Best Heart Rate Monitors For MMA, Muay Thai & BJJ

If you have ever wondered if you are making the most of your MMA training sessions or hit a wall and feel you aren’t making any progress at all, then buying a heart rate monitor for MMA could be the answer. 

A heart rate monitor is a device that gathers precise heart rate information in real-time, allowing you to measure the intensity of your martial arts workout.

A heart rate monitor takes the guesswork out of conditioning and training. It’s a game-changer, providing valuable insight so that you can achieve your goals faster and more effectively. 

Whether you are just getting started in the ring or have years of experience in martial arts, you should consider adding a heart rate monitor to your list of training equipment.

Check out our list of the best heart rate monitors for MMA in this article, and take your training game to the next level.

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Garmin Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin engineers innovative wearable technology. With over 80 offices worldwide, Garmin is a well-established, reputable brand.

Garmin strives to bring products that make a difference and improve fitness goals.

Features

  • Comfortable and Machine-Washable: The HRM’s strap is soft, so you stay comfortable; you can also throw it in the wash after sweaty workouts.
  • Consistent and accurate heart rate data using ANT+ connectivity and Bluetooth Low Energy technology
  • Compatible with training apps, including Zwift transmits real-time heart rate data over ANT+ connectivity and Bluetooth Low 

What We Like About the Garmin Heart Rate Monitor 

Sweat much? Yeah, we get it, and this heart rate monitor from Garmin stays put even when drenched from an intense sparring session. Even better – we can throw it in the wash with the rest of our sweaty MMA gear.

We love the connectivity features Garmin brings to the game. ANT+ technology allows us to pair all of our devices automatically. We can effectively monitor our heart rate so that we can make small (or big) changes to our workout routine.


Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor

Polar is an industry leader in fitness technology, passionate about delivering innovative, useful products for beginners, experts, and everyone in between.

Established in 1977, Polar has consistently proven itself over the years, growing to employ 1,200 people globally with 35,000 retail outlets in over 80 countries.   

Features

  • Accurate: the Polar H10 delivers precise heart rate data
  • Exceptional compatibility: the Polar HRM pairs with all Polar Beat, HRM cardio equipment, a long list of sports and smartwatches (Polar, Apple, Garmin, and more), and fitness apps including Nike and Strava
  • Stay Connected: the Polar H10 features Bluetooth, ANT+, and 5 kHz for seemingly endless connection options (including Peloton). Connect simultaneously using two Bluetooth connections and Bluetooth and ANT+ connections. 
  • Range: the Polar H10’s Bluetooth range is about 30-40 feet, so you put your phone down and get to work with just the paired chest strap.
  • Comfortable AND secure: Polar improved the electrodes on the H10 so that you can train comfortably without interference. With a buckle and silicone dots, this heart monitor isn’t going anywhere as you sweat it out.
  • Versatile: The Polar H10 is excellent for MMA training, as well as any of your other workout sessions, including running, cycling, or even swimming. The device is fully waterproof. 
  • Always up-to-date: the Polar Beat app keeps your Polar H10’s software updated.

What We Like About the Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor

The Polar H10 is one of the most (if not THE most) accurate and consistent heart rate monitors on the market.

We like knowing that the data we pull from our training sessions is precise because that’s the whole point, after all. Also, we feel confident about making changes to improve our workouts based on the information provided by the Polar H10.

We love connecting our Bluetooth headphones to our heart rate app to hear real-time data while working out with just a chest strap. We don’t have to worry about holding our phone or wearing a watch, which is ideal for MMA fighters training with gloves.

The Polar H10 offers smart coaching, which includes personalized feedback based on your height, weight, age, and maximum heart rate. We are big fans of this feature as it is another way to make sure we are making the most of our martial arts sessions.


Powr Labs Heart Rate Monitor

Endurance athletes founded Utah-based Powr Labs after deciding they were tired of paying exorbitant amounts of money for workout gear. They were out to prove they could design equipment without the high price tag – and they didn’t play around when testing it out. Take the sweatiest, nastiest conditions, and Powr Labs has been there grinding it out to ensure their products deliver results.

This philosophy drives Powr Labs’ mission: provide athlete-focused training accessories that are reliable, durable, and affordable.

