Does Sparring Work For Muscle Growth? (Will Fighting Make You Big?)

Sparring is a great exercise that helps with many things, from general fitness to hand-eye coordination – but just how good is sparring for muscle growth?

Does Sparring Work For Muscle Growth?

Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered! In this handy guide, we’ll take a look at just how effective sparring really is at building muscles.

We’ll also go over what muscles sparring can help grow, as well as how you can get the most out of your sparring sessions!

Does Sparring Help With Muscle Growth?

So just how good is sparring at improving muscle growth, exactly? As it turns out, it’s actually great! 

Sparring combines general full-body exercises with more focused training of different muscles associated with punches and kicks.

This makes it effective as a form of regular exercise and training in addition to building up the muscles that are used the most in martial arts.

Sparring isn’t always the best way to work on muscle growth, however, and its effectiveness generally depends on the type of sparring you’re doing.

The best martial arts for muscle growth are ones that use a wide variety of different techniques, as well as a lot of movement.

Some great forms of sparring for building muscles include Muay Thai, which involves strong and fast strikes with the fists, shins, elbows, and knees; and Jiu-Jitsu, which combines punches and kicks with grapples and throws for a full-body workout.

These martial arts (and others like them) help improve the growth of muscles like the biceps, shoulders, calves, and chest.

Additionally, sparring is a great form of cardio; this means that sparring is just as effective as general exercise as it is for building muscles!

How Effective Is Sparring At Muscle Growth? 

While sparring is a good way to improve muscle growth, it isn’t the best exercise out there for it.

Because sparring is less focused on building muscle than exercises like bench presses and squats, you aren’t going to see as much improvement.

If you want to specifically focus on building muscle quickly, you might be better off with these types of exercises.

With that being said, though, sparring is a great way to combine general exercise and martial arts training while building muscle in the process!

If you want to work on your muscles but don’t want to work out too hard, then sparring is a great middle-ground that works on muscle growth as you train.

What Muscles Does Sparring Work Out?

As mentioned before, sparring works out a variety of muscles depending on which type of sparring you’re using.

These can range from the biceps and triceps to the calves and chest, all of which are important for use in sparring and martial arts in general.

Most forms of sparring revolve around strikes with the fists (eg. punches, hooks, and uppercuts), and many others also include various kicks, grapples, and throws.

Punches are great for building up muscles in the arms and shoulders, as are elbow strikes; similarly, kicks and knee strikes help the growth of muscles in the thighs and calves.

Throws and grapples (found in martial arts like Judo, BJJ, and Muay Thai) offer a full-body workout that builds muscles in the arms, legs, chest, shoulders, and core.

Because sparring can be so versatile, it lets you focus more on the muscles that you want to work on.

Does Sparring Work For Muscle Growth?

For instance, you can use more punches to improve muscle growth in the shoulders and biceps, or focus on footwork and kicks when you want to strengthen your calves and thighs.

Of course, this still doesn’t work for muscle growth as much as specific muscle-building exercises, but it still helps to develop your muscles while still helping you practice your martial arts skills.

Not all martial arts offer the same benefits, however, and sparring in some martial arts is far more effective at helping muscle growth than others. 

For example, sparring in boxing doesn’t offer much in terms of muscle growth apart from strengthening the muscles in your biceps and shoulders.

Meanwhile, more full-body martial arts such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Taekwondo provide a much more thorough workout through sparring.

This means that some types of sparring are better than others when it comes to muscle growth. 

How To Get The Most Out Of Sparring?

So now that we’ve established that sparring can be a great way to help with muscle growth, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your sparring sessions.

Here, we’ll take a look at the best ways to use sparring to improve your muscle growth.

1) Focus On The Parts Of The Body You Want To Train

While sparring can be a great way to build muscles around your whole body, you’ll see the most improvement if you focus more on the parts of the body where you want to improve muscle growth.

As mentioned earlier, a great way to do this is to use techniques that work specific muscles; for instance, using kicks to improve your legs or grapples to strengthen your shoulders and chest.

This is part of the reason why some types of sparring are better than others – a wider range of techniques lets you train more parts of the body.

2) Keep Moving

This is an important part of sparring anyway, but staying on the move helps to keep your heart rate up and boost muscle growth.

It also helps as a form of cardio, which improves your general fitness and puts your body into Training Mode.

3) Find The Right Sparring Partner

Sparring with the right person can make a world of difference, and will make it much easier to work on the muscles you want to build up.

Try and spar with someone you like and are comfortable sparring with, and you’ll be able to see much better results with your muscle growth.

Final Thoughts

Sparring is great for many reasons, and its benefits on muscle growth are just another plus.

So whether you want to work on the muscles in your arms, legs, chest, or even just your whole body, sparring is a great way to combine muscle-building with general exercise! What more could you ask for?

Christopher Anderson
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