Warming Up for MMA

Combat sport injuries at mixed martial art (MMA) clubs are very common, yet despite strict safety protocols even the most well managed club will see it's fair share of swollen fingers, twisted ankles and sore backs. Whilst a trip to your local medical centre, physiotherapist or GP may be all that's needed to get you fighting fit again, taking preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of injury is the best approach. Following these simple tips will help you to increase the flexability of your muscles and reduce the liklihood of strains and tears.

Warm Up

A suitable warmup should always be conducted within your MMA club and should last between six and ten minutes. However, if you find that you have arrived late or the instructor has skipped this crucial aspect of training, you should avoid hitting the mat until you feel comfortably warm. Begin with a gentle pulse raiser to get the blood flowing, but without putting any strain on your muscles. Cold muscles can tear more easily and this will set you back weeks of training. Gently jogging on the spot or running around the hall is perfect, increasing your speed gradually. If you want to you can incorporate other movements to warm up your ankles and knees as well. Adopt a boxing stance and move in all directions, keeping your heels off the ground to increase the warmup of the calves.

Once you feel ready, start moving your body to warm the joints; rotate the shoulders, twist the body to loosen the spine, perform gradually deeper squats and lunges and start to work on some shadow boxing. Replicating moves you'll perform during your training is a great way to ensure the correct muscles are warm, whilst practicing your technique and developing muscle memory. 

Once you've done this and you are nearly ready to join in, perform another quick pulse raiser if you feel that it has dropped. By having a good supply of blood to the muscles you'll be able to transport more oxygen and be able to train for longer without feeling fatigue. Be aware that throughout your session you may find that you are standing around watching your instructor demonstrate various moves. Don't hesitate to add in additional warmups throughout the class if you ever feel like you need it. They can be as quick as you like as long as you feel your muscles warm up and your breathing get heavier. That's a sure sign that the heart is working harder.