Mixed martial arts is rapidly gaining newbies young and old, and they all desire one thing- being the best that they can be. MMA in itself is several sports wrapped into one art, but there are ways to improve your technique that don’t involve going to your regular MMA gym. Check out these other sports that can vastly make a difference in your MMA skills:

  • Football- This is an easily relatable sport to MMA, right? During football you are used to getting hit/sacked, you learn how to tackle someone, and you work on your speed with running drills. Most football plays only last a matter of seconds, and this goes hand in hand with MMA; you can go full speed doing high repetitions of drills such as hitting pads for 60 seconds then pausing. These types of drills will improve both the explosive speed need in MMA and in football.
  • Wrestling- No brainer here, as wrestling is an intricate piece of MMA. Most parents asking how to start young kids in MMA typically go the wrestling route first. This way, the child can start building one layer of their MMA technique by learning the valuable art of takedowns. As you may or may not know, in professional MMA takedowns often win fights even if they aren’t capitalized on once you have an opponent down. Wrestling provides the education on training to be in the appropriate weight class (well hopefully!) and it’s a contact sport that begins to introduce the art of “battling” your opponent.
  • Yoga- I know, you don’t want anything to do with the happy art of stretching, but once you’ve seen it improve your MMA game you’ll quickly be praising the exercise. Yoga is the notion of holding poses (some easy, some that will definitely challenge you) for a minute or longer to strengthen your body and your mind. Being limber is essential to have excellent ground skills in MMA and easily being able to avoid submissions standing or on the ground. You can even download free yoga poses and try it at home!
  • Swimming- Swimming never seems to get the credit it deserves. It’s a great workout that is easy on your joints and can also soothe sore muscles from hard training you’ve previously completed. You must have strong shoulders to be a good swimmer and be able to hold your breath and be well conditioned. All three of those things can greatly advance your MMA craft.
  • Weights- Perhaps not Crossfit, as depending on your MMA schedule doing both could be a bit much. Lifting heavy items- be that rucking with a weighted backpack, or bench presses can help you be stronger than your opponent. A tip to the wise, just don’t overdo it with the weights, as sometimes people get so big so quickly that it slows them down on their standup performance. Check in with your MMA trainer to build a plan that is suitable for your weight class if you compete.