As an MMA fighter, training is everything. The hours spent honing your skills in the gym and pushing your body to peak performance will make or break you in the cage. Proper training requires not just blood, sweat and tears, but also having the right gear and tools at your disposal.
When it comes to must-have MMA training equipment, there are a few key items that no fighter should be without. These essentials will help you get the most out of your workouts, prevent injuries, and give you an edge over your competition.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the top 8 must-have items for MMA fighters during training. From headgear to heavy bags, hand wraps to hydration systems, this list has everything you need to take your training to the next level.
Why Are Protective Gears Important?
MMA fighters have to train hard to be the best in their sport. Training isn’t just about the physical. It’s also about protecting yourself from injury. MMA fighters must have the right protective gear during training.
Mixed martial arts is a full-contact combat sport that allows a wide range of fighting techniques and strategies, from striking to grappling. It’s a tough sport that requires physical and mental strength, and fighters must be in top condition to compete.
Quality Gloves and Hand Wraps
The hands and wrists are incredibly vulnerable in MMA. You need proper protection for the endless hours of bag work, pad work, grappling, and sparring you’ll be doing. This starts with investing in a pair of high-quality fingerless MMA gloves. Look for a snug, durable pair with thick padding across the knuckles and back of the hand.
You’ll also need good hand wraps to support those fragile wrists and prevent injuries. Hand wraps cushion your hands and stabilize the wrists while punching. Look for soft, elastic cotton wraps that are about 180-inch long. Wrap your hands carefully before each training session.
Protecting your most valuable asset – your brain – is crucial. Taking repeated blows to the head during sparring can cause cumulative damage over time. That’s why wearing headgear is a must. Look for a lightweight open-face headguard that allows you to see and breathe comfortably. It should have thick padding across the front and sides to absorb impact. The back should be thinner so you can still move your neck properly.
Wear headgear during any sparring to minimize risk of concussions and cuts that can keep you out of the cage. Safety first!
Let’s just say you want to keep the family jewels safe during those grappling sessions and body shots. A good groin guard or cup will ensure you can keep training without agony. Invest in a comfortable, breathable design that stays put during moves and intense workouts. Take body shots or get kneed in the groin during a match and you’ll be thanking yourself for wearing protection.
Your ankles will be put through their paces with all the footwork, kicks, sprawls, and groundwork involved in MMA training. Protect those joints and reduce injury risks with a good pair of ankle braces or compressions sleeves. These support and stabilize the ankle during explosive movements, rolls, and strikes. A compression sleeve or lace-up brace can make a big difference in keeping your ankles pain-free.
MMA involves a ton of takedowns, sprawls, and ground grappling against the unforgiving surface of the mat or cage. Knee pads are essential for protecting your joints and avoiding mat burn. Look for a thick, durable pair that stays in place and allows free movement. Properly worn knee pads can save your knees from long-term damage during training.
To sharpen your striking skills, a heavy bag is absolutely essential equipment. Look for a durable leather or canvas bag at least 70 pounds or heavier. Make sure it comes with swivel attachments and chains to connect to the ceiling or stand securely. This allows you to practice proper technique and power in your punches, elbow strikes, kicks, and knees. Combinations on the heavy bag are vital for building striking stamina too.
In addition to a heavy bag, a speed bag helps develop rapid hand-eye coordination crucial in MMA. Working the speed bag teaches you to time your strikes precisely while moving your upper body defensively. Look for swivel attachments allowing free range of circular motion. Angle the speed bag so it sits at about your forehead level for optimal rebound. Use rapid-fire punches to pound away at the speed bag daily.
Jumping rope is an old-school training method that never goes out of style. It’s ideal for boosting cardio, endurance, coordination, and foot speed for MMA. Jump rope drills like double-unders, sprints, and intervals help condition your lungs and get your heart rate up. Look for a durable cable rope with ball bearings for smooth rotation. Keep a quality jump rope in your gym bag at all times.
Resistance bands are a simple, portable way to build strength and explosiveness in your upper and lower body. Bands provide constant tension for moves like arm extensions, rotations, leg kicks, etc. Secure an anchor point and work against the elastic resistance. Keep a variety of resistance levels handy like light, medium and heavy bands. You can target conditioning muscles without bulking up too much.
A rash guard is one of the Engage Fightwear you’ll need for your MMA training. This is particularly helpful if you engage in grappling. The sleeves of rash guards can be long or short.
To protect your upper body against rashes, scrapes, and cuts, you can begin by donning a t-shirt, but eventually, you’ll need to do so while using a rash guard. Rash guards serve to wick sweat away, keeping your upper body cool.
Groin guards come in different sizes and forms. Most cups are worn like a pair of underwear underneath your gym shorts or gi. You can buy a higher quality variety that is fully cushioned in front, back, and sides.
You must consider how it will affect you if you are stuck there when you try on a cup. A strap-style cup could forcefully hit your legs and abdomen because it is composed of hard plastic. A professional competition-type cup is composed entirely of soft foam and is covered with vinyl.
Groin cups are a must for all male fighters, as they protect the groin area from strikes. This is a sensitive area, and even a light hit can be extremely painful.
When it comes to MMA training, the right equipment makes a massive impact on your performance, safety and results. This essential gear helps unleash your full potential while preventing unnecessary injuries. Quality gloves, handwraps, headgear and other basics are necessities – not luxuries.
Arm yourself with the top must-haves covered in this post before you hit the gym. Your body will stand up to endless hours of punishing training. You’ll develop better skills, strength and conditioning. And you’ll step into the cage with confidence knowing you’ve got the tools needed to dominate.
Training is where fights are won or lost. Give yourself every advantage by using the gear designed for elite MMA athletes. Next time you’re gearing up for a session, refer to this list to make sure you’ve got the essentials covered. Your hands, head and other vulnerable body parts will thank you!
Now get out there and start unleashing those knockout combinations, submission holds and champion mindset. With the right must-have gear by your side, you’ll be unstoppable.
What gloves do MMA fighters use?
MMA fighters use fingerless gloves with open palms and wrists. Look for gloves with thick padding across the knuckles and back of the hand. High quality leather or synthetic materials. Approximately 4-6 ounces for bag work, 8-10 ounces for sparring. Brands like Hayabusa, Venum, Sanabul.
Why do MMA fighters wrap their hands?
Hand wraps protect the small bones and ligaments in fighters’ hands from impact during striking. Cotton hand wraps stabilize wrists and provide cushioning for punches to reduce risk of injuries. Proper hand wrapping is crucial before putting on gloves.
What is the best equipment for MMA training?
Essential MMA gear includes quality gloves, hand wraps, headgear, groin protector, ankle supports, knee pads, heavy bag, speed bag, jump rope and resistance bands. Protective and specialized equipment helps maximize training.
What do MMA fighters wear around their ankles?
Many MMA fighters wear ankle braces or compression sleeves during training for support. Ankles are vulnerable in wresting, grappling, kicks, etc. Lightweight braces stabilize ankles and prevent rolled or sprained ankles.
Should you spar without headgear?
Sparring without headgear increases risks of concussions or cuts. Open-face headgear with thick cheek/forehead padding is recommended for sparring. Protects the head and allows you to see. Helps minimize head trauma during training.
How do you wrap your hands for MMA training?
Wrap hands snugly with about 180 inches of soft cotton hand wrap. Anchor around the wrist, wrap between fingers, cross over the back of the hand and around the thumb. Finish off with Velcro or tape. YouTube tutorials can help perfect wrapping technique.