11 Ways Swimming Benefits MMA Fighters

Swimming is a low-impact aerobic activity that has benefits for many types of athletes, including MMA fighters. Swimming can be used as a replacement for higher-impact activities or incorporated into your regular training routine.

1. Helps With Recovery

Your lymphatic system is responsible for flushing inflammation out of the body. To work properly, the lymphatic system requires muscle contractions. Swimming allows you to work your muscles without adding any additional wear and tear to the body. Swimming may also reduce reactive protein levels that are linked to inflammation. If you are interested in using swimming for recovery at home, pool loan companies may be able to help you find financing to have a pool installed on your property. 

2. Increases Cardiorespiratory Control

Building muscle and lung capacity are critical for MMA fighters. Swimming is an excellent exercise to use for developing breathing control. Because you can’t breathe while underwater, swimming forces you to learn to control your breathing while you are doing physical activity. This training will help you better manage the restricted breathing that occurs during submission attempts.

3. Provides Resistance For Aerobic Activities

Because water is denser than air, any aerobic activity you perform in water is against resistance. You can do a pool version of wind sprints by swimming 25-meter sprints every minute for 10 to 20 minutes. Then do 10 sets of six max-height jumps in the shallow end of the pool. You can also combine aquatic and dryland training by swimming, getting out of the pool to do exercises, such as squats or burpees, and then getting back in the pool.

4. Improves Endurance

Long-distance swimming is a good way to build up muscle endurance. You can start with shorter distances and then gradually work your way up to longer swims. You can also improve your lactic threshold by swimming short, intense distances. Because it is low impact, swimming is a good activity for your rest days.

5. Builds Core Strength

Core strength is important for MMA fighters because it affects the strength of kicks and punches. Swimming provides a full-body workout, so you will gain core strength no matter which stroke you do.

6. Increases Flexibility

Flexibility is another important attribute for MMA fighters. Swimming serves as a type of active stretching because the buoyancy of the water supports your body while you are moving. The resistance of the water also helps stretch muscles.

7. Works the Entire Body

Swimming is one of the most efficient workouts because it works the whole body at the same time. You can change the muscle groups you target the most during swimming workouts by alternating between different strokes, such as the breaststroke, sidestroke, backstroke, freestyle and butterfly.

8. Ideal For Rehabbing Injuries

MMA fights are tough on the body and most fighters are always nursing an injury of some sort. Swimming is a good workout for rehabbing injuries because the low-impact nature of it doesn’t add stress to your body.

9. Burns Calories

Making the weight class you want to compete in can be almost as challenging as training for the fighting itself. If you need to shed some pounds, swimming is an effective way to burn calories. An average-sized man burns about 423 calories per hour while swimming at a moderate pace. 

10. Improves Sleep Quality

Getting enough quality sleep is one of the best things you can do to improve your athletic performance. Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise, such as swimming, can help you sleep better. 

11. Provides an Affordable Workout

Even if you don’t have your own pool, swimming can be an affordable workout. Community fitness centers, such as the YMCA, often offer access to pools at affordable rates. 

Whether you are looking for a low-impact recovery activity or a way to change up your regular workout routine, swimming offers many benefits to MMA fighters. Talk to your trainer about how you can add swimming to your regular MMA training routine.


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