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MMA Fitness: Top 5 Lifts For Explosive MMA Strength!

MMA Fitness: Top 5 Lifts For Explosive MMA Strength!

Olympic lifting platform.  by Hywel Teague

Training your body to dish out a beating, as well as, being able to take one requires persistence and smart planning.  Being a strength and conditioning specialist here in Atlanta, Georgia I understand the demands of getting athletes prepared for competition having had over 10 years of experience.  If there are 2 things that will take your program a long ways and assist in your athletic success it involves the proper selection of effective strength lifts along with emphasizing the quality execution of those lifts.  If you are looking to seriously enhance your MMA fitness then you need to continue reading!

MMA Fitness: Top 5 Strength Lifts

1. Dead LIfts: Punching and kicking your competition in the mouth requires strength and there is no better way to obtain a solid total body amount of it than including the dead lift into your arsenal of training.  This lift requires you to utilize a lot of your big core movement and hip drive to lift a bar from the ground into a locked out position at the hip.  Technique is everything with dead lifting because you can’t round your back and you must learn to stabilize your core center while performing it. I highly recommend this one to set up many of the rest that I am going to include in this very list.

2. Barbell Cleans: I am using the term barbell cleans because technically this lift can be performed in several different ways.  The term “clean”  refers to the act of lifting the weight from either the floor or from a hanging position to your chest in one “clean uninterrupted” motion.  This lift requires tremendous hip drive, speed, and technique which are all essential in building solid athletic qualities such as speed and power!   When performing this lift you must lift the bar from either the floor or from a hanging position by flexing and the hips and knees and then executing a triple extension of your ankles, knees, and hips in order to vertically drive the bar up off of the ground.  This elevation creates distance so that you can catch yourself up under the bar to conclude the lift. This is great for helping you to have the speed, power, and explosiveness you need to throw your opponent around like a rag doll!

3. The Turkish Get Up: This particular drill requires you to master the art of mobility.  If you have never seen the turkish get up it is a hell of a drill to witness for the first time.  You see part of your athletic training success involves you having to be as mobile as possible and the turkish get up is a drill that surely promotes this.  This particular drill also has several variations, but for the sake of this article I am referring to executing it with a kettlebell. This drill basically has 7 steps to it in order for you to perform it correctly.

Without getting into all of them here I will tell you that at appearance you are basically lying on the ground holding a kettlebell up facing the ceiling. From here your objective is to stand up to your feet and return to the lying position while keeping the bell above your head and perpendicular to the floor throughout the entire process.  For more on how this is done feel free to check out my video demonstrations on the lift at hand.

4. The Kettlebell Swing: This is also a base strength endurance lift for you to perform with the kettlebell that involves you swinging it from between your legs up to just slight of chest level.  The beauty of this lift is that you can really focus on generating a ton of core strength, hip power, and cardio all in one single movement!  The great thing about the kettlebell swing is that when performed correctly you can cater this drill to provide you with either more power development or endurance!  The kettlebell swing should be a key ingredient in the recipe of your MMA fitness program.

5. The Kettlebell Snatch: The kettlebell snatch is a tremendous lift that you can perform with the kettlebell that will give you shoulders of steel, the ability to run really fast, an extraordinary grip, and the cardio of a race horse!  This lift involves you pulling the kettlebell from either the ground or from a swing type motion up to a locked out position above your head.  Like the swing lift this particular strength lift can also be catered for you to acquire either more endurance or more power depending on the manipulation of certain variables involving the speed of the lift and the amount of weight being lifted.  If you want to take your MMA knockout game to the next level then I highly recommend adding this lift to your daily routine.

All in all, no matter what lifts you choose for your MMA strength and conditioning program you’ve still got to know how to execute them with quality form. You’ve also got to know how to piece them together in the form of a well thought out and well planned program in order for you to optimize your ultimate fighting skills.  Quality is more valuable than quantity my friend.  If you are interested in training smarter then feel free to sign up for my FREE training tips, FREE newsletter, and receive my FREE training guide the 10 Step Method To Strength: Mastering The One Arm One Legged Push Up! Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the champions train smart my friend.




I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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