Fighting Fit :: The benefits of stretching

Fighting Fit :: The benefits of stretching

Increasing your flexibility is an often under appreciated element of training.

By John Balfe - 2 Sep 2018

Everyone likes to be flexible but how many of us undertake an adequate stretching routine before a workout? 

Not many. And those who do it, well, often they are doing it wrong. Your flexibility is an important resource for an active lifestyle. Studies have shown that every one of us, no matter the rigours of our workout, should stretch for ten minutes per day, as well as before each workout.

Doing so can help to lessen back pain, increase your overall range of motion which leads to a better posture and an improved circulatory system.

Take Conor McGregor, for example. His workouts, particularly when he’s in the midst of a fight camp, are incredibly taxing on the body so a failure to properly prepare his body could be catastrophic.

In his own words, ” I wake up, I drink water, I stretch, I begin to loosen up, and then I continue moving throughout the day. I’ll hit the gym or whatever I feel like at that particular time, or I’ll take a class of taekwondo, jiu-jitsu, yoga, or capoeira. Sometimes, I’ll box. Variety is the best way. For me, regimen doesn’t work.

“I feel like MMA became about lifting weights and training heavy and sparring heavy rounds,” McGregor explains. “I was not interested in that. It’s the brain that makes the body move right and left, so you must nurture that.”

This training philosophy has become has become more popular in recent times, as mixed martial artists begin to understand the benefits of properly preparing their bodies and minds for the challenges of the sport.

“It’s not about lifting heavy and sparring hard. It’s about the body being loose and flexible and having great balance; that’s the basis of martial arts. That’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to learn all the ways the human body can move. I truly feel I am only a white belt in the true spectrum of movement, but my competitors have yet to even begin. I think you should train everything, but you can’t become obsessed with training just one style. I’m open to training in anything.”