How-to-Get-in-Shape-With-the-New-YearEvery year, lots of people make a New Year’s resolution to get into shape. Gym attendance traditionally spikes in January, then quickly tails off. Some people find traditional gym activities such as using the treadmill, elliptical trainer and weight machines to be boring and monotonous.  They may be better served by a different sort of exercise program that could be a lot more compelling while still offering conditioning and strength benefits – mixed martial arts (MMA).

MMA training does not necessarily mean training to be a fighter.  People may practice MMA solely to improve their strength and conditioning, in the same way that someone may work out punching a heavy bag without ever stepping into a boxing ring. In fact, even if you begin MMA training with the goal of competing, an MMA studio may require that you achieve a certain level of training before you are allowed to enter competition.

MMA features a variety of disciplines

Kickboxing classes may incorporate elements of boxing and Muay Thai, a martial art from Thailand known as the “Art of Eight Limbs” because Muay Thai involves being able to strike your opponent with both hands, both elbows, both knees and both shins.  So kickboxing can offer an intense workout to multiple areas of the body. Classes such as kickboxing may also include calisthenics. The intensity of some MMA classes may result in people burning off a lot of calories, so they may appeal to those looking to lose weight.

Someone looking to get in shape who is also interested in self-defense may want to look into classes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a discipline that incorporates technique and leverage to allow a smaller, weaker person to defend against a bigger, stronger opponent. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes that are gi require a uniform, while those that are no-gi do not. Since the uniform usually includes the cloth belt symbolizing rank, those taking Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes who aspire to advance in rank will usually end up training in Brazilian Jui-Jitsu gi.

Some classes require special equpment

Equipment used in MMA classes may include jump ropes, medicine balls and kettlebells, which are spherical weights that have handles.

Along with boxing, Muay Thai and  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fighters train in disciplines including freestyle wrestling, Jeet Kune Do, Judo, Kyokushin Karate,  Sanshou/Sanda and Tae Kwon Do.  So people interested in getting in shape through MMA training can look into different disciplines and see which ones might be right for them.