Exercises To Avoid In MMA Fitness?

| February 9, 2011 | 0 Comments

In mixed martial arts (MMA) there are different schools of thought regarding whether there are exercises one should avoid for MMA fitness or not.  But sifting through the various opinions, we have found commonalities on things to avoid in MMA fitness training, depending on the situation.  We have placed them under four categories:  1) Definitely, you should avoid certain exercises for MMA fitness.  (This blatantly disagrees with the other three schools of thought but is included for your consideration).  2) You should avoid bad exercise habits for MMA fitness.  3) What you should avoid depends on your training goals for MMA fitness.  4) You should avoid misusing exercises rather than avoiding specific exercises for MMA fitness.

Below are the four schools of thought, plus commentary.

Avoid Certain Exercises, definitely, for MMA fitness. For example, some see no need for lifts that are specifically for toning.  Also, leg extensions and leg curls on machines are perceived to be useless and may even cause harm.  The reason for this is it is possible a mixed martial artist may have a minor knee issue from grappling, so it would be wise to avoid placing any stress on your knee ligaments such as that which occurs on the leg extension machine.
You should avoid bad exercise habits for MMA fitness. Some of these habits, as mentioned earlier, are doing a poor warm up.  A good warm up will focus on dynamically, not statically, stretching and warming up and getting the blood flowing, and getting the joints ready for lifting and conditioning sessions.  For example high knee runs, high leg kicks, skips, and internal and external shoulder mobility drills ensure support of your joints and muscles and your workout will be more productive.  Another bad habit is not following through.  For example if you don’t follow through the very end of a lift, it can lead to serious injury.  Also, after doing kettlebell swings you should not relax too soon because if you do it can affect your back in the long term.  So how you cool down after a workout should also be followed through.
What you should avoid for MMA fitness depends on your training goals. For example, if your goal is to increase your bench, squat and deadlift, then curls would be useless and should be avoided for the time being.  However, if you are planning to fight in an MMA match, then curls have to be considered.  So what to avoid would depend on what your training goal is at each specific point in time.  All exercises are effective at some point in time, but the idea is to meet your focused goals at each stage of your training.
You should avoid misusing exercises rather than avoiding specific exercises for MMA fitness. Some exercises are good for injury prevention, such as the warm up, which also helps to avoid fatigue build up.  If you do a poor warm up, there will be consequences.  Also some exercises have higher inherent risks, such as lifting exercises.  However, if you are an experienced lifter you will be making your choice based on the risks vs rewards.  Also, some exercises will inherently be dangerous for some, yet perfectly safe for others, depending on the overall physical conditioning of the person.  For example, if you are over-trained or injured, you should avoid deadlifts for the time being.  Other times when you may need to rethink your workout regimen are if you plan on increasing your deadlift, as it may mean adjusting your curls.  Another situation would be if you had a partial pectoral tear and are undergoing rehab. You would need to rethink the deadlift and squats.

The above are different schools of thought, but they all have one commonality—safety is primary and it is important to train smart for true MMA fitness.



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