Combat sports have become more acceptable in mainstream society over the last decade. With the popularity of the UFC, more and more people are getting into MMA (mixed martial arts) and boxing. Many of these people do not complete but rather just do it for the workout. Here are 10 reasons why boxing and MMA are some of the best ways to get in shape.
1. Weight loss
It is no secret that boxing and MMA training are high-intensity workouts. In a 1-hour boxing class, for example, you can burn more than 900 calories. That is almost half the recommended calorie intake of a normal diet. These rigorous workouts cause body fat to just melt off of you. Since the rise of MMA in recent years, more and more people are looking at combat sports more of a way to workout instead of trying to compete.
Most people that go to boxing or MMA gyms have no intention of competing. The majority of them are just there to work out and get into shape. There are countless stories of people losing a great amount of weight just by doing boxing and MMA workouts. I even lost over 75 pounds just by going to an MMA gym 4 times a week. If you are serious about weight loss, boxing and MMA might be just what the doctored ordered.
You can never be too careful nowadays. With so many crazy people out in the world, it is always a good idea to learn how to defend yourself. Knowing how to throw a punch and get out of submissions can help you get out of many bad situations. Boxing and MMA gyms teach you how to defend yourself if you are unfortunate enough to be in a violent situation.
MMA is especially good self-defense training. You learn a vast number of techniques from many different martial arts making you well rounded for any situation. Rather you are on the ground or standing up, there is a technique to help you overcome your opponent.
3. Builds Self Confidence
Boxing and MMA can also benefit your mental health as well as your physical health. Knowing that you are able to defend yourself is a great confidence booster. Also, since boxing and MMA training is so demanding, most people lose fat and build muscle rather quickly which does wonders for a person’s mental health. The more you go, the easier the exercises, thus leading to even more self-confidence.
Many people who were bullied in school excel in martial arts because it helps them regain their confidence. Some of the greatest professional fighters in history were bulled in their youth. The found a way to defend themselves from the bully as well as a way to regain their self-worth.
4. It’s a Fun Way to Get in Shape
Let’s face it, punching things is a lot more fun than running on a treadmill. Many people who go to boxing and MMA gyms with no intentions of competing are surprised by how much fun the training can be. The first few sessions can be tough due to the difficulty of the workouts, but after a while, you get used to it and start to enjoy them.
If you watch a boxing match or MMA match on tv, you can almost always see a fighter smile and even laugh during or after a fight. This is not because he’s trying to be cocky (sometimes this is the case), it is because he is having a good time fighting. The same thing happens with people who are just boxing for exercise. If you watch people after a boxing or MMA class, you will usually see people joking and laughing with each other. They are still living off the high they got from the workout. If you don’t believe this then go try it for yourself. You will be surprised by how much fun you are having.
5. Improves Endurance
Training in boxing and MMA is a great way to improve your endurance. A lot of boxing and MMA workouts focus on cardio more so than anything else (besides technique of course). Cardio is one of the most important aspects of combat sports. You need to have stamina in order to last the entire fight. A lot of these boxing and MMA workouts are extremely high energy with a short recovery time. This means you give 75-90 percent through most of the workouts with around a 30-second break. This increases lung capacity allowing you to work out longer and shortens the time it takes you to recover.
6. Full Body Workout
Boxing and MMA work the upper and lower body as well as your core making it a full-body workout. Many people think you throw a punch with your arms. The truth is you actually throw a punch with your hips. This means that you must train your lower body and core in order to throw a punch. Once you learn the proper technique of punching and kicking, you realize you use your whole body just to throw a simple punch or kick. Boxing and MMA exercises don’t usually target specific parts of the body. You must put everything together in order to be successful in the sport.
7. Teaches Self Discipline
As you know boxing and MMA are not team sports. Since you can’t blame other people for failing, it requires a lot of self-discipline in order to become successful. You do not need to compete in order to learn this self-discipline. Most trainers will tell you good diet plans to get on and give you work out regimens in order to better yourself. It is only up to you to eat right, go to the classes, and keep yourself on track unlike most team sports. A lot of coaches stress this because of how important it is. This self-discipline can be applied in many other things in life as well.
8. Tons of Different Exercises
There are hundreds of boxing and MMA workouts. With so many exercises out there, you will never get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. Some help speed while others help build up strength. If you get tired of hitting a heavy bag you can just move to a speed bag or hit some focus mitts. Many boxing and MMA classes do circuit training where you go from one exercise to another after 2 or 3 minutes. This change in routine is great for people who lose interest in things easily.
9. Stress Relief
Everyone has days where they get stressed out and need to get rid of their extra aggression. Punching and kicking things with intensity is one of the best ways to get your rage out and destress. Many people who are high strung or have stressful jobs tend to pick up boxing or MMA due to the positive effect it has on their mental health. This effect is also why people who are bullied tend to excel in these sports as well.
10. Increases Coordination
Boxing and MMA teach you how to aim your punches and kicks in a precise fashion. This helps not just your hand-eye coordination, by your whole body’s coordination. You can apply this skill in many things throughout your life. Punching focus mitts helps improve your hand-eye coordination while defending a takedown helps improve your balance.