Fighters who can punch and kick with the most power are rarely the biggest guy in the weight room. Learning to create stiffness through the torso helps transfer force into our extremities. Athletes who can generate power from the ground up, using their legs and then efficiently transfer that energy through their core and into their arms, strike harder.
Strong, powerful punchers have great technique, timing, coordination and transfer force efficiently. While fighters have traditionally performed countless sit ups, leg raises and other traditional “ab” exercises, studies have shown that core drills that resist movement (extension, flexion, rotation) are more effective for fighters. Below we’ve gathered 5 core MMA exercises used to develop torso tension for UFC fighter, Ian McCall.
5 CORE Exercises for MMA Fighters
1. Sandbag Cross Body Pull (Anti-Rotation)
2. Power Wheel Roll Out (Anti-Extension)
3. Renegade Row (Anti-Rotation)
4. Barrel Tilts (Anti-Lateral Flexion)
5. Suitcase Carry (Anti-Lateral Flexion)
If you are looking to improve your strength and power, developing core stability, strength and power is an essential piece of the puzzle. Yes, you still need to squat, pick stuff up, push and pull, but lack of strength through the torso is a common challenge. A well thought out, complete program, that walks you through these core progressions can help any athlete improve their performance.