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Full-body Workouts for Mixed Martial Arts Rookies

MMA athletes are one of the strongest athletes around the world. Each fighter must be well-rounded and skillful enough to win their fight or even make it through the first or second rounds.

The four cornerstones of every fighter’s training regimen include flexibility, strength, speed, and endurance. These four generate the athleticism that determines domination or downfall. Each fighter should be well-rounded and must possess muscles, agility, and explosiveness.

If there’ll be a time you’ll be thinking of stepping into the ring, you should know that you need to suffer and train for it. Here are MMA full-body workouts that you can add to your fitness regimen.

1. Calisthenics

Combat calisthenics is one of the best ways to improve physical advantages in various combat situations, which typically happens during boxing and MMA contests. Whether you are fighting or not, bear in mind that the principles of combat calisthenics as well as bodyweight training help to reach the best physical condition a person could dream of.

Bodyweight exercises improve one’s flexibility, as well as increases overall body strength and control. It mainly focuses on stabilization and body control, such as core control. The bear crawl is one of the bodyweight exercises you can include in your calisthenics training.

To do this, start in a crawling position, while eyes forward. Do bear walk starting with your right hand, followed by your left foot, left hand, and right foot. Depending on the space, take four steps or more.

It’s cardio, stabilizing, and strengthening workout that involves almost all of your muscle groups, such as your upper body, lower body, and core. You can say that one’s overall fitness will increase once you utilize all of these exercises and integrate them your routine efficiently.

Hence, calisthenics incredibly valuable for MMA fighters and grapplers alike. Here are five calisthenic exercises for MMA fighters that you can easily do at home:
1. Sprawl Knees – 45 seconds
2. Rolling Uppercuts – 45 seconds
3. Stationary Bear Crawls – 45 seconds
4. Triple Jump Knee/Kick – 45 seconds
5. Plank Elbows – 60 seconds (Core Finisher)

Did you notice the stated time? For a real explosive strength, it’s best to put all the abovementioned workouts together with time. Do the exercises following the allotted time with minimal rest in between exercises. For instance, take a rest for a minute or two before doing the next set.

2. Strength Circuits

Many believe the notion that when you increase mass, you decrease your flexibility. Hence, many fighters, especially beginners, don’t lift weights. They fear that it would inhibit their fighting skills.

However, it’s a myth. One’s mobility would be negatively affected if only he or she spends all of his or her time doing heavy overhead presses, squats, and deadlifts. Hence, there should be a balance in your workout plan. You must keep up with your speed, mobility, flexibility training. Make sure that strength and cardio training should go hand-in-hand, as well.

It’s best to combine high and low repetitions with strength training. Alongside with the specific body parts and skills where it benefits the most, here are ten of the best strength exercises for boxers and MMA fighters:

1. Ax Chops – Core
2. Battle Ropes – Shoulders, Forearms, Core
3. Kettlebell Swings – Back, Core, Hips, Legs
4. Landmine Punches – Shoulders, Triceps
5. Medicine Ball Slams – Arms, Core
6. Pistol Squats – Core, Hips, Legs
7. Snatches – Forearms, Back, Hips, Legs
8. Single-Leg Deadlifts – Balance, Legs
9. Single-Leg Lunges – Legs
10. Weighted Shadow Boxing – Agility, Footwork, Shoulders, Forearms

3. Cardio Circuits

MMA cardio training typically consists of high volume and high-intensity movements. As stated earlier, cardio is as important as strength training. You can combine different cardio exercises with strength routines to maximize your improvements. Further, current studies show some top creatine powders may improve high-intensity exercise performance. You may consult professionals about this.

Here is a sample cardio circuit training that lasts as long as an MMA match—five rounds from Men’s Journal, in which you can experience almost every kind of workout that fighters use to do as preparations for a match.

1. Round 1
– Jump rope (3 mins)

2. Round 2
– Shadowbox (2 mins)
– Bodyweight Squat (20 reps)
– Pushup (20 reps)
– Plank (2 mins)

3. Round 3 (total time: 5 mins)
– 50 jabs
– 50 crosses
– 50 jabs and crosses
– 25 jabs, crosses, and hooks
– Jump rope (for the remaining mins)

4. Round 4 (total time: 5 mins)
– Alternating knee strikes (60 secs)
– Alternating kicks (60 secs)
– 50 jabs and kicks
– 50 crosses and kicks
– Jump rope (for the remaining mins)

5. Round 5 (total time: 5 mins)
– 10 Forward rolls
– 10 Backward rolls
– 100 Sit-ups Ground and pound (place a heavy bag on the floor; mount, and strike it)
– 15 Pushups
– Jump rope (for the remaining mins)

4. Grappling

Round 5 of the sample cardio training above is an example of a set of grappling drills. Grappling is one of the essential skills you need to do inside the ring. For beginners, you can start with a heavy bag, with or without gloves.

Don’t confine yourself to boxing only. Mix in some kicks to intensify your sessions. You’ll be surprised by how many calories you can burn when wrestling or grappling. In addition, studies show that this can also relieve stress. It turns out that punching together with kicking relieve muscle tensions collected when experiencing stress.

The following is a list of beginner boxing combinations from The MMA guru. Make sure that your place is spacious enough for the following movements:

● Jab-Cross: 1-2
● Jab-Jab-Cross: 1-1-2
● Jab-Cross-Lead hook: 1-2-3
● Jab-Cross-Lead Hook-Cross: 1-2-3-2
● Jab-Cross-Lead Uppercut-Cross: 1-2-5-2
● Jab-Rear Uppercut-Lead hook-Cross: 1-6-3-2
● Cross-Lead Hook-Cross: 2-3-2

To add, here’s a list for beginner’s kickboxing combinations:
● Jab-Cross-Lead Head kick
● Cross-Lead Hook-Rear Leg kick
● Jab-Cross-Lead Hook to the Body- Rear Head Kick
● Cross-Lead Knee (switch or step)-Lead Hook-Cross

Don’t settle for less and go higher! Learn the four kinds of grappling used in MMA, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Judo, and Sambo. Be sure to learn them under the guidance of a certified professional.

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