The people who participate in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are some of the most well-trained and physically fit individuals in the world. Many of them are on par with Olympic athletes, pushing themselves to the limits of their willpower and endurance to get better every day.
Those who become the best in MMA organizations are those who train the hardest to become masters of their sport. No detail of training gets overlooked when trying to achieve the well-honed body of an MMA champion.
Workout routines and exercises designed to achieve MMA-level fitness focus on different aspects that are tried and tested. Endurance, raw power, flexibility, striking power, speed and agility are just a few of the important needs of an MMA fighter.
The combination of fitness training and skill training eventually comes together to form an organic machine capable of getting into the ring and standing toe-to-toe with other warriors who have been training just as hard and want to win just as bad. When it finally gets to that point, the fighter with the best training is going to have a distinct advantage.
For those looking to emulate these ferocious combatants, having a solid set of well-tested and respected exercises is the first step. The types of exercises that one uses should reflect the skills that are going to be used in a fight. Here are a few different exercises that many of the greatest MMA fighters integrate into their own routines in order to stay fit or prepare for a match.
Plyometric push-ups involve doing a basic push-up, but thrusting the whole body into the air on the way up. Once back to the ground, return to the down position and do it again as fast as possible. For the ambitious, a clap (or three) can be added while in the air. This exercise works the upper body as well as increasing speed and explosiveness.
This exercise is performed from a stand-up position, bending the knees while rising up onto the toes. Once the thighs are parallel with the floor, return to the standing position and repeat. This intense workout is great for the legs and joint conditioning.
This involves standing, squatting and then jumping up from the squatting position as explosively as possible while reaching towards the ceiling. After landing, lower the body back into the squat position quickly and repeat. Leg strength and explosiveness are two benefits, and jump squats also help with core stabilization, tendon and ligament strengthening, balance and coordination.
Medicine Ball Squats
First, hold a medicine ball out in front of the body with both arms at around shoulder level and the feet placed in a wide stance. Squat down and return to standing, repeating as much as needed. This exercise is good for core training, building strength in both arms and legs, balance and coordination.
Sledge Hammer Training
A favorite of many MMA fighters, all one needs for this exercise is a sledge hammer and a tire. Imitating a wood-chopping motion, one brings the hammer down on the tire. This exercise helps with core conditioning, cardio and gives a total body workout. It even helps with specific areas such as hands, wrists and forearms which improves the grip and is perfect for wrestlers.
Kettlebell Duck Walk
Holding a kettlebell in one arm, bend to the knees. Lift one leg and place it forward, then drag the other leg forward and repeat the process, alternating between legs. This workout uses movements that are nearly identical to those used by wrestlers when taking their opponents down and is perfect for those looking to improve in this area. It builds up a solid ground stance and improves balance overall.
Rope climbing is a simple and cheap way to get a total body workout with minimum equipment. It builds pulling strength and provides some motivation to keep going in the form of not wanting to fall to the ground.
One should never underestimate the usefulness of this old boxing favorite. Jumping rope provides an amazing cardio workout to help develop the high levels of endurance necessary for MMA fighters to stay in the ring for three rounds (or more). It is cheap and easy to do pretty much anywhere.
No matter which exercises one incorporates into their MMA training routine, it is important to have a good balance of routines which focus on all the necessary aspects of a well-rounded body. Good conditioning is the key to having more power, better endurance and suffering fewer injuries.
Keeping up with a routine is essential for those who really wish to compete on a professional level. Even if just wanting to look like an MMA fighter and not actually wishing to fight, these exercises are a good place to start on that journey to physical excellence.