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Strength Training Exercises for MMA Fighters

Strength Training Exercises for MMA Fighters

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is an extreme full-contact combat sport that ranks among the deadliest martial arts in the world. Moreover, it unites fighters of various cultural and racial backgrounds on one platform.

MMA competitors in the professional ranks are among the toughest athletes in the world. And to reach that pinnacle, you need a powerful body in addition to tremendous strength and speed to beat them in the cage. So, anyone who wants to compete as a mixed martial artist (MMA) inside the cage must prepare for it.

Training in mixed martial arts (MMA) can help you get stronger and slimmer, even if you have no intention of competing professionally. Let’s check out some of the top strength training routines for MMA competitors. With the guidance provided in this article, suitable MMA training equipment and a quality trainer at your disposal, anyone can build a powerful body like an MMA fighter.

How Can Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Benefit Most from Training?

No serious fighter ever trains to improve their physical appearance just for the sake of looks. Although intense training ensures that they rapidly attain a chiseled physique, the ultimate objective is to achieve peak physical condition. They hope to increase their quickness, agility, balance, power, and muscle mass. Consequently, they engage in physical activities that aid in accomplishing these aims.

Mixed martial artists (MMA) engage in a wide range of physical preparations, including metabolic conditioning workouts, weight training, resistance training, aerobic endurance training, and cardiovascular conditioning.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best strength-training exercises available. First, though, let’s find out how to maximize the benefits of your workouts.

Tips for MMA Fighters’ Exercise

  • Make yourself capable of controlling your desires, emotions, as well as reactions for a clear mind and focus.
  • Plan a diet chart and an exercise schedule before beginning any workout routine. Make sure to stick to it.
  • Try to enroll yourself in a good martial art training center or gym
  • Learn to respect your instructor, opponent, peers, and the sport itself.
  • Increase your endurance. You and your opponent start with equal energy. How well you maintain energy during each round determines your victory.
  • Develop Explosive Muscle. It lets you change directions quickly and circle your opponent to find a superior attacking side. It also increases your punch power. Adding plyometrics to your training increases explosiveness. The best plyometric exercises are Box jumps, Clapping pushups, Jumping squats, and Single-arm side throws. 
  • Diet and recovery are just as vital as exercise. Unfortunately, many fighters don’t focus on recovery, which causes the waste of all the training years and ability. After every MMA workout, your body requires time to heal injured muscle fibers and retain joint mobility.
  • MMA fighters must exercise their mind and body. Sports meditation helps warriors calm their minds and body to perform better.

Exercise Plan for MMA Fighters

Once you know the disciplines and tips for effective training, it is time to gather your MMA training equipment and get on the floor to do the job. Here is a plan including a set of exercise routines that can help you achieve the strength and agility of an MMA fighter.

Day 1: Strength training

With the help of this phase of training, you can fortify your muscles, tendons, and ligaments to increase your physical fortitude. You may strengthen your entire body by doing the following exercises.

  • Bench press

Sets: 4

Reps: RM  12-10-8-6 (increase weight in each set)

  • Stretch out on the bench.
  • Make sure your hands are somewhat farther apart on the barbell rod than your shoulders.
  • Arch your back a bit.
  • Bring the bar up and press up with your arms.
  • Bring it down to your nipple area.
  • Bring back the bar up to the starting position.
  • Repeat
  • Weighted Squats

Sets: 3

Reps: RM 10-8-6 (Increase weight in each set)

  • Take a stance that’s a bit wider than your hips.
  • The barbell should be held behind the head.
  • Lower your body, bending your knees and sticking out your butt.
  • Your hips have to be parallel to the floor as you get low.
  • Now, drive up using the power through your legs.
  • Deadlifts

Sets: 3

Reps: RM 8-6-4 (Increase weight on each set)

  • Take a stance in front of the barbell rod slightly broader than your hips.
  • Grab the rod by bending your knees.
  • The rod should be held with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Stand up and thrust out your butt.
  • Extend your legs to lift the barbell, and your spine will assume its normal curved position.
  • Once you are standing tall, roll back your shoulders and stand straight
  • Pullups

Sets: 4

Reps: RM  12-10-8-6 (increase weight in each set)

  • Jump to grip the bar. Your hands should be shoulders apart, palms facing away.
  • Pull yourself, using your core and upper back, until your chin crosses the bar.
  • Lower yourself gradually.

