When you’re in the fight game, being able to explode and generate power can
be the difference between a raised hand and the lights fading to black for a few minutes. Fighters need to be able endure
exhaustion and pain. They also need to be able to explode into a movement at the drop of a hat. To be able to do this
it takes a certain level of strength. Explosive strength however is a bit different than simply being able to push or pull
a lot of weight. Explosive strength requires you be able to move a lot of weight or an object in an incredibly quick fashion.
Today we are going to talk about explosive training exercises a person can incorporate into their MMA training.
you have ever taken a basic science class then you have heard of Sir Isaac
Newton’s second theory of motion. His theory says Force equals mass times acceleration.
Simply put the faster an object moves the more force it will deliver. To put
this in fighting terms the faster and more powerfully a fighter delivers a
blow, the more damage it does. If you
take this theory and apply it to athletic or sport specific training it makes
perfect sense. Since fighting requires movements like striking, hitting, and
sudden changes of direction, training in an explosive manner would be the most
directly related way of doing things.
Not Just Lifting Weights
who knows me or has worked with me knows I am a big advocate of using weights
in training. They also know however I am a bigger advocate of using what works
the best over using any one type of training or equipment. The first thing to
understand is explosive training is very different than weightlifting or
training like a bodybuilder. Explosive training is more about movement training
than overall muscle hypertrophy. Explosive training requires the entire body to
move quickly at once. Moves that isolate certain muscles or lifting at a slower
pace tends to have less of a place in MMA training. When your training
explosively, even though you may lift some weights or perform some weight
lifting exercises, it is all about the manner that the exercises are performed
to do…what to do???
of the best ways to effectively use explosive training in MMA is to perform movements that naturally occur
in the sport. Running, jumping, hitting, striking, pushing, pulling and lifting
are all things that naturally occur in a fighter’s practices and fights. A
fighter’s MMA explosive training should have training movements that most
effectively can mimic or move in a similar fashion to those movements. MMA
explosive training should also implement some sort of strength work. Not only
does a fighter have to be explosive in the ring but having a measure of
strength while doing it won’t hurt either. This is where adding explosive
weighted movements can be a big help. Lifting barbells, dumbbells, or objects
in an explosive manner not only builds explosiveness but also a degree of
of my all time favorite lifts to use is
the combo lift of the Clean Squat and Press. Exercises like Power Cleans, Deadlifts,
Dumbbell Snatches, and Kettlebell Swings are all great choices that could be
Few Exercises To Try
what should a fighter try incorporating into their workouts for exercises? Here
are a few of what I think are good and effective choices.
far as explosive training goes Power Cleans give you a lot of bang for your
buck. Power Cleans do a great job at building overall strength and
explosiveness rather quickly. What makes the Power Clean so good is you have to
pull explosively, jump, and lift explosively all in one movement. Power Cleans being
a full body movement, you are using a lot of muscles at once. The Power Clean
teaches the whole body to move quickly and all at once.
to be explosive? Run fast and run often. While the distance run is great
for endurance, sprinting is the way to go for explosiveness. Sprinting is not
for just the legs but sprinting works the whole body. If moving the body
quickly all at once is the goal add sprinting into your training. Sprinting is
also great for overall conditioning. Sprint interval training is one of the
fastest (no pun intended) ways to burn up excess body fat. Think about someone
you know who is really fast. I guarantee they are probably not sporting a spare
tire around their midsection.
the words of the House of Pain song-Jump Around!!!! I mean jump over stuff.
Jump on stuff. Jump with stuff in your hands.
Just plain jump! Why am I so gung ho about jumping? Well for one jumping
is one of the most explosive moves you can do. Secondly jumping is all about
the hips and hip flexors. In MMA hip
flexor and hip mobility is ultra important. The hip flexors also have a direct
relation to a person’s speed, so the better a person becomes at jumping, the
speed they also will develop. Use a variety of different jumps in your training
alternating jumping styles and types every few workouts.
sure everyone at one time or another has seen some type of landmine exercise,
weather they realize it or not. What a
landmine exercise is when you place one end of a barbell in a corner and place
some sort of weight on the opposite end. From there you sort of have a giant
lever that can be used for pulling, pushing, twisting, squatting, and many
movements. With this giant lever any variation you do can become an explosive
full body exercise. One of my favorites to use with MMA athletes is a one arm
squat and speed arm thrust. This movement helps athletes with changing levels
and jabbing or pushing opponents off.
Explosive Barbell Glute Bridges
matter what your fitness goals are, Barbell glute bridging is a fantastic exercise
to regularly have in a routine. Hands down no other exercise does a better job
at strengthening the glutes and hips. Bigger stronger glutes means stronger
hips, hamstrings and back to boot. Now while a MMA fighter may not be worried
about stronger firmer glutes, they will be worried about stronger more
explosive hips for punching, kicking and fighting for position. To truly be
beneficial to an MMA fighter’s training they should do glute bridging in a fast
you’re a fighter, developing your explosiveness could be a very overlooked part
of your game. Developing explosiveness will not only improve your strength and
speed, but also your agility and overall athleticism. By incorporating some
explosive moves and exercises in your training program you’ll be more of a
force, come fight time.