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7 Tips for Rest and Recovery After an MMA Fight

Last Updated: 04.07.22


You declared yourself satisfied with your new gloves for MMA because they proved to be of great help in your last match. You have also realized that the proper mma training bag can help you improve your fighting skills and develop flow within your combinations.

But, what about protecting yourself after the fight is over? How do you take proper care of yourself? Recovering after a fight might take a long time; even if you didn’t suffer severe injuries, it can still take weeks or even months until you recover completely.

Also, resting properly is another factor that needs your utmost attention, as it is essential for your good health and well-being. In order to help you stay in good shape and to avoid unnecessary stress and trouble, we prepared a few useful tips down below.


  1. Ice baths

After a fight, in order to reduce muscle swelling and to sooth the pain, it is recommended that you take an ice bath or just apply ice on sore body parts. This will also help your muscles to recover faster and will constrict the blood vessels. When you take an ice bath you treat a large area of intertwined musculature whereas ice packs will only treat a small area.

Even if it might be painful at the beginning, applying ice will help you reduce inflammation and will also help you cope better with the pain. If you suffer a more severe injury, you should apply the ice immediately in order to decrease swelling and to speed up the healing process.



  1. Foam rollers

Foam rollers are used for stretching out sore muscles and relieving muscle tension, and that is why they are a great solution to help you recover after a fight. Do bear in mind that you shouldn’t roll directly on an injury; foam rollers are amazing in treating soreness but they are not recommended in treating actual injuries.

Moreover, if you use this equipment directly on the injured area, you might even increase the severity of your injury. Sometimes, it might be difficult to tell if you are injured or sore, and that is why you shouldn’t take a guess and you should seek medical advice. This way you will know for sure if it is safe for you to use the foam rollers or not.


  1. Full body massages

It is recommended that you use massages and alternative relaxation therapies in order to facilitate muscle recovery after an MMA fight. Because deep massage therapy helps reduce muscle soreness and speed up the recovery process, it is a good solution for many fighters who care for their health and well-being.

The most popular among many professional athletes or fighters are hot stone massages and aroma therapies. After a fight, fighters need to relax their bodies and to reduce the physical and mental stress in order to enjoy a healthy and fast recovery. Some studies even show that these types of therapies will help fighters to reduce inflammation as well.


  1. Good nutrition

We all know that food plays an essential role in muscle recovery, and that is why it is extremely important what you eat (and drink) before and after a fight. Fighters need to pay careful attention in restoring the glycogen, fluids, and protein that they’ve lost during the fight. Due to heavy sweating, your body’s water level drops and you have to replenish it.

Besides adequate hydration, which is extremely important, your daily diet needs your utmost attention, too. You have to make sure that your meals are rich in proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. If you follow this advice, you will notice that your immune system is stronger and your body will heal much faster.


  1. Adequate sleep

After a fight, your body needs to replenish its energy, and that is why it is recommended that you get adequate sleep. There are many negative effects of sleep deprivation on your body, and one of them is that it will slow down the muscle recovery process. This means that you shouldn’t ignore this aspect and you should take sleep very seriously.

If you don’t sleep enough, the level of cortisol (a stress hormone) will increase and it will mess up with your recovery. When you are experiencing muscle strain you should sleep about nine to ten hours in order to reduce pain and aches. When you sleep, your body releases growth hormones which will help in the recovery of sore muscles.



  1. Enough rest

If you want to return to the ring faster, you have to develop a well-planned post-fight recovery strategy. There are fighters who are eager to fight again as soon as possible, and that is why they follow precise steps that help them come back on the ring sooner. But, it is very important to allow your body the necessary time to heal itself.

Your body is drained of energy after a fight, but it also has a great capacity to take care of itself – just give it some time. It is recommended that you rest and wait after a fight so that the repair and recovery process takes place at a natural pace. We have seen that there are many ways you can help your body recover, but doing nothing sometimes can help, too.


  1. Avoid overtraining

If you usually do some easy and gentle movements after an MMA fight, you are on the right track because this will help improve circulation. This means that your muscles will recover and refuel faster so that you can get back in shape. But, if you were thinking to start heavy training soon after your fight, you should know that this can undermine your recovery efforts.

The best way is to design a smart workout routine that will help your body recover at a natural pace. That is why it is extremely important to get to know your body in order to be able to choose the right workout that will help you recover faster without risking your health.



Leave a comment


Luke Smith

November 13, 2019 at 11:59 pm

I like how you highlighted the importance of sleep before going to a martial arts fight to gain energy. My boyfriend is going to face his first martial arts fight next week, and I want him to be prepared and less injured as much as possible. I’ll share this write-up with my article so that he can start adopting ways on how to prepare for his fight while I make sure that he eats healthy and sleeps on time.

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