Warming up is one of the most under-appreciated and underutilized parts of MMA training. But its importance can and should never be brushed aside.
Any gym leader or student who takes their training seriously, and wants to reach the peak level of performance every single time they train, should take the time to thoroughly warm up before they begin. Whether you are strength training, going out for an intense cardio workout, or practicing takedowns on roll out mats, warming up is essential. It not only helps you prevent injuries from occurring, it can actually boost your performance by getting you ready to train harder.
The Science Behind Warming Up
There are countless sports science studies that have examined the effects of warming up before exercising, and many of them have lent credence to the beneficial effects of dynamic stretching and light exercise before going into a heavy training session.
By warming up with light exercises and stretches, the body goes through a series of functions to prepare itself for the heavier amounts of stress it is about to receive. Warming up can help athletes to:
- Increase blood and oxygen flows
- Warm muscles and prepare them for extreme or quick movements
- Increase their heart rate and body temperature
- Loosen joints
- Mentally prepare themselves for more extensive training
Simply warming up for 20 minutes before heavy MMA training can have a tremendous effect on performance and drastically reduce the chances of a fighter becoming injured during training.
The Best MMA Warm Up Exercises
The types of warm up exercises that athletes should focus on depend entirely on the type of martial arts training that they will be participating in.
If athletes are going to be training in grappling-heavy MMA styles such as Aikido, Judo or Jiu Jitsu, it’s best to warm up by stretching the muscles and loosening the joints in the neck, back and hips. This will prepare the body to be contorted and twisted as it is thrown and hits the ground.
If athletes are going to be training in styles that involve throwing a lot of punches, kicks or other strikes with their extremities, warm up time is better spent preparing the shoulders, knees and elbow joints. Athletes should also devote time to stretching the muscles in their arms, chest, legs and back.
Be Strong, Be Safe
An injured fighter is a weak fighter. In order to ensure that your training, and that of your students, can continue going strong is to properly warm up before every session. It’s just as important as having the proper MMA training and safety equipment.
To learn more about MMA safety measures, or to update the equipment in your gym, contact Zebra today.