Fighters from all areas such as MMA, boxing, and judo can benefit from resistance band training. Resistance training does not need to necessarily be considered as an entire workout.
You could easily use bands for warm-up purposes and mobility work as well to prepare for fighting sports. Check out why this simple piece of equipment can assist you whether it’s for training or before a fight.
Why is Resistance Training Important?
Resistance training isn’t just for the concept of muscle building and strength. Many fighters believe all the time spent training should be spent on the mat, which is why even with this mindset, resistance training still applies for mobility and warm-up purposes beyond bodyweight only.
Key improvements from resistance training for fighters:
- Muscular Endurance
- Explosive Power
- Core Development
- Range of Motion (ROM)
All fighters definitely need endurance. Some fights could last all rounds to the very end, and in order to not just rely on willpower, muscular endurance needs to be developed. Resistance training helps develop this during the warm-up phase before sparring begins.
Firstly, don’t use heavy resistance bands to fight against just because it feels kind of light. The purpose is to perform several repetitions without causing any muscle strains or injury. The Victorem pull up assist band is a great example of what to have for this type of training.
Exercises such as banded deadlifts, upright rows, and even shoulder presses assist with muscular endurance training.
Placing a band around your waist places resistance on your body, improving power development during training. Power isn’t just based on the amount you can lift, but rather the amount of energy you can produce against resistance in a short period of time.
Exercises such as the broad jump and lateral push-off drills work great with a band attached to your waist. The same applies to the use of a band and you explode into the start of a sprint.
All you have to do is attach a band to a sturdy object such as a pole. Use one resistance band to tie around the pole, and a second to tie to the anchor that you step into. You can even invest in hip circles to execute banded explosive squat jumps.
A strong core is needed by every person, and this is one thing that everyone should be able to agree on. As for fighters, a strong core helps resist impacts and improve the distribution of the force being used exerted. Plus, you will help prevent injuries from the sudden reactions the body endures during training and fights. The last thing you really want is an injury from a weak lower back.
Easy resistance band exercises you can perform for your core are woodchoppers, both high and low, trunk twists, and even standing oblique crunches. Start the training off with light resistance just to warm your trunk up, or use a slightly stronger band with an isolated focus to improve strength.
Range of Motion
Resistance training using bands is a great way to warm up. You definitely don’t want to start kicking or punching with your joints tight from the previous day’s workout. Now is the time to be more focused on your training and do more effective warm-ups with resistance included.
Exercises you can consider performing for ROM are banded front openers, side leg raises, and the banded front to back shoulder rotations. There is a large variety to choose from, and you definitely wouldn’t have to just stick with a few exercises each time.
Resistance Training Warm-Up Drill
Start your warm-up off with light static stretches. There’s no need to go over 10-12 seconds per stretch because then you are causing your muscles to relax instead. The main warm-up method is dynamic, which is a movement to increase blood flow to your muscles and get the joints warm as well.
Begin with the shoulders and back when it comes to using resistance for your warm-up. Some of the trunk and leg exercises require the shoulders and upper back to hold the bands causing strain. Tight muscles won’t like this, so warm them up first.
Fighter Warm-Up Using Resistance:
- Banded Front Openers (pull-up assist band)
- Front to Back Shoulder Rotation (pull-up assist band)
- Banded Deadlifts (pull-up assist band)
- Banded Jump Squats (Hip Circle)
- Monster Walks (Hip Circle)
- Lateral Walks (Hip Circle)
- Side Clamshells (Hip Circle)
This is just an idea of the many types of warm-ups you can perform utilizing some resistance training through band use. This doesn’t even include the banded movements focused on explosion and power, but will definitely get your muscles pumping and improve endurance with mobility.
Attack Your Workouts with a Plan
Now you have a better idea of why resistance training can be utilized for fighters in a variety of ways. Many athletes use them for their warm-ups and workouts across all types of sports including fighting-based events.
The biggest factor is that bands are not expensive and last for a long time when used properly. The ones made with a fabric latex blend last the longest and tend to not stretch very much overtime. That means the resistance provided will almost always stay the same unless they rip. Go grab a set and start trying out the information you learned!