I’ve seen many successful and unsuccessful fighters talk specifically about what they do for recovery. One of the biggest things many MMA fighters attribute to many of their successes is the addition of yoga into their routines. One of my mentors Frankie Faires talks specifically about time being our most precious resource. Many people forget that there’s only so much time in the day; and too put it simply just because you are doing something, doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing the “right” thing.
In our case the right thing does one of two things: 1.) Instantly makes any aspect of your peformance better and/or 2.) Keeps you durable to avoid non-contact related injuries in your training.
My goal isn’t to get you to hate Yoga. My goal is to help you understand that if you want to the best every big part of your training needs to be customized – including your recovery.
What Yoga Is – Biomechanically
More often than not, any new way of moving tends to make us feel better. Whether it’s because of nervous system stimulation and/or using underused tissues, it does tend to help. What tends to help better are performing joint motions we don’t typically do. More often than not MMA fighters stay in a flexed back position. More often than not MMA fighters don’t extend their hips and back. And because of this, MMA fighters tend to overuse some tissues more than others.
When Yoga tends to work better, is when a fighter doesn’t often arch his/her back and doesn’t often extend his or her hips. Yoga allows you to reuse those underused tissues and make you better in the process.
What Yoga Isn’t – Biomechanically
Yoga isn’t necessarily the best thing, especially when it’s not customized for your specific body.
Although MMA fighters tend to customize their Fight Game – working on weaknesses and increasing their strengths. And also personalizing their strength training regiment – building their strength endurance and knockout power. Recovery is often a do it yourself matter that ends up falling on the wayside, even though it can make or break your training and your competition streaks.
Yoga is an art unto itself – a great one at that. But it’s an art that isn’t something an MMA fighter necessarily needs. Your body tends to look for symmetry. Symmetry based on YOU, not them. And although Yoga can help, I suggest that you try something else, based on you.
Rather than focusing on a new sport or art to try, focus on understanding what your real strengths and weaknesses are. Not just if you’re weak, get stronger. Not just if you’re stiff, get more flexible. But what needs you really have in the gym. A south-paw striker has different needs than a traditional striker, a ground-and-pound fighter has different needs than a straight grappler, and the areas that you need to work on in the strength training arena will be better helped when you improve upon the motions you don’t do often.
So understand how you like to fight and how you don’t. Instead of finding a new activity, try to make better the activities you are already doing, especially in the strength training arena. You’ll notice you need less extra, and you’ll be doing more MMA training, even better and notice you’ll have less injuries too.
You can find me in “The Play Pen”, editing videos of myself playing with my clients, training clients for Pure Greatness, or writing smart ass articles on Easier Strength Training. If you’d like to contact me you can email me at [email protected], friend me on Facebook (Darryl Lardizabal), or shoot a Tweet my way (@XPO312)