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3 Approachable MMA Conditioning Moves for Your Workout

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It doesn’t take a sports buff to acknowledge how MMA fighters are pound-for-pound the best conditioned athletes in the world. Their fitness regimen is unparalleled thanks to an intense workout that not only ensures you’ll see the best battle inside the octagon, but also give any dedicated person their ideal body.

Thankfully, you’ll never have to step inside of an octagon and suffer from the pain of tapping out to an armbar to get the body you want. In other words, you don’t have to become a fighter to train like one. MMA training requires your entire body to be in top physical condition, and even the most basic moves don’t require gym equipment so you can start incorporating these new moves into your workout.

Here are three simple moves that you can do right now that are straight from the world of MMA and will deliver an impact workout.

1. Throwing Strikes

It sounds easy, but in reality doing a circuit of punches kicks and knee strikes is an outstanding whole body workout. Here’s What to do:

  • Jab: Your typical straight-forward punch. Be sure to cock your arm back and follow through all the way in extension for this punch and every punch.
  • Hook: Exactly as it sounds, a hook is where you hook your arm fully to either the right or left to deliver the punch.
  • Cross: Imagine as if you’re punching one side of an imaginary “X”.
  • Roundhouse Kick: Keep your stance at shoulder length. Deliver your roundhouse kick by swinging your back leg forward in a circular motion.
  • Side kick: like a jab, but with your legs
  • Knee strikes: deliver your knee as high up to your chest as possibly. Imagine an opponent being hit by your knee to feel less silly.

Instead of reps, focus on delivering as many strikes as possible for a maximum of 25 seconds for punches, kicks and knees. Remember you’re training like a fighter, so put your hips into every punch, tighten your core on every kick, and deliver each knee as high as you can to get your entire body into the routine. This circuit alone will cause you to break a sweat.

Keep in mind, a fighter will never put their hands down between punches (just ask UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, who’s an Olympic gold medalist), so your arms will constantly be up in the guarded position (yes, even when you’re delivering kicks). Keeping your arms up while striking is much more difficult than it sounds and it will -- at the very least -- show you why MMA fighters are in peak physical condition. If you want to truly deliver on impact, strike against a punching bag.

2. Inverted Burpee

A fighter doesn’t want to be caught on their back, especially with their opponent mounted on top. That’s why many MMA fighters train to get off their back and back on their feet as quickly as possible.

One way to train this technique is to incorporate the inverted burpee. It’s just like the cardio classic and full body exercise, a traditional burpee, but instead you start on your back with your knees close to your chest. Use your body’s momentum to swing smoothly and quickly into a squat. From the squat, pop up to a standing position and reach your hands up and over your head. It’s a full body cardio move that strengthens your entire body.  

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Create a rep that will give you a challenge, like try to complete as many as possible within 60 seconds. For an advance movement, keep a dumbbell locked between your fingers during each burpee. Now MMA fighters don’t have the advantage to pop immediately back to their feet because of a ready-to-pounce, but you’re not going to have to worry about that.

3. Jump Rope

It’s almost a stereotype to see a fighter jumping rope in movies, but there’s a reason why it’s so prevalent in a fighter's’ workout routine: jumping rope guarantees an improvement in timing and footwork, and both are absolutely crucial to fighters. 

To non-fighters, jumping rope is something you’ve probably haven’t done since childhood, so it’s incredibly difficult to find a rhythm, and maintain that rhythm. But practice makes perfect. Once you find a rhythm you’re comfortable with, attempt a full 60 seconds of jumping rope (even if you get a little caught up with the rope). The cardio workout will utilize your entire body and it will even help you build up some speed.

If you want to start training like a fighter for a full body workout, without worrying about a roundhouse kick to the face, request a Free Pass for UFC Gym today to get started on a new workout routine that will help you craft the body you want to have.

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