ultimate mma strength and conditioning program

Core Exercises for MMA

By Eric Wong, BSc, CSCS

bruce leeBruce Lee describes your core as your center of power.

This is a perfect observation because all of your striking power needs a core that is strong and stable.

Think of it this way - if you're jumping, where can you jump higher, from the sand or from concrete?

Obviously you can jump higher on concrete because you don't lose any force as you do in the sand where the sand slides out to the sides and absorbs some of your force.

So if your core is more like a sandy beach than hard concrete, you MUST follow the 3 steps outlined in this article.

Step 1 - Develop static core stability. This can be done doing simple exercises like front planks, side planks, and any other exercise where your abdominals are engaged to keep you still. Using the ball is also good for making these exercises a little harder.

Step 2 - Train your dynamic core stability. Dynamic core stability is your ability to keep your core stable when you're doing other movements. The 1-arm dumbbell press on a ball is a perfect example. Watch the video here:

A dynamic core stability exercise you MUST be doing

Step 3 - Train your core power. Now I use the term 'core power' here not because it's your core that's necessarily developing your power, but because your core must be rock-solid when you're doing power exercises.

I'm going to share with you an awesome technique to train your core power using the heavy bag. The heavy bag is a versatile to use for your MMA training, and not just for your striking attacks.

There are a ton of different ways to use a heavy bag including carries, squats, and more, but here are two unique core exercises for MMA using the heavy bag while it's still attached.

The exercises shown here are similar to what you'll get using a medicine ball or rope ball, but you can do them indoors without breaking anything using equipment you should have access to.

Check out the video here:

4 weeks, 2 x/week = KO Power

As you can see, the core is a crucial component to developing brutal knockout power and explosive throws and slams.

These components are just a part of the overall plan for developing total strength and conditioning for MMA. As I outlined in another article, MMA Workout Program Basics, there are a bunch of things you need to have in your program.

Either put them into your current routine, create a new program for yourself, or if you don't feel confident that your plan is giving you everything you could get, follow a program that's proven in the octagon and by hundreds of fighters around the world: the Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning Program.




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