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Train Like an MMA Pro - The Crippler

Build devastating kicking power with this innovative four-step lower-body workout.

MARTIN ROONEY
Train Like an MMA Pro - The Crippler

Knockouts can be brutal, and we can all—at least on some level—identify with the guy who gets caught in a rear naked choke. Few things in the MMA world, however, resonate with the crowd like that brutal baseball-bat-to-side-of beef sound of a powerful kick to the leg or body.

Many fighters kick with poor technique, and when they do, there’s one common theme: they don’t incorporate their hip abductors, obliques, and quadratus lumborum—which help move your spine laterally—enough to “turn over” their kicks and generate the kind of power that does real damage.

You’ll see this often throughout the course of a fight, when fighters reach in and nip their opponent with an incorrectly thrown kick that looks as if they’re flailing at a soccer ball. The following progression of exercises will help you develop the power you need to win fights with your legs and feet.

The Workout:

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Single-Leg Barbell Deadlift 3 6 Each Side 60 Seconds
Single-Arm Suitcase Carry 2 30 Yards 60 Seconds
Single-Arm  Dumbbell Step-Ups 2 6 Each Side 60 Seconds
Ankle Band Walks 2 20 Yards 60 Seconds

The Setup:

Single-Leg Barbell Deadlift

Stand on one foot and grasp a lightly loaded barbell in an overhand grip with your hands outside your hips. Swing your free leg straight behind you before you deadlift the bar and move it back under your hips as you lock out each rep.

Single Arm Suitcase Carry

This is a unilateral farmer’s walk. Pick up a farmer’s walk implement or a heavy dumbbell with one hand and walk for 30 yards, then switch hands and walk back.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Step-Ups

Standing to the side of a step-up box, hold a dumbbell on the same side as the leg you’re working. Step up onto the box, then drive the knee of your free leg explosively toward your chest at the finish.

Ankle Band Walks

Wrap bands around your ankles at a width where you have to fight to keep your legs at shoulder width, then walk forward, using your hips to keep the bands pulled apart.

 

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