As you make your way through our Guide you will quickly discover that when you train MMA style you disregard what doesn’t work and focus on what does.
Staying injury free is also a top priority.
With these two things in mind, it’s easy to see why MMA fighters, for the most part, stay far away from things like barbell and machine bench presses (which are very prone to cause injury) and go for an old strength training favorite instead.
The Push Up and all it’s variants in their complete diabolic glory.
The push up (or press up if you’re from England!) builds power and strength in the entire upper body as well as the core. It will be one of the foundations of your upper body training.
They should be performed in high sets as well as high reps. As you build your power and endurance seven or eight sets of twenty five reps is a good goal to shoot for. Until then five sets of five or five sets of ten are where many people start. Top MMA athletes will bang out ten sets of fifty!
If you are unable to do a full push up, start with your knees on the floor until your strength increases. As long as you work hard there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Keep these tips in mind as you pound out powerful push ups…
Push Ups Should be Done with Your Body as Tight as Possible.
As you drop for each rep keep your legs tight and your abdominal muscle contracted, with your body in a straight line. This type of discipline while doing push ups is what makes it an awesome core exercise as well as building up the more obvious muscles it targets, like the chest, triceps and shoulders. Sloppy form won’t bring half as many benefits.
Explode Off the Floor.
The next thing we will be doing to get the most out of our push up training is to explode as fast as we can off the floor after each rep. This will help you build power and also up the ante for the cardio output of this section of your training.
A higher cardio demand means better conditioning, more perspiration and more calories burnt. Put all this together and your MMA style push ups will make you more powerful, as well as leaner! The more calories you burn while strength training the better you will end up looking.
Place Your Feet on a Bench or Chair to Build Your Shoulders.
Once you get the hang of doing your push ups on a regular basis, do half of your sets with your feet elevated in one of your weekly training sessions. This will switch some of the emphasis of the exercise more strongly onto your shoulders. Working in different styles of push up (there’s plenty more once you become an advanced trainer) will have your chest and shoulders looking like a professional fighter as your conditioning grows. Even small angle changes in a body weight exercise makes it feel like a totally different beast!
Getting your feet wet with push ups is the best place to start with MMA style training. It sets the tone in how we approach our body – as much as possible we aim to get total control over it, using our own weight to build our strength and power. When we have mastered our own body weight we can master nearly anything.
So hit the floor and give me twenty!