• 10 excellent MMA training tips for beginners

  • There are two kinds of MMA fighters – those that train for fun and those that train as a career. No matter which kind you’d class yourself as, everyone has to start somewhere. Whether you already know that you want to go on to be an MMA fighter or you’d just like to use it as a way to build muscle, knowing how to start is the key.

    Follow these top 10 training tips to get yourself started:

    1.) Do your research

    Before you join a gym to start getting into MMA, research your options. You should always join a gym or a training programme where MMA is a key player. Go for gyms that lots of MMA fighters attend, or go to MMA classes.

    2.) Try before you buy

    A lot of gyms will offer free ‘taster’ sessions in MMA, so you can try it out before you commit yourself. Even if you’ve got experience of other martial arts, MMA might not be right for you. Give yourself a bit of time to figure out if you enjoy it.

    3.) Be honest

    If you do decide to keep at it, you’ll need to be open and honest about your fitness levels. Your trainer will need to know precisely where you need to begin; otherwise you might end up harming yourself. Don’t worry about being embarrassed – as mentioned, everybody has to start somewhere.

    4.) Always stretch

    MMA isn’t just about strength; flexibility also plays a big part in this discipline. Stretching after your MMA workouts can help to improve your flexibility, and it’s likely to become one of the easiest parts of your training. You’ll need to keep at it though, as skipping your stretching can quickly put you right back where you started.

    5.) Forget about bodybuilding

    Bodybuilding and MMA do not mix. While you do need a high level of strength in order to overpower opponents in the ring, being too built up can drastically limit yourself. Bodybuilding and MMA use completely different techniques, with MMA being fluid and bodybuilding being static and single-jointed. You’ll still need to do some weight training when doing MMA, but you should forget about attained the same kind of bulging muscles as professional weightlifters.

    6.) Work on your core

    By training your core you’ll be able to increase the power of your punches and kicks. This is because your core is the centre of your being; it’s where all of your strength comes from in the first place. Try hanging leg raises, sit up punches, plank rolls and other core exercises to build up your strength.

    7.) Eat the right foods

    An MMA fighter’s diet needs to be high in protein, fat and carbohydrates. You’ll need
    to take nutritional supplements to increase your protein intake, and make sure you’re
    consuming enough calories per day to sustain your training levels. Eat foods such as:

    - Turkey
    - Eggs
    - Fish
    - Legumes
    - Avocados
    - Nuts
    - Oils

    8.) Be patient

    Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you won’t become an MMA fighter overnight. The worst thing you could possibly do would be to rush into your training and begin doing exercises that are above your ability level. You should always push yourself, but understand that it takes time to build muscle, strength and flexibility.

    9.) Get some rest

    Getting enough rest following a workout is key to building your strength up. Your body needs time to rejuvenate after a high impact workout; otherwise the muscles you’ve focused on won’t get a chance to build up.

    10.) Know your weaknesses

    And finally, always understand what your weaknesses are in order to better yourself. Regularly reassess your workout regime so that you can switch and change it depending on which parts of the body you need to work on. Be modest enough to admit to yourself where you need help, and ask for advice from fellow MMA fighters if you think you need some assistance.

    Getting into MMA fighting can be difficult, especially if you’ve got no idea where to start. With perseverance and continued effort though, you’ll be able to notice the improvements in your body before long.

    This article was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf of Fight Shop, an online shop for all things MMA related. You can purchase equipment and clothing for a range of martial arts and other hand to hand combat styles at fightshop.com now.