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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio

What physical attributes do MMA fighters need? MMA fighters need a variety of different physical attributes in order to be successful. Anaerobic threshold: Your anaerobic threshold is simply your body’s ability to perform at a high intensity before the onset of lactic acid. The higher your anaerobic threshold, the longer you can fight at a high intensity. Aerobic ability: Is the ability to recover and supply working muscles with oxygen between rounds or during the fight. Having an increased aerobic ability helps remove lactic acid from your fighting muscles. Upper body Speed: Upper body speed is essential in not only throwing punches, but blocking your opponents’ attacks. Lower body Speed: Lower body speed is crucial when it comes to controlling the cage, sprawling and defending leg kicks Agility: Agility is needed to evade attacks well as your ability to get up off the floor. Having great agility is beneficial when you are in a scramble.

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio Co-ordination: Co-ordination is a huge part of fighting. You must be able to know where your body is positioned in order to attack, defend and adjust techniques quickly and effectively. Upper body strength and power: Upper body strength and power is needed to hold your opponent against the cage or on the floor. Upper body strength is also needed to dominate the clinch and escape off the floor. Lower body strength and power: Lower body strength is vital if you want to have powerful takedowns and a good guard game. Having strong legs will work to your advantage in driving through to finish a double leg as well as stopping your opponent from passing your guard. Rotational strength: All throws and punches need rotational strength. Therefore it crucial to train your core in a rotational manner. Stronger rotation equals stronger punches and power force generation. Core strength: Core strength is essential for a number of reasons. These include protecting your spine from injury, transferring strength from lower body to upper body, as well as assisting your balance. Back strength: Back strength is crucial in order to stay upright and fight with great posture. A strong back will stop your opponent pulling your head down in a Thai clinch. Hip power: Hip power is vital when defending your opponents’ double leg takedown. If you can develop strong hips you will have an amazing and effective sprawl.

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio Concentration: Concentration is required by every fighter at every training session, sparring night and fight night. As a training session or fight goes on and you become fatigued, you don’t just physically stop working, but you mentally begin to make bad decisions. The fitter you are, and the more oxygen you have in your body, the better you can concentrate. This results in you making better, quicker decisions in the midst of competition. Mobility Mobility and joint stability is of significant importance to all fighters. Being mobile and flexible will greatly assist you in many areas of your fight game. It will help you evade techniques, as well as assist in injury prevention. Joint stability: By keeping your joints supple you will have stable joints that will help you be more steady and balanced throughout a fight. Joint stability is also important in reducing the risk of injury in training or competition.

Balance: Balance is a fundamental aspect of MMA. If you can maintain your balance it will be a lot harder for your opponent to throw you or take you down, especially against the cage.

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio

2 Hand KB Swing  Grasp the Kettlebell with both hands.  Keep your head looking straight ahead, your back straight and feet flat  Swing the Kettlebell between your legs, be sure to bend your knees and push your bum backwards.  Keep your core muscles tight and breathe in when swinging the Kettlebell between your legs.

 As the Kettlebell swings forward drive drivethrough hard with with your your hips, hips. legs Pull the Kettlebell towards body as and lower back. This your will make ifthe youKettlebell travel upwards a lawn mower.toAs the  are Trystarting to get the Kettlebell Kettlebell to for your shoulder shoulder rises height each open your repetition. hand and punch through straight overhead.  Control the Kettlebell back between your legs and when it swings upwards use your legs, hips and lower back to help in swinging it upwards again.  Repeat for desired number of repetitions.

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio

Battle ropes

Exercise Description: Using a 10-20 metre rope looped around a pole, start making big or small waves. You can perform this exercise sitting down or standing up. Continue for desired time or repetition limit.

Benefits:  MMA specific shoulder and forearm exercise

Tips:  I like doing Tabata intervals (eg 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 8 sets)

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio

Single Front Squat  Hold a kettlebell, medicine ball or weight plate just beneath your chin

 Perform a squat but make sure you keep your head up and back nice and straight  Contract your abdominal muscles throughout the movement

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio

Rotating Press

 Get into a lunge position and hold a kettlebell in the rack position  Rise out of the lunge position and beginning pivoting on the balls of your feet

 When you are at the top of the lunge and facing the other way, complete the technique by pressing the kettlebell above your head  Return to the starting position in the same way you travelled  Repeat for desired number of repetitions 

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio

Burpees 1

2

3

4

Exercise description Squat down to the floor placing your hands in front of your feet, kick your legs back into a pushup position. Quickly return your feet to the squatting position and jump as high as you can.

Benefits:    

Leg power Lower body speed Upper body strength Agility

Tips:  Jump as high as you can.  When landing keep your knees slightly bent to absorb impact.  To make the exercise harder perform a pushup when in the pushup position in the middle of the burpee.