Features

  • Reliable: athlete-tested to ensure reliability
  • Seamless Connectivity: dual-band Bluetooth 4.0 ; ANT+ protocol
  • Exceptional Compatibility: works with smartphones in real-time and Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible GPS devices
  • Unrivaled Warranty: Unlimited battery replacements and 12 months warranty
  • Comfortable and Stays Put: with an adjustable strap from 26″ to 38″, this chest band fits almost every athlete
  • Waterproof and Sweatproof: keeps you dry during intense, sweaty training sessions (however, swimming in this heart rate monitor is not recommended)
  • Recommended Pairing Apps: Heart Graph, Endomondo, Elite HRV, iCardio for training

What We Like About the Powr Labs Heart Rate Monitor

Talk about getting the most bang for your buck – Powr Labs delivers a heart rate monitor that provides results without breaking the bank. 

We love that the athletes behind Powr Labs not only designed an affordable heart rate monitor but tested it out in harsh, unrelenting conditions. MMA training and conditioning can be just that – intense and rigorous – so having a product that can keep up is incredible.

We love that this heart rate monitor is compatible with many apps, adjusts perfectly, and delivers consistent results, optimizing every MMA training session.


Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor

Chip Hawkins founded Wahoo in 2009 in Atlanta, GA. His goal? To design innovative solutions to help athletes reach their goals.

Features

  • Bluetooth ; ANT+ technology allows you to pair to smartphones and GPS watches 
  • LED indicators: you will know you are connected and ready to go then the two top-mounted LED lights are on. 
  • Slim, lightweight design: TICKR is the thinnest and lightest HRM chest strap available and stays put while training. 
  • Works with over 50 apps, including Zwift, Wahoo Fitness, Runtastic, and more

What We Like About the Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor

The Wahoo TICKR HRM is incredibly slim and lightweight, so we stay comfortable while conditioning and training. 

We love that we know we are recording our heart rate data thanks to the LED indicators at the top of the HRM. Just one glance, and we are good to go – no checking and double-checking here.

If you are into running or cycling and martial arts, this might be the ideal HRM for you.

The TICKR shows burst and burn levels so that you can optimize your workout, whether you are running or throwing punches.


Scosche Rythm+ Heart Rate Monitor

Founded in 1980 by Roger and Scotia “Scosche” Alves in their California garage, Scosche has grown to become a leader in delivering cutting-edge accessories.

Features

  • Stay connected with RHYTHM+ – compatible with most popular health and fitness apps
  • Valencell®’ PerformTek® biometric sensor technology and a built-in accelerometer ensure you get accurate information from your training sessions
  • Works with all ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART enabled equipment and devices 
  • Breathable, Lightweight Armband 
  • Waterproof and Sweatproof: get as sweaty as you want, and this armband will stay comfortably in place. It’s also waterproof up to 3.2 ft (1 m).

What We Like About the Scosche Rythm+ Heart Rate Monitor

We can train up to 100 ft away from our phones using the Scosche HRM, which gives us the freedom to put our phones down and get to work without worrying about being within a few feet of it. 

We love Scosche’s Rhythm+ feature – it’s why this armband is on our list of the best heart rate monitors for MMA. The advanced optical sensors make sure we train in the appropriate BPM zone to maximize our workouts. 

That’s the entire idea behind using an HRM for MMA training to understand our heart rate better so that we can ultimately improve upon and make the most intense martial arts conditioning. 


Wahoo Fitness TICKR FIT Heart Rate Monitor

Wahoo makes it onto our list of the best heart rate monitors for MMA once again, this time with its TICKR FIT HRM.

Features

  • Excellent Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+ allow you to connect to your smartphone or watch by Wahoo, Garmin, Apple, Polar, and more. 
  • Works with over 50 apps, including Zwift, Wahoo Fitness, Runtastic, and more

What We Like About the Wahoo Fitness TICKR FIT Heart Rate Monitor 

This product pairs instantly with almost all of our favorite apps, and we love that we don’t even have to think about it.

This HRM is accurate, stays in place, and is comfortable. With a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 30 hours, we can train and train some more without worrying about it dying on us.

If a chest strap isn’t your thing, an armband from Wahoo might be the perfect alternative.


Powr Labs Heart Rate Arm Monitor

Hello again, Powr Labs. This time we are talking about Powr Labs Arm Monitor, one of our best heart rate monitors for MMA.

