MMA Conditioning Workout At Home For Everyone


Photo Credit: stroopsmma via Flickr

Disclaimer: You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. 

The sport of MMA is growing in popularity daily, the anticipation of seeing the world’s greatest fighters collide in the ring makes for an all-around great and exciting watch. Have you ever wanted to feel and look just like them? If so, you are in the right place. 

Fighter or not, the drills that will be included in this article will have you looking and feeling like you should be in the ring. With that being said, have you ever thought about how the MMA fighters get in such good shape? Once you experience the effects of these MMA conditioning drills, you will finally put this question to bed.

In this article, I have put together 10 different MMA conditioning drills that can be done at home and do not require any form of special equipment! I have full faith that with consistency, time and all of your might, this MMA workout program will have you looking and feeling like some of the higher tier fighters in today’s world, let’s do this.

Mountain Climbers

One noticeably important aspect you will notice when looking at an MMA fighter is their low body fat content. Regardless of their reasoning behind this, the exercise I will soon take you through will assist you in achieving this shredded toned physique.

Mountain climbers are an incredibly high-intensity bodyweight workout that will not only improve your cardiovascular health but will massively assist you in losing weight. Anyway, enough said, let’s get into the movement.

How to perform mountain climbers
1. To execute this movement, you should start by getting down into the pushup stance.
2. Once you’re in this stance, you should then arch your back and bring your knees closer to your chest whilst applying more pressure onto your hands.
3. Then begin the movement by bringing each leg back and forth alternating between each leg.
4. Whilst doing this movement, around 70% of your body weight should be placed onto your arms and if you’re doing this movement correctly, it will appear as though you’re running on the spot, with the exception that you are partially in the pushup stance.
5. This movement should be done to full intensity in intervals of 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest in between.

Jump Rope

Also commonly referred to as the skipping rope, the jump rope is another movement that will assist you in melting the fat right off your body.

This exercise is best done in a wide and spacious area as doing this in a small space may result in damage to any surrounding objects and could furthermore result in injury. Without further ado, let’s get into the movement.

Using the jump rope is a very simple movement, although it can take a lot of practice to become skillful with it. Now, while they’re numerous variations you can use, I will be covering the most basic movement as this movement can be completed with the fullest of intensity.

How to effectively execute this movement
1. Start this movement with a normal posture standing upright, each handle of the rope should be held in each hand with the rope behind your back on the floor.
2. Then simply swing the rope of your head from behind by swiftly flicking both of your wrists, this movement will send the rope your way which you must then avoid by jumping over it.
3. As simple as this movement is, it can be quite tricky at first, with practice you will find yourself getting better and better.
4. Complete this workout with the formula of 30 seconds rest, 30 seconds work.

Jumping Lunges

A much more advanced and intense form of the original movement. Jumping lunges make for a great leg routine that will increase your overall muscular power, endurance and strength.

Jumping lunges are also an effective way to lose weight and this factor can be narrowed down to the increased physical intensity that is a direct result of the jumping lunges. Let’s get into how to perform this exercise.

How to perform the Jumping Lunges
1. To fully grasp the movement associated with this exercise, you will need to know how to perform the standard lunge movement.
2. To perform the standard lunge variation, you simply step forward with one leg from a standing upright posture, the leg you step forward with should end up in a 90-degree angle, at this point you should feel a tremendous amount of weight placed onto your quads.
3. After this, you simply stand back up straight and alternate between legs.
4. The jumping variation of this movement is much more advanced, so to effectively master this movement, you must perfect the standard variation first.
5. The jumping lunges movement involves the second part of the standard variation, but instead of standing back up normally and switching legs, you jump whilst switching legs in the air.
6. After one jump your other leg will now be the leg in front of your body whilst the other will be behind.
7. This should be completed until you simply cannot go anymore, this is known as going til failure.

Non-Weighted Squats(Body Squats)

Another classic leg builder, squats are the go-to leg movement for most people. The movement is simple, effective and can be done anywhere and the combination of these aspects makes it one of the greatest leg builder of all time.

This movement can be completed with an additional weight load, however, this article will be primarily focusing on workouts that can be done from home.

How to execute non-weighted squats
** To perfectly execute this exercise you will need to start with your legs a meter apart with your feet facing straight forward.
With your legs remaining completely still, you must lower yourself into a seated like stance.
If you are completing this part of the movement correctly, it will look as though you are sitting down on an invisible chair.
Once in the position, simply stand back up. Repeat this movement over and over for 15 repetitions before taking a 30 seconds break.
To perfectly execute this movement, your back and torso remain perfectly straight throughout the entirety of the movement.
Maintaining the correct posture ensures all your body weight remains focused on your quads, furthermore ensuring the maximum amount of muscle and strength gain. 

Plank

If you’re looking to add more overall muscle tone and core strength to your torso, this movement was created for you. The plank is by far the easiest movement to complete on this list which just makes it that much more appreciated.

With that being said, do not mistake this move being easy for it being ineffective, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyway, let’s discuss how to perform this exercise.

Performing the plank
To perform this workout, you need to simply lower yourself into the pushup stance and remain there.
That’s it, that’s the exercise, easy right? This exercise is known as an isometric contraction, meaning your muscles are being contracted by not shortened, hence there is no movement.
This movement may sound easy but after a certain length of time holding this movement, I can guarantee you will start to struggle.
Form is incredibly important with this movement, by utilizing the incorrect form you may end up incorporating other muscle groups whilst simultaneously leaving out your core.
To perform this exercise correctly, your back must remain completely straight and the same must be applied to your legs.
To maximize your results from this exercise you must complete this workout until failure on each set with 30 seconds rest in between.

