Fight Sports and the Integration of Tech

31 May , 2020,
A. J. Riot

Sports organisations adapt, renew and develop through creative and novel ideas. The integration of tech has the potential to radically change how sport is played and viewed, reshaping and improving not only athletic performance but the experience of spectators. In this way, technology not only changes the way we live, work, and play: it is transforming the fight sports athletes train. Here are some of the technologies used:

Altitude Mask

An altitude mask is designed to simulate the low oxygen conditions of training at altitude, by restricting the flow of oxygen to your lungs. The product forces the lungs to work harder, improving the strength of the intercostal muscle and improving overall lung capacity, anaerobic threshold, oxygen efficiency and even mental focus. The acute shortness of breath also makes you more used to the feeling, more comfortable in competition.

The harder workout increases intensity, so the effects of the training are felt sooner, so you do not need to train for as long. This reduces the risk of injury and gives more recovery time when competing.

Technology for recovery time

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Fitness tracker

Currently, fitness trackers have limited capabilities which makes it tricky to find one that works for fight sports. However, boxing workouts and cardio-boxing fitness drills are gaining popularity. Whether you use pads or a heavy bag, there are a variety of punch trackers providing solutions to athletes, with varying sensors tracking punches from both hands with varying accuracy.

With no tracker able to differentiate between the different types of martial arts, a compromise will have to be found on your choice of fitness tracker. One of the popular fitness bands from Garmin or Fitbit will give general information about heart rate etc., in each training session.

Weighted workout kit

Weighted compression gear is popular among fight athletes. Gel insert weights are evenly distributed and compressed to fit the body properly without bouncing around. Shirts can secure inserts into 14 pockets for upper body apparel, with an outer compression shirt on top to keep the inserts in place, to prevent chafing and to keep wearers dry due to wicking technology. Weighted shorts are also available. A weighted kit builds not only strength but speed and endurance.

Cryochamber

Cryotherapy has been used for years in fight sports. With training sessions and bouts placing huge a strain on fighters’ bodies, cryotherapy accelerates recovery through regeneration, which boosts performance. At first, cryo-saunas running on nitrogen and shaped like barrels were used.

Advances have meant that it is now possible for up to five fighters to use a cryo-chamber at the same time whilst keeping the temperature stable at all times, a crucial factor in the therapy’s success. With this technology, aches and inflammations heal much faster, so that training can be resumed sooner, making this invaluable support to elite athletes.