Mixed Martial Arts is no longer just for professional fighters and individuals looking to get in the best shape of their life. Many athletes in other sports such as football are using MMA to not only take the balance and eye coordination skills it has to offer, but also to keep their conditioning at a high level while in the off season. A great example of this is one of our students Sawo Olonilua who plays for the Dallas Cowboys, he came to Elite MMA in the summer months of 2019 for the sole purpose of keeping his condition and cardio up while off the field.
A high-level strength and conditioning program are a must for any professional athlete exerting large amounts of energy at a given time such has football players like Sawo. Coaches within the game of football have always looked at ways of gaining an edge on their opponent, which includes training their players in ladder drills and cone drills along with agility circuits. These are all more conventional ways of training their players, but not a way of thinking outside of the box to gain the upper hand.
MMA training, specifically heavy bag work, grappling and mitt work are all exceptional ways of training outside of normal practices. It is easy to see how this translates into football when we look at grappling. Grappling allows players to work with constant resistance and real pressure while maintaining a low risk for injury and simultaneously improving their overall fitness.
Learning to engage the entire body for maximum power, efficiency, and explosiveness is immensely important in football. Heavy bag work and mitts require the same kind of exact conditioning. Teaching a player to involve his entire body in a strike often translates to the field, where players must hit and generate power from awkward angles. A player who hits with his entire body, instead of isolating individual body parts, has a distinct advantage in power, efficiency, and long-term sustainability. Striking and grappling skills teach players to coordinate their legs, hips, and core, as well as their upper bodies to ultimately make them a more efficient and powerful vessel on the field.
As players continue to look for the upper hand in their sport, it would not surprise me if MMA eventually becomes a large routine for many athletes as there are many tools to gain from it, giving players the cutting edge they are looking for.
Follow this link to see video of NFL Quarterback John Beck training at Elite MMA with Coach and Owner Hai Nguyen!!!