Pushups

Pushups are an unbelievably effective muscle building workout, they target the front shoulder area alongside the chest and triceps.

Some of the most successful bodybuilders still utilize this great movement and one of the world’s most popular exercises was invented from this movement – (the bench press).

Like many exercises on this list, there are many variations, so I will be going over the standard press-up movement to avoid over complicating things. Let’s break down the movement.

How to perform press-ups
1. To perform the press up, you will need to simply lie on your front on preferably a solid surface. Then place both your hands flat down on the ground approximately shoulder-width apart and straighten out your arms until full extension.
2. Whilst holding this posture, straighten out your back and pull your legs tightly together with your toes pressing against the floor. Your torso and legs should now be off the ground except for your feet.
3. With your stature remained, you must now lower your body to the floor, this must only be done through flexion of your elbows. Whilst maintaining the tension, you must extend your elbows again bringing your body back up.
4. This movement should be repeated until you physically can’t do it anymore. Rest for 30 seconds.

Pull-ups

Hands down the most effective movement in giving you that wide door frame look, a look that many MMA fighters seemed to have obtained.

Pull-ups are involved in the building up of the forearms muscles and the back muscles. Like push-ups, pull-ups are a very simple movement yet are very effective in building a fantastic looking physique.

How to execute the movement
1. Pull-ups are best done on a bar of any kind, preferably something that can handle your body weight.
2. Begin this workout by standing directly under the bar with your arms out in front slightly wider than shoulder-width.
3. Then raise your arms maintaining the same width apart and grip the bar, cross your legs over each other and begin your pull-up.
4. As you pull yourself up to the bar, it’s important that you maintain a straight back throughout the movement, not doing so could result in less muscular contraction in your back.
5. Pull yourself up until the bar ends up below the neck or parallel to the chin.
6. As you lower yourself down, try to complete this motion slower than you pulled yourself up. The second part of the movement known as the eccentric is where you damage more muscle fibers, which results in more muscle gain.

Crunches

An often looked down on exercise, crunches are primarily utilized to assist with the development of a six-pack. As we all know, almost every MMA fighter has a six-pack, this, in turn, making this exercise a must on this list.

Having stronger abdominals will help with a wide array of different tasks in life and this movement is a great stepping stone to further help you achieve this. Let’s break down the movement.

Crunches are a very basic yet effective MMA conditioning drill that must be performed by anyone looking to develop a stronger and more defined looking stomach.

How to effectively perform crunches
1. To begin this movement, you will need to be lying down on your back.
2. Flex both legs from the knee joint and bring your legs closer to your body until your feet end up flat on the floor.
3. Now you’re ready to go, place your hands by the side of your head and simply sit up all the way.
4. Make sure when sitting up your legs and feet must remain in the same posture, by changing their position, you may unintentionally make the exercise easier.
5. Continue this movement until failure and allow yourself 30 seconds rest in between sets.

Tricep Dips

This exercise, like many on this list, has been around for a long time. The tricep is the muscle located behind your bicep on the back of your upper arm. It is responsible for pushing movements and takes up 2/3 of your arm, which makes working this muscle a must for a fighter who throws a punch.

How to execute the Tricep Dip
For this movement, you will need some form of ledge to be able to work with as this is what you will be using to perform the tricep dips on.
To get started, you will need to present your hands in a neutral position and place them behind your back onto the ledge.
Whilst gripping the ledge you will need to bring your legs to full extension whilst ensuring they are pressed together.
This should give you enough room to be able to lower your torso down to the floor whilst only flexing your arms.
In doing this movement, you involuntarily place a big fraction of your body weight onto your triceps.
To complete this exercise you simply alternate between the raising and lowering of your torso through arm flexion and extension.
Try to go to failure on each set with around 30 seconds of rest in between.

Jackknives

A much more advanced abdominal movement, jackknives are a great workout to massively improve your core body strength and are also brilliant for developing a full and defined looking six-pack.

Incorporating this movement into your workout program will not only contribute to you looking like an MMA fighter but will have you feeling like one, this is due to the strength and power gains that you will experience from this movement.

This is an advanced abdominal movement, so your first attempts at this may be difficult.

How to perform Jackknives
1. To begin this movement, you must start by lying down, ensure that your arms and legs are both at full extension.
2. While they are at full extension, you must raise both your arms and legs into the air simultaneously until they meet.
3. When they meet in the air, make an attempt to touch your feet with your fingertips and once you’ve achieved this positioning you may lower both your arms and legs back to their original position.
4. Do each set until failure and be sure to include 30-45 seconds of rest in between.
5. When completing this movement, make sure your arms are together, this must be the same with your legs.

Conclusion –

The greatest aspect of the list above is that these moves can be performed anywhere. Every MMA workout provided above are extremely effective and can be applied to your workout routine instantly. When trying to achieve an MMA fighters physique and strength, the above MMA drills when done at full intensity and power can deliver you both of these aspects.

This list is filled with a wide array of different MMA styled workouts that will all have similar and different results, so when choosing your workout routine, you must align your goals with your chosen workouts. I included the above workouts into this list for a reason, they work! So, put your mind, heart and soul into every drill and you will find yourself looking and feeling like an MMA fighter.

Jeff J.

Jeff J is a retired Gunnery Sgt. with the United States Marine Corps and a former Federal Police officer. He was involved with extensive training with weapons systems, and hand to hand combat, mentored and trained hundreds of Marines in high-level fitness programs.

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