their opinions are. You may be surprised at just what they have to say. If they are participating in an MMA training program, also ask them if they know anything about the other programs offered in the local area. Try to talk to the trainer about their experience, as well as any and all credentials that they might have. Be sure to compare prices, as well. Once you have found a place that you can afford, as well as a trainer that you like who seems qualified, sign-up. Then, get to working on yourself. You always want instructors who get results and success stories of their studetns.
Exercises to Add to Your MMA Training Regimen
Believe it or not, your exercises are not just limited to what your instructor allows you to do. Feel free to add any of these exercises to your training regimen, or ask your instructor which ones they recommend:
- Jogging or running
- Bench presses
- Shadow boxing
- Battling ropes
- Sparring with an opponent
- Working out using a punching bag
- Kettlebell exercises
- Jumping rope
- Climbing ropes
- Stretches (or other exercises that encourages stretching, like yoga)
- Sledgehammer training (if not sure what this is, ask your instructor)
- Be sure to add in time for recovery, as well