Feb 22, 2023
How to build speed and power in MMA athletes

MMA strength and conditioning training is a specialized form of training that combines a variety of exercises, drills, and techniques to help fighters reach peak physical performance.

As the name implies, it involves strength and conditioning activities to help develop explosive power, agility, and endurance. These exercises are designed to improve the body’s ability to perform in the ring by improving physical attributes such as speed, power, agility, and endurance while helping reduce injuries.

mmaA recent story from Fightful.com detailed how MMA fighters gain power and speed during training.

Below is an excerpt from the Fightful.com story.

Building Explosive Power for MMA Fighters

UFC fighters understand how important explosive power is when winning a fight. Whether it’s a takedown, an intense ground-and-pound, or an unexpected knockout, having the agility and explosive power to make these moves is crucial. Most of the best fighters train with a combination of speed and strength exercises that focus on building explosive power.

High plyometrics training is essential in motivating muscle fibers to fire quickly and explosively while strengthening the bones and tendons to withstand intense physical activities. Olympic lifts are another great workout for building strength and speed, while sprinting is a great aerobic workout that will challenge the body and improve its ability to use diverse moves in the octagon.

Proper nutrition is also key. Eating foods with high protein content can help rebuild muscle tissue after strenuous workouts and promote growth, allowing athletes to reach maximum performance levels without risking injury or fatigue too soon. Additionally, athletes should take proper rest periods between each workout session to allow their muscles to recover fully before returning to action (i.e., never skip recovery days).

Developing Endurance and Agility for MMA Fighters

MMA fighters need to have a strong level of endurance and agility during their matches. These two qualities allow them to outlast their opponents in the ring and move quickly when needed. To build up these qualities, MMA fighters incorporate different exercises into their training routine.

Endurance is built through a combination of aerobic and anaerobic activities. In terms of aerobic exercises, fighters may do long-distance running or cycling for extended periods to improve their cardiovascular fitness. Other aerobic exercises such as swimming, rowing, and jogging can also be beneficial in developing endurance. An example of anaerobic exercise would be intense intervals or sprints that blur the line between energy systems and challenge the fighter’s ability to push beyond their limits and keep going even when fatigued.

Agility is developed through drills that focus on quick foot movements, reaction time, body coordination, and control. For example, fighters may perform ladder drills which involve running back and forth over a rope or cone ladder while focusing on speed and precision with each step; they may also do plyometric drills, such as box jumps or squat jumps which help improve explosive power by strengthening the muscles used in jumping; or they could use agility cones to practice cutting angles while sprinting to hone this important skill set further.

In addition to agility work, balance training is also essential for MMA fighters. This teaches them how to maintain equilibrium while striking or grappling, reducing the risk of injury during matches like slipping off balance or slipping during take-downs/submissions/ground-and-pound attacks, etcetera.

Balance exercises could include standing on one foot while throwing punches with the opposite hand, doing single-leg squats with medicine balls for added resistance, practicing shadow boxing on a wobble board, etcetera – all designed to test a fighter’s stability under pressure situations where it really counts.

To read the full story from Fightful.com about MMA strength and conditioning tactics, click here. 

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