Explosive power is really important for successful grappling, especially in no gi. You can literally power out (or into) most positions and submissions if you have explosive hips and legs.
Get explosive hips for superior grappling performance – scroll down to the bottom for the pdf and a nice table-version of the program. By the way, it’s spelt “programme” in the UK! Good to know if you’re a trainer
Grappling Power Program
Olympic lifts are great, this program assumes you don’t have access to an Olympic lifting coach.
Before each session, make sure that you warm up with 10 mins of steady state cardio, e.g. rowing, and perform dynamic stretches and 2 to 3 warm up sets with light weights and limited explosivenes
Wait 2 to 4 minutes between sets for best results regarding pure power. Reduce rest interval for power-endurance
Grappling Power Program DAY 1
- Sumo Deadlifts x 2 sets x 8 reps – light weight to warm whole body up
- Power Jump Shrugs* x 4 sets x 6 reps
- Plyometric rotational jumps x 2 sets x 10 reps
- Medicine Chest Pass x 3 sets of 8 reps
- Depth Jumps x 3 sets of 5 reps
Medicine Ball Chest Pass
Grappling Power Program Day 3
Day 2 is a rest day
- Bodyweight squats × 20 reps
- Bodyweight press ups x 20 reps
- Barbell Push Press x 4 sets x 6 reps
- Kettlebell clean and press x 2 sets x 10 reps (2 sets each side)
- explosive 1 arm row* on stability ball x 2 sets x 6 reps
- Burpees x 2 sets 30 reps
*take 3 seconds to lower the weight and then lift it up as quickly as possible, pause for 1 second at the top and lower back down
Grappling Power Program DAY 5
- Bodyweight squats x 20 reps
- Front squats – explosive x 3 sets x 8 reps
- Explosive chin ups* x 3 sets x 5 reps
- Kettlebell swings x 3 sets x 8 reps
- Plyometric vertical jumps x 3 sets x 6 reps
*any explosive back exercise is fine if chin ups are too difficult. Using a rope to pull a sled or a cable to lower down the weight then pull explosively are good options
Training programs should be periodized when possible. For more information on Bompas periodization see our mma strength and conditioning post.
Ideally, power programs should include some kind of Olympic lifts too. Always evaluate the risk of injury though. Snatches for example, have a relatively high rate of injury compared to high pulls or power shrugs
Functional Strength – Move Bodies
Make hip thrusts more specific to grappling, by having a partner lie across your hips. Practise and drill an explosive ‘back door escape 6 times per set.
You can do similar drills from mount. Use the “hip hop” mount escape for reps, or bridge side to side with a partner repeatedly jumping back into mount.
Download the Grappling Power Program
Download below as a Word Doc:
Download below as a pdf:
Grappling Power Program (in Nice Tables)
Always warm up before each session with 10 minutes of steady state cardio and 5 minutes of dynamic stretching.
It is also recommended to do 2 warm up sets with a light weight before doing any working sets
|Rotational plyometric jumps||2||10|
|Med ball chest pass||3||8|
|Kettlebell clean and press||2 each arm||12|
|Explosive 1 arm row||3||10|
|Plyometric vertical jumps||3||6|
|Barbell hip thrusts||3||8|
Warm up – a lot, power based exercises are great but also carry a high injury risk. I would advice getting a real sweat on and drinking lots of water throughout.
Explosive hips, are built using hip extension exercises such as explosive jumps, explosive hip thrusts and Olympic Lifts.
It should be noted that grip strength is also important for grappling strength and conditioning. Always stretch your wrists and strengthen wrist extensors as well as flexors or you’ll get golfer’s elbow pretty quickly.