NFL teams have been known to employ ballet, Pilates and yoga in offseason workouts, so why not mixed martial arts?
Craig Fitzgerald, the Houston Texans’ first-year strength and conditioning coach, came up with the idea and the Houston Chronicle found receptive players.
“[Thursday] is the first day we did that. It’s awesome, man,” Duane Brown, who was paired with guard Brandon Brooks, told the Chronicle. “Because the O-lineman, all we do is we strike people. You’re all about condition, but you like to hit people at the same time. So with the MMA training, you get to do a little bit of both. You get tired but you’re also working the muscles . . . I like it.”
But they’re only taking it so far.
“It’s not like we’re sparring with each other. It’s just like a heavy bag,” Brown said. “And we’ll sit there and we’ll punch for like, a minute straight. It doesn’t sound like a long time. But when you’re just punching continuously for a minute, it’s very tiring. It’s not some stuff where we would actually harm each other, but it’s just good conditioning.”