Hand Conditioning, 5 Tips To Improve MMA Training

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Hand To Hand, An Introduction To Conditioning

Hand conditioning, are you looking for ways to improve in combat sports? Whether you are a beginner or an advanced martial artist, hand conditioning is essential for any level practitioner. In this article, I’ll cover exercises and tips to help strengthen your hands and wrists. Let’s get started!

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Hand Conditioning, The Basics

Conditioning exercises can help increase the strength of your hand, providing better protection against injury. Strong hands are essential for blocking, delivering punches, gripping, and parrying attacks. Strengthening your hands will also help you quickly grab onto your opponent. The latter applies to clinch holds or grappling in Thai Boxing and BJJ. 

Plenty of easy-to-follow exercises exist for beginners, such as squeezing balls and hand weights. Advanced practitioners can use methods such as finger push-ups that can strengthen the muscles in your hands while increasing your overall martial arts skills. These exercises can give martial artists an added advantage in the physical aspect of the sport.

“Have targets where you just keep drilling and drilling and drilling, making the hands tougher and tougher. Good hands are essential for a fighter.”

Freddie Roach, American boxing trainer and former professional boxer
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A good hand conditioning regimen should include stretches, strengthening exercises, and flexibility drills. These movements will help build strength and increase the range of motion in the hands. Strengthening exercises should focus on developing grip strength by squeezing stress balls, squeezing hand conditioning tools, or doing fist clenches. Preparing your hands for martial arts training is essential.

Practicing with appropriate intensity and using protective gear during sparring can also help avoid injury. Also, martial arts practitioners should know their limits and power regarding punching drills. Hand injuries can occur when martial artists push themselves too hard or don’t use proper protective gear. Taking preventative measures such as using gloves, wraps, and finger tape can help martial artists avoid hand injury during practice.

Recovery After Exercises

Massage tools, like foam rollers, can help reduce muscle tension and increase blood flow for better performance. Finally, hand massage tools are a great addition to martial arts practice. They can help reduce stress and increase blood flow in the hands. A simple hand massage tool can help athletes stay ahead of their game and keep their hands healthy for maximum performance!

Here are five (5) tips to help condition your hands for MMA training without further ado.

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5 Tips on Hand Conditioning

  1. Don’t Think, Feel. You can improve your punching technique and speed by practicing punching on a punching bag to learn how to hold your hands and what speed is best. It would be best to gradually work your way down from larger, more protective gloves to smaller ones once you have mastered proper punching techniques.
  2. Grip to Fit. You can use dumbells, barbells, and classic grip trainers to build hand strength and mobility. Pick any of the tools mentioned that you feel comfortable using. Daily kettlebell curls are a highlight exercise that I employ daily.
  3. Push, Pull Exercises. Finger pull-ups are particularly effective. Rather than clenching your whole hand, you should use your fingertips to grasp the bar. Knuckle push-ups also strengthen your fingers and knuckles. When performing push-ups, rather than using your palms, try using your clenched fist instead. 
  4. Rice is nice. Rice has many benefits for hand conditioning and grip exercises. Get a bucket filled with rice. Set your hand deep within the rice bucket, and open and close your hand. Another exercise for grip strengthening is rotating your hand within the rice bucket. You may also perform light conditioning strikes to strengthen your knuckles or fingers.
  5. Heal and Recover. Since there is no repair phase, punching surfaces daily will damage your hands and make exercising impossible. Use KT Tape, lukewarm Epson salt water, or massage your hands to relieve exercise stress.

In Conclusion

Hand conditioning is essential for any martial arts practitioner and will help you increase your performance and prevent injuries. Consistent practice can improve conditioning and take your skills to the next level. Start slowly, focus on punching and using good form, and concentrate on breathing during every activity.

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