5 Tips in Creating a Sport Specific MMA Training Program

rope armbar 2.JPGIf you want to evolve
your MMA training and customize your workout to incorporate exercises that will
help your fighting game while sculpting the body try these tips.  My buddy Tim Allegretti (Owner of West
Loop Gym in the West Loop) and I have discussed this topic so many times and
apply it on a daily basis. 
Creating any tailored program is really a blast for trainers and coaches
because it helps you take a break from bicep curls and chest press.  

It is important to remember
that when you are working out, that changing up your program will not only
improve your overall conditioning, but also prevent injuries.  There are so many ways to work your
abs.  Performing crunches or even
sit-ups all the time is not the way to go when trying to create more functional
strength in your ab area.  The core
which encompasses the abs, is the buzz work of the last couple years.  Cross training the body by working the
core differently all the time will improve your overall strength and most
likely definition.  The exercise
below is very sport specific to MMA, ground fighting, judo and jiu jitsu.  Although I am categorizing it as an
Ab/Core exercise it is really killer on the upper body as well. Enjoy busting
this one out!

5 Tips

1.  The workouts should
be periodized.  Understand what
your athlete’s sport requires and structure Hypertrophy, Strength, Power and
Metabolic Conditioning phases.

2. Strength Coach and Sport coach communication. Make sure you know
what and when your athlete is training outside of the time you spend together.
Many athletes, especially MMA athletes suffer from over training. Know when
it’s time to tell them to take a recovery day.

3. What is the work to rest ratio of the sport and or position? Your
metabolic phase should match or exceed this.

4. What are the strength demands? Make sure to work on functional
strength in functional positions unique to the sport and or position.

5. What are the power requirements for your athlete – “positional
power”? Clarify where your athlete needs power.

Rope Arm Bar

Equipment:   Thick
climbing rope           

Andrei Arolvski does:  Averages about 10-13 per 30-second

How:  Make sure you have
a strong grip as you swing and drive your legs up the rope.  Extend your legs into the arm bar
position and control your body returning to the ground.

Goal:  Develop explosive power for the arm bar technique. 
Although it may appear to be ideal for flying arm bars, this exercise is killer
on the core and arms.   Flying arm bars are not the outcome of this
drill.  Because this exercise also requires tremendous forearm and upper
body strength, it offers excellent application to the ground game where
strength does make a huge difference against slippery opponents.

Tips:  Make sure you use your hips.  Just as any arm bar,
thrusting the hips up guides the legs and makes the butt feel lighter. 
You need to do the same with this drill.  It is okay to use a little
bounce when you come down from one rep to move into the next so you are able to
develop timing.

Watch out for too much bounce causing the rope to swing or swinging
the rope too much as you lift your body up to shoot the legs towards the

(Keep your eyes out for more exercises like this

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