MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is popular throughout the world, with the most notable fan bases being located in the USA, Canada, China, Japan, Russia, Sweden, South Africa and Thailand. It shot to fame in 1993 when the first MMA show was televised in the USA, and since then, more and more people have chosen to go down the route of becoming trained in this extremely challenging sport.
If you count yourself as one of them, you’ll quickly realise that one of the most important aspects of the sport is endurance. Without this, your opponent will be able to easily overpower you.
The Science behind endurance
When improving muscular endurance, you’ll need to target two different sets of muscles:
- Fast twitch muscles work quickly and so tire faster.
- Slow twitch muscles work slowly and are able to go on for much longer.
When working on these muscles, you’ve got to get your fast twitch muscles to make the most of oxygen in the blood while also increasing the size of your slow twitch muscles.
Slow twitch muscles need a constant supply of oxygen rich blood, which they use to produce energy. By making them bigger, the muscles use more blood and therefore transmit more energy.
Fast twitch muscles don’t use nearly as much blood because they’re much smaller, so the key here is to improve their usage of the blood that’s supplied to them.
By doing this, you’ll see your aerobic and muscular endurance increase, and your body will be able to burn fat at a faster pace.
How can I do this?
Improving your endurance will only be possible by doing the right kind of training. Below are some of the best training exercises for this:
1) Sprint intervals
This training exercise will teach your muscles how to cope with short bursts of high intensity activity. Complete one minute of sprinting followed by one minute of jogging for a total of 20 minutes.
2) Calisthenics workouts
These exercises are performed without any equipment or apparatus and can help you to improve your overall body strength and your flexibility. Devise a routine that includes squats, push ups, chest dips, chin ups, bench dips, calf raises and other calisthenics exercises.
This is one of the best ways to better your endurance, especially since it will give you real experience of what a match would be like. Either attend an MMA training class during the week, or spar with a friend that’s also taking part in MMA.
Increasing your endurance will be the first step to becoming a trained MMA fighter. Make sure you stay safe when training by using the appropriate equipment and safety techniques.
This article was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf of Fight Shop.com, a supplier of martial arts equipment and clothing.