If you are training for MMA, you must be familiar with shadow boxing by now. Most MMA trainers recommend that shadowboxing is very important for MMA training because it helps to prepare your body for the actual MMA fights. Although some other exercises and methods are added to the routine of the trainers so they can get ready for the actual fights. In all these recommended workout routines yoga and shadowboxing play a very important role, both are mixed for helping the fighters gain rhythm, flexibility, and the posture that is required to win an MMA fight. All these things are quite important but most MMA fighters think shadowboxing is just a warm-up exercise and this has nothing to do with the actual skillset and the working process of an MMA fighter. They take these exercises for granted and some even feel that these exercises are doing them no good. In real life, that’s not the case, you might not be building a process skill through these daily workouts but you are learning a lot more than you think. For some of us, chasing an unknown opponent in shadow boxing is a waste of time and for some, it is just imaginary but in real life, you are gaining self-control as well as mind and body coordination that is otherwise almost impossible to achieve. Additionally, you are not required to wear gloves or anything special MMA dress if you don’t want to.
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For someone wondering if shadowboxing and other assistance exercises are just warm-up exercises to help you get back in shape, you need to know it has tremendous benefits. Few skills can only be attained if you are familiar with shadowboxing and if your routine includes shadowboxing. Although it is warm-up exercises this will help you gain the bodily coordination that otherwise might take a lot of effort. Additionally, fighting with the invisible opponent means you are fighting with yourself, you will come to know about your strategy and shortcoming as well as things that you are afraid of. All these things pave the way for your practice and help you are your trainer work in a better way. Here are a few ways shadowboxing is helpful for your overall MMA training.
When you are imagining and fighting against an invisible opponent, your body is in sync with your mind. This means you at all times are in coordination with your mind, you imagine something and your body readily comes up with the solution to combat that technique. This simply means you are training your mind to stay in coordination with your body and this will further help you later when you are in combat with a real opponent. Usually, forming a strategy to beat the opponent needs mind and body coordination, otherwise, you might end up losing the game.
When you fight with an imaginary opponent you are continuously making scenarios in your mind which helps you dictate your moves. This also means you need to keep thinking about the way you will be handling the situation. When the trainers observe you repeating the moves, this helps them to detect the shortcomings, and eventually, you will be trained to overcome those shortcomings for a longer run. Practicing the same moves also helps you to only get prepared for the same situation and nothing new. In short, shadowboxing will help you know about your shortcomings and how you can get over these issues.
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Mindfulness is the ultimate goal of shadow boxing because you are required to stay attentive and focused on what might come next to you. Since you are handling yourself on your own and you are continuously making new scenarios and finding ways to combat that situation, you get a completely new idea of handling that situation and so, you attain mindfulness in its true sense.
The main difference that you will find between a beginner and an expert while performing in MMA is their footwork and body rhythm. Shadowboxing helps you attain the body rhythm that will help you gain that posture and form, most beginners take a few years to acquire. Additionally, if you feel you are weak with the overall body rhythm, you will be making progress even without knowing. Even without wearing a proper MMA-related suit i.e. MMA dress or boxing gloves, you can still practice shadow boxing.
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As you prepare for your MMA fight, you are required to start by stretching, this means you need to get started with a little physical exercise and shadowboxing can be the exercises that can help you with stretching and getting your body in shape with a simple warm-up technique. Just start by practicing your footwork and then move your shoulder muscles and finally start with practicing your punches.
Shadowboxing will also help you with polishing your overall technique of fighting. In most cases, your instructor will watch you while you shadow box but in other cases, you might just have to do everything on your own, in that case, we recommend you to record yourself and see where you need to get better. This is quite a challenge for people who are not a good judge of themselves. You can even send this video to your instructor and he can help you with your technique. You can even skip the MMA dress or boxing gloves if you want and still practice everything.