Day 2: Plyometric training

Plyometric helps you gain speed and reflexes, making them more useful in many situations. Following are some polymetric exercises:

  • Sprinting

Set: 10

Time: 30 to 45 seconds for each set

  • Run the entire distance at full speed and effort.
  • Return to the starting line and then resume your sprint.
  • Box Jumping

Set: 10

Time: 30 to 45 seconds for each set


  • Place a plyometric box before you and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Make a quarter squat, bending your legs.
  • Leap off the ground to land softly on the Box 
  • Don’t jump when you get down from the Box.
  • Repeat.

  • Plyo Clapping Pushup


Set: 7 to 8

Reps: 10 RM per set


  • Get into a starting pushup position.
  • Lower down your body to touch the ground with your chest. 
  • Now, push yourself up with maximum force.
  • Clap while pushing up.
  • Return to the starting position slowly.

  • Burpees


Set: 7 to 8

Reps: 10 RM per set


  • Keep your feet about shoulder’s distance apart as you stand.
  • Get down in a squat position, placing your hands on the floor.
  • Get into a pushup position by extending your legs behind you.
  • Bring your chest close to the floor.
  • Get back up to your feet and stand.


Day 3: Core Strengthening


Mixed martial arts competitors benefit greatly from a solid core. Your abdominal organs are well taken care of by the core muscles, which also serve to stabilize your neck, spine, shoulders, and pelvis. A strong core also provides the speed, power, and endurance required during a fight because it acts as a gateway for the power generated by your body. The following are some of the most effective exercises for building a strong core:

  • Hanging knee raises
  • Plank
  • Russian twists
  • Bicycle crunches
  • L-sit
  • Side plank
  • Wall plank
  • Flutter kicks

Day 4: Active Rest

When you require a break from your regular workout routine but still want to get some exercise in, try some active rest, also called active recovery. Too much effort can lead to an injury, hindering your performance and growth. In order to prevent this, active rest is essential.

When you’re on active rest, you can do some light exercises like:


  • Light jogging
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Stretching exercises
  • Leisurely walking

Day 5: Heavy Bag Training

In mixed martial arts, a heavy bag serves as the ideal sparring partner. Working out with a heavy bag is the best way to gain strength, learn new moves, and perfect your punches and footwork for a fight.

A heavy bag workout is best to hone your mixed martial arts fighting skills. If you want to improve striking skills, a punching bag is a great way to train, not just for boxing, as most people think.

  • Best Punching Combinations
  • Jab- Right cross (1-2)
  • Jab- Jab- Cross (1-1-2)
  • Jab- Cross- Left hook (1-2-3)
  • Jab- Cross- Left uppercut- Cross (1-2-5-2)

  • Kickboxing Drills


3 repetitive rounds for each


  • Jab- Right cross- Left kick
  • kick left, right cross, kick right, and kick left
  • Left kick, left hook, and a right cross
  • Roundhouse Kicks Drill


50 reps

  • Throw roundhouse kicks in the heavy bag’s upper, middle, and lower areas.
  • Repeat with the other leg.


Day 6: MMA Shadowboxing

MMA competitors must constantly challenge themselves to learn new martial arts skills while honing their existing repertoire.

Through shadowboxing, you can imagine yourself in the ring with your opponent and get a feel for what it’s like to actually fight. One of the best ways to practice muscle memory and sharpen reflexes.

It’s a great way to improve your conditioning, balance, and mobility. In addition, the speed and power of your punches and kicks can both be improved through shadowboxing.



Training like an MMA fighter is definitely not a piece of the cake. However, the results make the efforts and time worthwhile. Meditate, exercise, and recover for best results. Although you can train at home with Star Pro Combat MMA training equipment, it is better to train with a good MMA trainer. Remember that a wrong move in these exercises can cause muscular discomfort and even injury. So, conducting these exercises under professional supervision is safer and more effective.
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