Are you doing mixed martial arts (MMA) training in Brampton? Do you know how to prevent getting hurt?
Your body must be properly conditioned on a regular basis to withstand the strenuous nature of MMA. But, because of its combative nature, MMA training entails considerable risk of injury, including pulled muscles, stretched tendons, and even broken bones.
To address this issue, let’s discuss the most common injuries encountered by MMA athletes. We will also go over some strength and conditioning exercises to prevent them.
Let’s get started.
Injury Patterns in Mixed Martial Arts
You should form a proper injury prevention plan when taking MMA classes. This is because a small injury can hamper future training.
When you are not physically fit, you won’t be able to perform to your full potential. And severe injuries can keep you out of the sport for months.
Some of the most common injuries that you may experience during MMA training are:
- Bruising and hematomas
- Contusions and sprains
- Shoulder muscle/tendon strains
- Hamstring and groin strains
- Joint sprains
- Ankle and knee ligament injuries
Keeping these injuries in mind, you should take proper precautions. By taking care of your body through strength and conditioning, you reduce your risk of injury.
In addition to injury prevention, consistent strength and conditioning also provide other advantages, such as stronger bones, better posture, and a more positive mindset.
Common MMA Injuries and Coming Up with an Injury Prevention Plan
MMA training requires extensive skills-building. That’s why both the actual fight and training can be taxing. Here, you will learn how to form an injury prevention plan to minimize the risk of common MMA injuries.
- Knee Injuries
This is one of the most common MMA training injuries. By creating alignment with the ankle and hip, the knees provide an exceptional base of support in MMA training. But because of the various positions that they have to be in when performing fighting manoeuvres and grappling, a deviation from the alignment can increase risk of injury to this region.
The force inflicted when kicking and twisting the knee can impact the athlete’s knee ligaments in the long run. They can experience tears in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
So, for athletes with poor lower limb alignment, you can reduce the incidence of knee ligament injuries with deceleration and ballistic activities. Submaximal ballistic actions such as depth drop variations, lateral movement drills, and reactionary tasks can be performed to improve your neuromuscular capacity. Hamstring strengthening can minimize anterior tibial shearing and is recommended as a prevention strategy for ACL injuries.
In addition, be sure to get adequate rest to allow the body to heal itself properly before the next training session. Issues like inflammation of soft tissue can be treated with ice and compression.
- Hamstring Strains
If the speed of movement becomes too much for your body to handle, reacting too swiftly to a high kick can result in a potential hamstring strain. This means that you have overstretched your muscles, and they need time to heal. Even during other high-speed strikes, your hamstrings may become fatigued faster than your quadriceps, leading to a strain.
If your muscles are weak, they are less able to cope with the stress of exercise and are more likely to be injured. MMA training frequently employs sprinting or changing direction manoeuvres, which have a high rate of hamstring injury.
Hamstrings succumb to injury because they are tight, so practice a good stretching regimen before and after your training. Start by sitting on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you and reaching for your toes. You can also perform this exercise standing by simply reaching down, touching your toes and holding them. You can also strengthen your hamstrings by practicing exercises like glute bridges and hip thrusts.
- Hand Injuries
Since MMA involves a lot of punching and striking with the fist, MMA fighters are always prone to hand injuries. These include jammed fingers, ligament tears, and even broken bones.
Hand wraps can be used to support your fingers, knuckles, wrists, and metacarpal bones, which are responsible for the structure of your hand. By securing these flexible joints and fastening the bones together more tightly, shock can be better distributed across your entire hand.
When striking a punch, squeeze your hand before impact as you bring your arm forward. Don’t tense up your arm or shoulder and don’t squeeze your fist before the swing begins; this will weaken the force of your blow. Ideally, the knuckles of your index and middle finger should land on your target; not the fingers themselves. This way, you will throw a proper punch without hurting yourself.
Fighters tend to make mistakes and get hurt when tired. So, again, take proper rest.
Even after taking all these precautions, if you still end up with serious hand injuries, seek proper medical help.
- Shoulder Injuries
Mixed martial arts often involve excessive, repetitive, and vigorous hand movements like striking and blocking, which can lead to shoulder injuries. The shoulder joint can also be aggressively manipulated during grappling exchanges.
These injuries can also occur through striking a punch, as a result of small micro-tears in the rotator cuff that get larger over time. When your shoulder is not given time to properly rest, the tears in the tendons of the rotator cuff cannot repair themselves, which weakens the entire shoulder.
Martial artists may also suffer from slap tears. These occur when you tear the cartilage in the inner part of your shoulder joint. These tears can be caused by injury or overuse and make it painful or difficult to move your shoulder and arm.
To reduce your shoulder injury, always stretch before starting your exercise and training. If you are looking for shoulder stretching techniques, try pendulums, crossover arm stretches, passive internal and external rotations, and sleeper stretches.
When lifting to strengthen your shoulders, make sure to include these exercises:
- Standing rows with resistance bands
- External rotations with arms abducted
- Internal and external rotations
- Elbow flexions and extensions
These exercises will help you prevent shoulder injuries while strengthening your shoulder muscles.
Along with broken bones and strained muscles, concussions are one of the most serious injuries MMA fighters experience. They are usually caused by a blow to the head. The effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Wearing appropriate headgear when fighting can help prevent concussions.
Fighters should allow themselves to recover fully from any head injuries before continuing to train. This is essential to prevent any degenerative brain injury due to chronic head trauma. If any signs of head injury reappear, seek immediate medical attention. Only after medical clearance is granted should you return to full-contact sparring.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, if you are not already practicing a strength conditioning program, combined with an injury prevention plan, now is the time to start. At our ultimate MMA training in Brampton, Legends MMA has classes and regimens tailored to the needs of fighters. Our main objective is to empower men, women, and children to profit from mixed martial arts by training in a competitive yet cooperative environment. To learn more about our MMA fitness and conditioning program, contact us today!