Whether you’re an amateur or professional this bodyweight exercise session has being designed in accordance to the main muscle groups used by fighters.
1. Pull Ups/Chin Ups
Hitting several muscle groups including the shoulders, back, arms, deltoids and even abdominal muscles (when the knees are tucked up). Use different grips to engage different muscle groups.
Fighter Benefit: Controlling your opponent on the ground in the clinch or on the floor.
2. Hanging Leg Raises
This is for the abs and core . It is one of the best for full abdominal strength, while working your upper body.
Fighter Benefit: Developing abs strength is essential for both body amour and as a power source for attacks.
3. Push Ups and Handstand Push Up
This strength and muscle mass exercise is another staple bodyweight exercise that forces you to engage your entire body. With different push up variations you can develop power. Handstand pushups, especially when you do them through a more complete range of motion, can build serious arm and shoulder strength.
Fighter Benefit: Improved shoulder endurance for punches, kicks, takedowns, muscular endurance for grappling and creating space between you and your opponent.
4. Bodyweight Squats
The bodyweight squat if a valuable exercise to help build lower body strength, power and muscle. The regular movement may not be the greatest for strength and muscle mass, but when you use variations like the pistol squat or jump squats, now you are talking strength, power and conditioning.
Fighter Benefit: This movement will help you develop strength needed for takedown and takedown defense along with striking and kicking stability.
5. Bulgarian Split Squat
A lower body unilateral compound move performed with added resistance from dumbbells. Trains the glutes and legs of one leg at a time. This bilateral movement has more potential for strength gains, as you are more balanced and can bring both legs to bear on moving the weight. The Bulgarian Split Squat can help even out strength differences between the legs. You can only use one leg, while the other helps provide stability or balance.
Fighter Benefits: This exercise works you quadriceps, glutes and solueus muscles are important in throwing kicks, striking, takedown and takedown defense.
6. Parallel Dips
This strength exercise works the triceps, chest, upper back and shoulder stability strength.
7. Bear Crawls
These are great for joint mobility and full body strength. These movements are great for upper body strength, core, legs and cardio.
Fighter Benefit: Great for grapplers, endurance, mobility, agility and overall strength for all movement in kickboxing.
8. Abs Hip Thrusts/Bridge Variations
This is a great hip flexion and extension movement that works your core, hips, glutes and hamstrings. You can perform this on your back, thrusting your legs to the air, or you can use a bench and perform more of a Glute bridge.
Fighter Benefit: This is a classic movement in MMA, BJJ and wrestling when you are trying to push your opponent off from the mounted position.
9. Sprint Intervals
Sprints are must for grapple arts and other combat sport athletes. This helps to build both your anaerobic and aerobic systems, which you use in most fights. Because of the varying levels of high intensity followed by low intensity situations you must improve your anaerobic system to last through the fight. The aerobic system helps with recovery in between rounds.
Fighter Skill: This will improve your overall conditioning for endurance in competition and during training.
10. Sprawl Burpees
The burpee is the best full body exercise that works on your overall strength, explosiveness and cardio endurance. Sprawls are similar but more functional to combat sports where are again you are working the entire body and will improve your speed too. To me these exercises are the best for getting into shape for all combat athletes. Theses exercises train your body to move as one using over 600 muscles in one movement.
Fighter Benefit: Both exercises are beneficial for overall performance in competition.