In college, I had the honor of participating in a wrestling training seminar led by a coach of an elite wrestling program in the States. During the lesson, he (the coach) mentioned that he didn't allow his team to sit during training except in a "seiza" (Japanese word) way (meaning sitting with the lower half of the leg beneath the thigh).

Now I've become a coach myself (in striking/mma), and I'm wondering whether or not I should tell my squad to avoid sitting except in the seiza way (unless they're injured). I naturally understand the desire for the squad members to want to sit between rounds on their butt.


I don't want to impose something that brings no or little benefit to my squad. So my question:

Generally put, is there any scientific justification/benefit (explicit or likely) to instructing the athlete to not sit/sit on their butt during intensive combat sports training (as opposed to just weight lifting)?

If yes, what? (if possible, w/ links to articles, etc)

For example, let's take a session of 10 rounds of intense kickboxing sparring where 1 round is 3-5 min. If a fighter does 3 rd, and rests out 1 rd (the 4th rd), to then join back on the 5th round:

Is there any strong enough/plausible scientific reason/merit to have him/her not sit/sit on his butt during that 4th round, and instead remaining standing, or sit in a seiza way? (You can vary the example if the answer depends on the duration of rest, intensity/type of exercise, etc.)

(This seems partly related to topics covered in discussion/explanation on cool downs.)

Relevant threads:



Relevant articles:

1 Answer 1


It is little bit complicated but let me explain it from heart rate, blood pressure and energy expenditure point of view.

During sitting body consume less energy and HR and blood pressure will be lower. For your situation, the athletes will rest approximately 3-5 minutes (4th) which is good time period to save some energy and lower heart rate and blood pressure. Meantime, energy stores will be replenish and some amount of Lactate will be removed. You may need to choose between energy saving and replenishment of store and LA removal. To me, I recommend you to make the athletes sit. ref 1 ref 2

  • In terms of energy cost, what seems most costly is repeated transition btw sitting-standing. In any case, the caloric impact seems minimal, especially within a span of 3-10 min. / Lactic acid removal rate seems more significant of a factor to consider. According to the 40 yrs old article, the "most effective removal rates occurred at 29.7 and 45.4% VO2 max and during the free recovery conditions, while recoveries at rest and at 61.8 and 80.8% VO2 max were significantly less effective... optimal... removal rate... expected... at 32% VO2 max." Should they not keep moving modestly during break?
    – didi
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 23:32
  • 1
    In pg 107 of Plowman, Smith "Exercise physiology for health, fitness, and performance", I found the figure "Lactate removal in active vs passive recovery" from the Bonen & Belcastro 1976 article. Active rest, esp. continuous jogging, is more effective at removing lac. acid than passive resting after more than 5 min. Thus, 10 min jogging at 30-40 VO2 max would perhaps be better than 10 min sit rest. But for 5 min, sit or stand or jog, no likely difference. Hm.
    – didi
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 1:21

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