MMA kettlebell workout

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With the huge rise in the popularity of mixed martial arts in the recent years, more and more people want to train like the athletes who step foot inside the ring/cage, even if they themselves will not be fighting. Even professional athletes from other sports are partaking in MMA training to help improve their performance in their own sport. MMA athletes need to have strength, speed, explosive power, mobility and co-ordination. MMA fights consist of 3 or 5 5 minute rounds so conditioning is a must also. As kettlebells can be used to increase all of these, it is common sense to incorporate them into their workouts. Below are just some of the kettlebell exercises that can be performed with descriptions of how they can help prepare you for your next fight.

Goblet squat
These will help when lifting an opponent for a slam or when taking them down to the ground, for example to drive your feet into the ground when completing a double leg takedown. They will also develop your leg strength to help you get off the ground if your opponent is trying to keep you down. With the arms holding the kettlebell in a goblet position, this is similar to the muay thai clinch. It will help condition your arms and shoulders so the clinch can be applied for a period of time without you getting fatigued. For an added challenge, you can alternate throwing a knee at the top of each goblet squat.

Kettlebell swing
These explosive moves will help when controlling or escaping from an opponent and also when performing a sweep if on the bottom on the ground. The hip activation will develop more power in your strikes, whether they be punches, elbows, kicks or knees.

Shoulder press
The shoulder press will develop some of the same upper body muscles used for throwing punches. They will also help if pushing an opponent away from you whether on the ground or on the feet.

Bent over row
These will help when controlling an opponent on the ground when you have top position and when also conducting some ground and pound punches or elbows. These will also strengthen your grip which will come in handy when working for submissions.

Snatch
These pretty much work your whole body, which is what an MMA fight will do. They incorporate many different muscle groups that all have to co-ordinate together to achieve the goal of bringing the kettlebell from the ground to overhead in one fluid movement.

Turkish get up
These will develop your co-ordination and mobility. Your whole body will have to be stable whilst performing them and a lot of strength is needed which mimic working for or defending a submission attempt. They will also help you from transitioning from the ground to a standing position during a fight.

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MMA kettlebell complex

You can perform a complex incorporating a kettlebell and other exercises for 5 minutes which are how long MMA fight rounds last. This will further help your body adapt to the  challenges of an MMA fight. Perform as many repetitions as possible in the allocating time. Have a 60 second rest between rounds. Repeat the rounds as many times as you can.

Round 1:
30 seconds shadow kickboxing
60 seconds swings
30 seconds shoulder press (left)
30 seconds shoulder press (right)
30 seconds snatch (left)
30 seconds snatch (right)
60 seconds goblet squat
30 seconds shadow kickboxing

Round 2:
90 seconds turkish get up (left)
30 seconds sprawl
90 seconds turkish get up (right)
30 seconds bent over row (left)
30 seconds bent over row (right)
30 seconds shadow kickboxing

I hope you enjoyed the article. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you get on. Good luck if you have a fight coming up and enjoy the after party!

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