MMA Chest Workout 2019 (.pdf included)

Training the chest in isolation from the rest of the body is not ideal when it comes to building MMA Specific strength and fitness.

Training specific movements, rather than muscles is the best way to develop fitness and power for the cage.

– if you want to make the chest workout really specific to MMA, then shadow box and drill technique between sets.

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ExerciseSetsRepsNotes
Single arm floor chest press2Max with good form2 sets on each arm.
Plyometric Press Ups210
Band Punches (crosses)3123 sets on each arm.
Band Punches (uppercuts)383 sets on each arm
Medicine Ball Shot Puts355 reps on each arm
Medicine Ball Slams210
Band Thrusters212
Punch Bag / Exercise related to your sport22 rnds 5 mins per rnd.


MMA Chest Workout

Warm up with MMA-specific movements

  • 2 rounds of shadow boxing
  • 20 sit throughs
  • 20 stand up techniques
  • 20 hindu squats
  • 10 sprawls
  • 10 bridges

Here’s a video of my chunky self doing some MMA solo drills as a warm up:

I do Sit-Throughs first, then chest 2 chest sweeps

Dynamic stretching

  • Chest openers (video here)
  • Forward arm circles, small to big
  • Leg swings forwards & backwards
  • Leg Swings side to side

Chest Exercise 1

  • Single arm floor chest press

2 sets of max reps on each arm

Chest Exercise 2

  • Plyometric Press Ups
BOSU Plyometric Press ups
BOSU Plyometric Press ups

Chest Exercise 3

  • Band Crosses – 3 sets of 12 reps on each arm

Whenever replicating punches or any technical movement, ensure that the resistance isnt high enough to alter or interfere with the mechanics of the punch.

Ensure each punch is relaxed but explosive with a drive through at the end.

Try not to pause in between punches – this helps capitlaise on the stretch-shortening phase.

Chest Exercise 4

  • Band Uppercuts – 3 sets of 8 reps on each arm

Chest Exercise 5

  • Medicine Ball Shot Puts – 3 sets of 5 reps on each arm

Chest Exercise 6

  • Medicine Ball Slams – 2 sets of 10 reps

Chest Exercise 7

  • Band Thrusters – 2 sets of 12 reps

Band thrusters are more of a whole body exercises than a chest exercise, but I like to add a big compound movement like this to ensure the kinetic chain is worked in a whole-body fashion. If we train the chest in isolation all of the time, we won’t be effective when it comes to MMA movements and techniques.

Finish with:

  • Punch Bag – 3 rounds of 3 minutes

If no punch bag, then do 10 ‘sets’ of jab, cross, hook, upper cut with 1 or 2kg weights.

Warm Down

  • Static Stretching for the chest:
  • Worlds greatest Stretch:
worlds greatest stretch
World’s Greatest Stretch. Right Foot in front, Left Knee on the floor. Left Hand Down, Right hand reaches back

Download the Chest Workout as a .pdf here

MMA Chest Workout Video

Here’s a slightly different chest workout done in my back garden/decking

Exercise 1 – Kettlebell Chest Press with Bands – 8 reps each arm

Exercise 2 – Side to side plyometric press ups – 12 reps

Exercise 3 – Depth-press-ups – 12 reps

Exercise 4 – Band Punches – crosses – 15 reps on each arm

Exercise 5 – Band Punches – hooks – 15 reps on each arm

Exercise 7 – 2 minutes of combinations on the ‘bag’

Instead of doing sets on each exercise, I just repeat the whole thing twice.

See our blog post about Functional Back Exercises