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.
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
- 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
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.
- 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.
- Static Stretching for the chest:
- Worlds greatest Stretch:
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