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio

Sprawl into Tuck Jump 1

2

3

4

Exercise description To sprawl kick both legs back at the same time. Simultaneously you must place your hands on the mat, drive your hips forward and keep your chest and head up. Instead of standing up and repeating another sprawl. Perform a tuck jump by jumping and bring your knees to your chest.

Benefits:      

Hip power Lower body speed Core strength Lower body strength and power Co-ordination Agility

Tips:  If you have any knee or ankle injuries replace this exercise.  Keep your knees slightly bent to absorb impact. Page 10


7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio

Rowing Machine 1

2

3

4

Exercise description Sit on the rower and place your feet into the foot straps. Make sure that the strap fits across the knuckles of your toes. Grab onto the handle keeping your hands shoulder width apart. Start rowing by keeping your back straight, bend forward at the waist, extend your arms and slide the seat as close to your heels as possible. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, begin extending your legs. When your legs are nearly fully extended, begin to lean backwards (keeping back straight), and pull the handle to your lower chest. Now do every step in reverse. Whilst letting the handle come away from your chest, start leaning forward at the waist. When the handle has cleared the knees, begin bending the knees, sliding your seat towards your heels, back to the starting position. Your knees should finish in between your arms.

Tips:  Your back must be straight throughout the entire movement.  If you are rowing on a Concept 2 put the fan between 6 - 10 resistance. Page 11


7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio  Don’t grip the handle too tight.

Shadow boxing 1

2

Exercise description Hold a pair of light dumbbells in either hand and begin shadow boxing for desired time limit.

Benefits:  Good for cardio  Upper body endurance  Core stability

Tips:  Don’t go too heavy as this is a rather difficult exercise  Even if you do not know how to box just punch the air and after 20 seconds you will start to feel it  Be careful not to ‘lock out’ your elbows, always keep them slightly bent.

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio

Sumo Deadlift high pull - With a wide stance, grasp the barbell in between your legs with palms facing towards you - Make sure your back stays straight throughout the entire movement - Using your legs, lift the bar off the floor and using your arms begin an explosive lift upwards - Keep your back straight and weight on your heels

- As the bar passes your hips thrust forward to assist the bars movement upwards

- Finish by completing an upright row movement with the bar at shoulder height - With a controlled movement return the bar back to the starting position. - Repeat

Tips:  Make sure you do not compensate by leaning backwards while lifting Page 13


Kettlebell Workouts for MMA  Do not sacrifice technique by attempting to lift a heavier weight

Before you get started: WARNING: The Workouts contained in this manual are very very difficult. To make sure you are physically fit enough to handle the intensity of these workouts.

1- Before you get started on these workouts I recommend purchasing a small whiteboard or notepad that you can write the workout down on. Many of the workouts contained in this manual have varying repetition ranges and you don’t want to have to continually stop and check whether you are completing the correct repetition range etc. 2- Make sure you warm up properly. Follow the warm up routine at the beginning of this manual. Never start an exercise program when you are cold as this can lead to injury. 3- Take note of how you are feeling. If you are feeling dizzy, light headed or faint stop exercising immediately and seek medical attention.

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio Workout1 30 Seconds Battle rope 30 seconds Shadow boxing 30 seconds Burpee Repeat 3 rounds Workout 2 Shadow boxing 1 min Kb swing 1 min Kb squat 30 second Repeat 2 rounds

Workout 3 Sdhp 30 30 squat 30 KB swing record your fastest time

Workout 4 Burpee KB Swing Repeat 20 reps, 15 reps and 10 reps in the fastest possible time Workout 5 45 Seconds Sumo Deadlift High pull 45 Seconds Rowing machine Repeat 4 rounds as fast as possible

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Workout 6 30 Seconds Sprawl into tuck jump 30 Seconds Battle rope 30 Seconds KB Swings Repeat 5 rounds

Workout 7 Rotating Press 20 each hand 20 Front squats 20 Burpees into tuck jump 200 metres Rowing machine Repeat 2-3 rounds

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7 MMA Workouts forfor Never-ending Cardio Kettlebell Workouts MMA

Why Kettlebells? Kettlebells have been around for a long time and they are a fantastic training tool for getting your heart rate through the roof and achieving a high level of fitness, conditioning and overall strength. Here are a few reasons why Kettlebells are great: They take up very little room You can leave two or three kettlebells in the trunk of your car and pull them out whenever you want. If you cannot get to the gym in your lunch break, then you can use your kettlebells to have a fantastic workout wherever you like. Compound movements Kettlebells are such effective pieces of training equipment because they don’t isolate one muscle group (like machine weights) but target various muscle groups at once. When you are fighting you are constantly working your whole body - therefore it is important to train your whole body. Functional Strength Kettlebell develop fantastic functional strength. Functional strength simply means being strong in a way that is useful and effective. For example there is no point being able to bench press 300 pounds if you cannot escape side control. Have you ever fought someone who can barely bench press 60lbs, but when you fight them they are as strong as an ox? That’s functional strength. Put simply – its being strong when it matters most. Targets stabilizer muscles One of the reasons why kettlebells get you so strong is because they strengthen all of your stabilizer muscles as well as the main muscle groups. Page 17


