5 Reasons You Need to Practice Yoga For Martial Arts

If you’re looking to take your MMA training to the next level you need to be practising yoga for martial arts.

If you’re a fighter who is looking to become stronger, reduce recovery time, and increase flexibility, then you should train yoga for martial arts.

I have recently been running a yoga for BJJ course alongside my training, and have seen massive improvements in flexibility & mobility.

Today, i’ll talk about five benefits of yoga I have experienced. Let’s jump in.

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1. Yoga Improves Our Flexibility And Range of Motion

The most apparent benefit of yoga is that it improves our flexibility and range of motion. In your first yoga classes, you’ll probably notice that you’re far less flexible and bendy than you thought.

But, sure enough, with consistent practice, you’ll improve your flexibility more and more. This itself is hugely beneficial for your martial arts, as it allows you to go through longer ranges of motion safely.

2. Yoga May Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is part of the bodies natural healing process, and occurs after intense training sessions. Martial artists need to focus on recovery, as overtraining can cause chronic inflammation, that will harm your progress.

Yoga has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve recovery in martial artists. Yoga can increase the production of Anti-inflammatory hormones in the body.

3. Yoga Can Increase Stability

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Most people see yoga as a practice that mostly improves our flexibility. And while that certainly is one benefit of it, yoga is also incredibly good at increasing stability.

You see, to practice yoga, you need to assume a variety of poses, each of which requires a fair bit of balance and core strength. As you get better at doing these poses, your balance will also improve. Having more stability is incredibly beneficial to your athleticism, especially for explosive movements used in martial arts.

4. Yoga Improves Intermuscular Coordination

Intermuscular coordination refers to the coordination between our muscles and plays a massive role in our overall athleticism. Take, for example, weightlifting:

This activity requires a lot of intermuscular coordination because a large percentage of our musculature has to engage to move the weight.

Yoga is a great activity for improving your intermuscular coordination because all of the poses force our muscles to work together and keep us stable and secure.

5. Yoga Improves Our Sleep

We all know that sleep is vital for our health and athleticism. An overwhelming number of studies all point at the importance of sleep for a variety of things, including:

  • Recovery from training
  • Optimal muscle gain and fat loss
  • Better athletic performance
  • Better motivation
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Better energy levels
  • Enhanced focus
  • Better memory
  • Improved immune system

The great news is, yoga seems to be an incredibly beneficial activity because it appears to improve both the quality and length of our sleep. One possible reason why that is likely has to do with yoga’s unique ability to melt stress and relax us.


Do you want to win your next fight, transform your body & unleash your potential as a martial artist?

We work exclusively with combat athletes to improve their performance, optimize their recovery time, and reduce stress during training.

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There are countless benefits or training yoga for martial arts. The most obvious being increased flexibility.

If you are looking to increase flexibility & take your recovery to the next level, you should add yoga to your training schedule.

Check out my post on recovery for martial arts for help on recovery.

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Gareth Davies

I'm a martial arts competitor and enthusiast. Over the last 15 years, I have trained and competed in several martial arts. I live in Manchester U.K working as a strength & conditioning coach when I'm not travelling and exploring martial arts around the world.
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