How to Condition Yourself for Martial Arts

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As MMA has increased in popularity (with the help of UFC), many people want to train like a professional MMA Fighter, however an important part of Martial Arts training is MMA Conditioning.

As an all round sporting activity, MMA is a great workout that uses all the muscles in the body as well as improving general fitness. Whilst you can enjoy Martial Arts with limited contact, the contact element means in competitions and sparring you should be conditioning your body to prevent injury or fatigue.

What Does conditioning mean in Martial Arts

Each sport will have a different meaning of conditioning, conditioning training means you prepare your body for the activity, endurance and contact of the sport.

Since the first UFC event in 1993, MMA has seen an exponential rise in take up with men and women of all ages signing up to the sport for fun, fitness, socialising and to become professional athletes.

Martial Arts is a contact sport but also requires stamina and flexibility. MMA conditioning will include building the muscles and strengthening the bones in your hands. Conditioning your body to withstand blows as well as throw a number of strikes without fatiguing.

MMA Conditioning covers all areas from strength and stability, flexibility, posture, bone strength, strong isometric grips and leg contractions and of course cardio vascular workouts for overall stamina. As MMA is a such a well rounded sport the conditioning process is much more varied and inclusive than other sports.

MMA combines strength, flexibility and stamina which is why it is such a well rounded sport, it also means unique conditioning exercises.

Never gas Out With MMA Conditioning

Gassing out is a common term used to describe becoming exhausted, to run out of gas. People who are new to MMA or any kind of sparring will often hold their breath which means they are more likely to gas out.

Martial Arts training professionals often talk about, is conditioning the body so you don’t gas out; this could mean gassing out in a hold or from repeated strikes and blows, but this makes conditioning the body against gassing out incredibly important.

Conditioning your breathing techniques will prevent you from gassing out, exhale when your punch or when your opponent punches you will help you find a better breathing flow in sparring and prevent gassing out. You also need to condition your body to withstand the duration of activity and blow in a fight.

“On the day of victory no fatigue is felt”

German Proverb

Due to the nature of combat MMA, bone strengthening is incredibly important. Strikes will damage your hands unless you have built up the bone strength. You could be at risk of injury if you do not condition your body with repeated strikes on areas such as shins or forearms to gradually harden the bones. This is a long process and should not be rushed, but gradual blows and micro fractures will heal stronger and prevent injury.

7 MMA Conditioning techniques Professionals Use

There are many different conditioning techniques Professional MMA fighters will use, these are the most common conditioning exercises that will help build bone strength for strikes and blows given and received, stamina and to prevent gassing out.

  1. Push ups on your knuckles
  2. Neck ups with Weights
  3. Aerobic conditioning (work to rest ratio of 1:2 to 1:4 of high-intensity activity to low-intensity activity)
  4. Heavy bag work – with and without gloves and forearm and leg strikes
  5. Plyometric push ups
  6. Slam ball sit ups
  7. Movement flow, stretches and flexibility work

Whether you are engaging in Martial Arts for fitness and health, or for competition, try our 18 week strength and fitness MMA Program.