Running drills are an excellent way for any athlete to increase their stamina and overall fitness level. Mixed martial artists simply cannot put themselves in a position to be competitive in the octagon unless they are in peak cardiovascular condition. Creating a successful running routine for MMA competition involves creativity, dedication and a good pair of running shoes. Here are some running workouts that will benefit anyone training for MMA competition.
Jogging and Sprinting
Running consistently will tone your lower body and build your endurance, and many of the more successful professional mixed martial artists can jog at a fast clip for well over a dozen miles. Many begin their days with runs that range from four to eight miles. One very popular way to rev up any running routine is to mix brisk jogging with all-out sprinting. By jogging for 7/8 of every mile and breaking into a sprint for the final 1/8 mile, you will get faster visual and internal results out of your lower body.
This exercise is easy to learn but difficult to master, and it is an excellent blend of cardio and agility training. A mixed martial artist must have exceptional foot speed and a knack for proper foot placement, and grapevines help to develop both. The torso is also in on the balancing action and aided by well-timed swinging of the arms. Don’t worry about doing the exercise at a breakneck speed in the beginning. Proper technique is much more important than pace, and going too fast can actually give you bad footwork habits.
Many athletes utilize the benefits of shuffling to increase the strength in their thighs and their balance. Thigh strength and balance are both incredibly important in competition, especially given the fact that many mixed martial artists are in a slightly crouched, bent-over stance when on their feet. Without incredibly strong thighs, the bounce in a fighter’s step will noticeably taper off over the course of a long fight. This exercise can be done in many places by way of some creative thinking, including on linoleum floors while wearing thick cotton socks.
Every professional fighter on any level subscribes to a regular running routine, but very few of them put the exercise in reverse. By doing so, you’ll be able to tone and strengthen the bottom of your calves, which can come in very handy when jumping backwards in the ring to avoid kicks and attacks from grounded opponents.
Any fighter that can clear a set of 110 meter hurdles is going to have a lower body that is quite formidable in the ring. By perfecting the motion of bringing your thigh, knee and then your foot into orbit, you will strengthen the muscles involved in throwing high kicks and increase the flexibility in your lower body. Flying knee strikes have also become very popular MMA moves in recent years, and anyone that can clear a hurdle will be able to deliver a vicious knee.
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