At the moment, mixed martial arts (MMA) is the fastest growing sport in the world – and for good reason. The fights are fast paced and exciting, anything can happen at anytime and the fighters, in my personal opinion, are the most well conditioned athletes in the sporting world.
If an MMA fighter shows up to the fight in less than top condition, the consequences can be pretty severe. They’ll likely end up getting knocked out or submitted via choke or a joint lock. Not to mention the humiliation and ego-blow that accompany defeat.
MMA workouts should be carefully thought out and designed specifically around the demands of the sport. A well designed MMA workout doesn’t consist of lateral raises or glute kickbacks. It’s not about “toning” and it’s not about “getting jacked”. An MMA workout is about increasing speed, power, lactate threshold and training the muscles of the body to function together as a kinetic chain.
The following 3 exercises develop what’s known as “functional strength” as it carries over to MMA performance.
Plyometric Push Ups: This exercise works on hand-speed and explosive power. All you need to perform this exercise is 2 steps from the aerobics room at your gym. For a video and step by step instructions on how to perform this exercise, click here.
Tire Flips: Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a giant tractor tire, but if you do (many training centers have them), this exercise is a must for your MMA workout program. When you analyze the muscle mechanics of a takedown (hit low, drive upwards), you’ll notice that the tire flip exercise closely resembles this movement.
Hammer Hits: This exercise is done using a sledge hammer and the tire used for the tire flip exercise. You’ll see this exercise being performed in about 80% of the MMA training highlights. Reason being; it works. It develops rotary strength within the core.
Speaking of core strength, the development of your core should be a primary focus in all your MMA workout programs. You’re only as strong as your weakest link and your core is the “strength center” so to speak as it’s involved in pretty much every MMA-related movement you.
For a comprehensive listing of core strengthening exercises that you can immediately implement into your MMA workout program, you can check out the “combat core strength” MMA workout resource by clicking here!