Features

  • Reliable: athlete-tested ensures superior reliability
  • Seamless Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 ; ANT+ protocol
  • Outstanding Compatibility: works with smartphones in real-time and Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible GPS devices
  • Unequaled Warranty: Unlimited battery replacements and 12 months warranty
  • Comfortable and Stays Put: two straps (S/M and L/XL) come with the arm monitor so that you will have the perfect size for your arm/forearm
  • Waterproof and Sweatproof: keeps you dry during intense, sweaty training sessions (however, swimming in this heart rate monitor is not recommended)
  • Incredibly Long Battery Life of 60 hours; wireless dock makes charging simple and easy

What We Like About the Powr Labs Heart Rate Arm Monitor 

Powr Labs Heart Rate Arm Monitor is stylish, comfortable, and gives us the heart rate data we need to tweak our MMA conditioning and training to achieve optimal results. 

We love that if we forget to charge this guy, it’s probably ok since it has a battery life of 60 hours. When we remember to charge the armband, we have a dock we can easily plug it into.


Fitbit Fitness Tracker; Heart Rate Monitor

Fitbit was founded in 2007 by Eric and James with the mission of providing innovative wearable fitness technology. Today Fitbit is a global industry leader. 

Features

  • Ability to Monitor Heart Rate and More: With a Fitbit, you can not only monitor your heart rate during workouts, but you can also keep track of it 24/7 along with your calories burned, hourly activity, steps, distance, floors climbed, and active minutes 
  • You can also track your sleep, check the weather, use voice assistant, GPS, phone features, and more with a connected Fitbit. Weather, Sleep Monitor, Reminders, Voice Assistant, Alexa, Phone, GPS, Heart Rate Monitor
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa: you can receive news blips, set alarms, and timers, and more using your voice

What We Like About the Fitbit Fitness Tracker ; Heart Rate Monitor

We love that the Fitbit provides us with real-time heart rate data not only while we workout but during our other everyday activities. It gives us the big picture of our heart rate, from our resting BPM, sleeping BPM, and training BPM. That information can provide valuable insight into our overall health.

The Fitbit, of course, has several other perks besides just being an HRM. We can check the weather, messages, and so much more. 


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Heart Rate Monitor For MMA, BJJ & Muay Thai FAQ

Picking the best heart rate monitor for MMA can be challenging. To help, we’ve put together a list of common FAQ’s.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Heart Rate Monitor For MMA?

There are tons of benefits to using a heart rate monitor for martial arts training.

These include:

  • Identifying how intense you are training
  • Calculating the calories burnt for post-exercise nutrition
  • Indicates your ability to recover during exercise
  • You can identify the source of energy burnt
  • Helps with MMA recovery after training

How To Pick The Best Heart Rate Monitor For MMA?

Factors you should consider when picking a heart rate monitor:

  • Smart device compatibility – Is it compatible with your phone/laptop?
  • Price – Does the HRM offer value for money?
  • What type is it? chest strap, armband or wristband
  • Size – Is the HRM suitable for MMA?

Can I Wear A Heart Rate Monitor When Grappling?

There are loads of benefits of training whilst wearing a heart rate monitor.

One consideration to make when grappling is the risk of injury wearing a HRM could have on yourself and your training partner.

We recommend wearing your HRM underneath your GI or rash guard.

Always, check with your instructor and training partners before rolling whilst wearing your heart rate monitor.

Do I Need A Phone/Smart Device For My Heart Rate Monitor?

Heart rate monitors need to connect to your phone or smart device.

You should make sure that your HRM is compatible with your phone and preferred applications.

To analyse the data effectively from your heart rate monitor and improve your training, you will need a computer or phone.

What Location Should I Wear My Heart Rate Monitor?

When it comes to wearing a heart rate monitor during MMA you have three options. A fitness watch, arm strap or chest strap heart rate monitor.

When training MMA or grappling, you should make sure that your heart rate monitor is discrete and doesn’t affect your safety during training.

In Summary

There are several things to consider when purchasing a heart rate monitor for MMA. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Would a chest strap, armband, or wristband work best for my type of MMA training?
  • Is the HRM compatible with my phone, and will it work with my preferred apps?
  • What kind of battery life do I need?
  • What type of range is suitable for my workout needs?

Once you decide what the best heart rate monitor is for MMA training, you can begin to reap the benefits, including: 

  • Smarter, more effective training
  • Targeted workouts to maximize results
  • Finding the perfect BPM zone to eliminate under or overtraining
  • Real-time data that allows you to monitor your progress

We hope that this article has provided you with the information to purchase a HRM that will improve your martial arts training. 

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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.