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Mixed Martial Arts Training Exercises and Warm-Ups

written by: Rochelle Connery • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 8/9/2010

If you're interested in getting into Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay thai, and submission grappling or just want to look like your favorite Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter, starting a mixed martial arts training routine can get you ripped and in shape within a matter of weeks or a couple months.

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    Mixed Martial Arts Warm-up

    A major aspect of mixed martial arts training is the warm-up. The last thing you want to do is hurt your muscles unnecessarily while you're fighting. Use these warm-up ideas to get your body ready before hitting the mat with an opponent.

    Sprinting: According to Men's Fitness, fighters should sprint as part of their warm-up. Sprint 100 feet and walk back to the starting point. If the room isn't large enough, sprint outside. Always wear shoes while warming up.

    Stimulate Blood Flowing Through Muscles: MMATraining.com recommends using body-size foam rollers to warm up your muscles. Lie one of the rollers on the ground and position one of your thighs on top of it. Use your hands to balance yourself on the floor, and roll back and forth on top of the foam roller. This will improve balance and stimulate your muscle tissues.

    Lunges: Spread your legs apart and do some side lunges. Bend one leg off to the side and lean towards that leg, stretching the opposite leg out as far as it can go. Then, do forward lunges. You can choose to do these with or without hand weights.

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    Strength Training

    Ever wonder how your favorite UFC fighters got to looking so muscular? They lift weights several times each week. Just like a bodybuilder, MMA trainees should lift weights to increase strength and build muscle.

    Pushups: No matter how many fancy MMA accessories and training tools are produced, there's always going to be that one exercise you can do anywhere, anytime: pushups. MMA trainers still swear by pushups today and use them almost daily to build endurance. Use pushup grips or handles to maintain more grip and less slippage on the floor.

    Burpees: Burpees are performed with quick movements, with or without weights. Begin without weights to start. From a standing position, quickly squat, launch into a pushup, land back in squatting position and jump back up on your feet. Do this continuously for at least a minute. You can add small hand weights once you've mastered this technique.

    Squats with Overhead Press: Grab a circular weight or barbell and hang on tight. Raise the weight above your head and hold it there for the duration of the exercise. Pick a low weight to begin with and work up to a more challenging weight. While you're holding the weight, do ten squats. Gently lower the weight to the floor when you're finished.

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    Aerobic and Endurance Training

    Mixed martial arts training also requires exercises for endurance and aerobic challenges. Don't skip out on these just because they seem too easy.

    Jumping Jacks: Whether you're in the military, the school gym, or on the UFC mat, jumping jacks are a requirement. Do at least 20 jumping jacks in a row. You can make this exercise more challenging by adding small hand weights. Just don't let go of these while you're jumping.

    Mountain Climbing: On your tip-toes, pretend you're climbing a mountain. Raise one knee up to the level of your chest and rapidly switch feet. Do this ten times.

    Fast High Knees: Much like mountain climbing, high knees also challenge your endurance, especially when your leg muscles start burning. Raise one knee up to the level of your abdomen and quickly change feet. Do this ten times per leg.

    Sources:

    Men's Fitness

    MMA Training