7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio This is due to the fact that the kettlebell is an uneven weight. Therefore you have to work extra hard to push, pull and control it. Heart rate skyrockets As soon as you use kettlebells as part of a workout you soon realise how quickly your heart rate can accelerate. This is because the kettlebell targets the muscles of the whole body, giving you a complete workout that will test your strength endurance. Not to mention the more times a week you get your heart rate near maximum, the fitter you will become. Strengthens your glutes The Kettlebells signature technique “the Swing� targets your glutes, which is an area of the body that is neglected by most athletes and trainers. The Kettlebell Swing strengthens the glutes which will develop a lot more power in the lower body and hips which will assist in having a stronger sprawl and kicking power. Full body movements Each individual exercise targets more than half your body. Whether you are performing a swing, squat pull or overhead press you will always be using more than one muscle group. This is perfect for the MMA fighter because you are constantly using more than one muscle when fighting. Grip strength Due to the thick grip on the kettlebell you will develop strong grip strength whether you like it or not. Gripping the handle for a session will have your forearms screaming as they strengthen. Unilateral training Unilateral training sounds impressive but it is simply training one side at a time opposed to both at the same time. For example, using only 1 arm at a time will force your core to activate and stabilize harder because you are now unbalanced. You can do this with practically every single kettlebell exercise. Increased fat loss

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7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio Whether you are using kettlebells or not, working out a higher intensity will burn more calories during exercise. Great for people who want to lose weight and tone up. Increase strength Within the first 3 weeks of starting kettlebell training you will find that your strength will increase rapidly. This is a normal response to Kettlebell training as you will find you are training muscles you never knew existed. Increased flexibility Many individuals find that when they start a new program they become more flexible. This is due to two things. The first is that performing exercises properly will improve your muscles ability to reach full range of movement. The other reason why flexibility improves is because after every strength session I encourage you to stretch for roughly 10-20 minutes. This is more than most people do in a week. Flexibility is vital for having stronger more powerful kicks, and a difficult guard to pass. Increased metabolism Kettlebell training increases your metabolism due to the intensity at which you are training at not to mention having stronger muscles. Your metabolism is how much energy your body is using while at rest. Your muscles need more energy to function and maintain than fat does. Therefore the more muscle you have, the more energy you are burning while sitting at your desk at work. Increased speed, power and endurance By completing a kettlebell program you can begin to develop speed, power and endurance. MMA is a sport that needs a variety of physical attributes. By completing the workouts in this manual you can build the physique needed to become a better MMA fighter. Bone strength Using kettlebells regularly will assist in not only strengthening your muscles but your bone as wells. The bones in the human body use the shock and exercise you do to grow stronger. When a bone is weakened from various types of Page 19


7 MMA Workouts for Never-ending Cardio exercise it produces small molecules called Osteo-blasts. These Osteo-blasts travel to where the bone is weak and strengthens it. This is good news for athletes in a contact sport because bones such as your ribcage are used to protect vital organs such as your heart and lungs. Injury prevention and joint stability Kettlebells both strength your muscles and assist in an increase in the range of motion of both muscle and joints. Having strong and stable muscles is a great way to avoid injury and be able to fight and train to the best of your ability. Improved co-ordination and balance While completing any exercise regime you will become more ‘in tune’ with your body. You must simultaneously know where you feet are as well as what your hands are doing. Due to the level of co-ordination needed when using kettlebells, you will be using your brain to co-ordinate each and every movement. This will improve your balance as well as get you more familiar with your body. Improved posture People who spend all their time in front of a computer tend to have stronger chest and shoulder muscles and rather weak muscles in the upper back. This muscular imbalance results in having a slightly bent over posture. In order to improve posture we must have a balanced body. Using kettlebells on a regular basis will increase your back, lower back and hip strength, giving you a more balanced body. This will greatly assist in injury prevention as well as give you a functional, upright posture. Feel better After a few weeks of kettlebell training you will feel better. You will not only feel stronger, but you will have more energy than ever before, due to the increased level of fitness, strength and flexibility. Research also tells us that exercise reduces levels of depression and anxiety, so a hard kettlebell workout is great for our mental health too.

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7 MMA Workouts for Never ending cardio  

written by Matt D'Aquino

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