Exercises For MMA Conditioning

Have you ever wondered what MMA fighters do to condition themselves for a big fight? There’s no real secret about it. Most of the movements are the same as what others do in the gym with some being modified to fit the specific purpose. The goal is to make the individual fit to go the distance if it ever comes down to it while increasing strength to dominate in the octagon. Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay-Thai, and kickboxing fighters do similar workouts. Due to the nature of mixed martial arts, the training borrows from each of these disciplines to create a solid all-around fighter. Below are some of the exercises:

Kettlebell Swings

The kettlebell is placed in front, supported by two hands on the top part of the handle. Bend the knees a little bit and lower the kettlebell slightly while swinging it to the back. This should generate momentum such that it eventually swings to the front. Thrust forward with the hips and keep the arms straight throughout. The weight can be varied to increase the challenge, as can the speed of the swings. This is a full-body workout that uses the arms, legs, back, and core muscles. Check your form throughout the exercise to make sure that you are doing it correctly.


This is a favorite workout among lots of fitness professionals because it’s explosive and definitely challenging. If you don’t have lots of time to exercise, then this can be used to keep yourself fit within just a few minutes. It is actually two exercises in one. The first part requires you to be horizontal to the ground and perform a full push-up. Then you will have to stand up and jump as high as you can. Drop back down and repeat the movements. The addition of the jump makes this a great plyometric exercise that strengthens the legs while getting the heart rate high up.


Performing lunges will give you stronger legs and glutes. This has many variations but the most common one is pretty straightforward. Stand up straight with your arms to your waist. Lunge forward with one foot while the other stays in place. Lower yourself down until the thigh is almost parallel to the ground while the knee on the other leg is almost touching the ground. Hold for a second and push through your legs until you can stand back up. Switch legs and move forward with the other one. You could also do walking lunges which require you to keep moving forward when switching sides in a continuous motion.

Mountain Climbers

In this exercise, you should go horizontal as if you were going to do a push-up. Instead of dropping down, however, you should maintain your extended hands while your legs move inward one at a time. It will be as if you were climbing a mountain in the horizontal position using your legs to push. This is a good core workout. The lower abs and hip flexors will be especially targeted. For variation, you can twist your body as your knee tucks in such that it goes the opposite direction. Do the same for the other leg.

Dumbbell Rows

This is a pretty simple exercise that works on the arms and the upper back. Imagine the motion of a rower on a boat — the rhythmic motion of his hands as he takes the paddle into the waters. There are no bodies of water in the gym to offer resistance but gravity is everywhere. Take advantage of this by picking up a dumbbell with one arm and letting it fall to your side. Find a cushioned bench and put one knee on it while using the free hand as an anchor for balance. Your back should be arched such that your chest is almost parallel to the ground. Lift the dumbbell to your side, hold, and drop it back down.

Bicycle Kicks

Lay on your back on a cushioned surface. A yoga mat will be good but you may need more padding if it is not that thick. This is to protect your back and make you more comfortable. Put your hands on either side of your head. Lift it up from the ground. Raise your legs at about a 45-degree angle with knees bent. Mimic the motion of riding a bike. As you pedal, one leg will be extended while the other is bent. The switch should happen seamlessly. You can also make your knees touch the opposite elbow per repetition.

Ball Roll-Ups

You will need an exercise ball for this. Most gyms have them. You can also get one cheap online or in fitness stores. Down drop as if you were going to do a push-up. Place your feet at the top of the ball. Pull the ball forward with your feet while you bend your knees inward at the same time. It should roll smoothly and your body should stay straight from head to lower back.

After conditioning, work on your striking and grappling moves. Get your training equipment at grapplingdummies2018.com.