Explosive power is a staple of the elite MMA athlete. All of the top fighters have incredible explosive power and endurance. This gives the fighter a definitive edge over his competition because conditioning is a generally neglected or poorly executed part of the training camp.
In order to have fantastic conditioning, you’ll need to work on explosive lifts. These will increase your core strength and train your muscles to work in conjunction with each other for maximum results. For wrestling and boxing, you’ll want explosive power in your legs and hips. The hips are also important for ground grappling, but you’ll also want to focus heavily on your shoulders. This will allow you to control your opponent’s limbs more effectively.
In order to train these muscle groups, you’ll need to know what exercises to do. Here’s a list and some explanation of what each lift is and how it will benefit you. If you have trouble visualizing any of the lifts, then Google them for an example or ask someone at your gym to assist you.
Power straight: Take the bar with a pronated grip and allow yourself to hang. Then execute a pull up, where at the apex you pull your knees up and lean over the bar. Your elbows should now be over the bar, so you can straighten your knees and extend your arms so to push yourself up. This should all be done in one fluid motion. This lift will force you to explode twice, making it incredibly difficult. This motion will work your entire body, although the focus is on the shoulders, lats, and hips.
Hanging clean: Take the bar with an overhand grip, knees slightly bent, and lean over the bar with your lower back arched. At the beginning of the lift, explode off your feet into a jump and execute a shrug while pulling the barbell up. Rotates your elbows out while keeping your center of gravity under the bar. As you stop the bar at your shoulders, fall into a squat and then explode up. Again, this should be one fluid motion. This will work your shoulders, glutes, thighs, and abdominals. This is a very tiring exercise and will build great endurance.
High pull: Lean over the bar in a squat position, arms pointed down with an overhand grip on the bar. Then explode up with your hips and knees, pulling the bar up as you do. As the bar ascends, continue exploding into a jump and then pull your elbows out to the sides like an upright row so to bring the bar to your collar. This lift, like the others, is extremely tiring and will build great endurance. It will put great stress on your glutes and hamstrings, thighs, shoulders, and traps.
In order to get the most out of your MMA conditioning workout, you’ll need to master these lifts and many others. The two-phase exercises where you have to explode twice will put the most stress on your body and will best prepare you for long, hard fights.