Get fighting fit with these 10 kick-ass moves
In case you haven't heard of mixed martial arts (MMA), it's pretty cool! Combine boxing, wrestling, Ju-Jitsu and a bunch of other fighting moves and you have a tough, intense combat system that can be used to create a high-intensity, kick-ass workout. MMA fighters train hard to get their bodies in peak condition - strength, stamina and speed are vital to survive three 5-minute rounds. Whether you intend to step into the ring or not, MMA-style moves are a great addition to your fitness training and can even help you to de-stress and stay calm under pressure! So try these 10 kick-ass moves today, to get you fighting fit and ready to take on the world!
#1. Hanging Leg Raise
Using an overhand grip, grab a pull-up bar and hang there. Bracing your core, slowly raise your legs straight in front of you until your body forms a backwards 'L' shape. Hold for a few seconds as you exhale, then lower to the start.
Use an overhand grip to grab a bar - keep your hands just slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and hang. Bend your knees, crossing your feet behind you. Now squeeze your shoulder blades together, push your elbows down and pull your chest up to the bar. Lower and repeat.
#3. Crab Walk
Sit on the floor, legs bent in front of you with your feet on the floor and place your palms on the floor at your sides. Bracing your core, lift your butt a few inches off the floor and lift your chest up. Crawl forward, keeping your core tight throughout (this is important!) You can increase your speed as your body adjusts to the move - this is quite tricky, so it does take some practice and patience.
#4. Walking Lunges
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with one leg and slowly lower your body until your knee is bent at a 90 degree angle. Raise your body up and straighten your knee, bringing your back leg forward and in front of you. Repeat the movement with this leg.
#5. Thai Plank
This works your upper body especially your shoulders, back and arms.
Get into pushup position and bend your elbows, keeping your forearms flat on the floor. Now rotate body to the right, raising your right arm and right leg off floor and bringing them together so your elbow and knee touch. Brace your core and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat on opposite side. Aim for 5 to 10 reps per set (each side) and 3 sets.
Work your upper back, chest and triceps with this bodyweight move.
Hold your body up on parallel bars,bend your knees and cross your ankles behind you. Lower your body slowly until your arms form a 90-degree angle. Push yourself back up to the starting position.
#7. Stability Ball Single Chest Press
You'll need a dumbbell for this move which adds instability to your workout, improving your balance and working your core and upper body.
Hold a dumbbell in one hand and sit on an exercise ball. Roll yourself forward as you bend your knees (keep your back straight!) Now your upper back and neck should be resting on the ball. Hold the dumbbell close to your chest and lift your free arm straight up into the air. Press the dumbbell up into a chest press. Repeat with your other arm and keep alternating sides.
#8. Elbow to knee
This move works your upper and lower body, increasing stamina and strength.
Stand with your right palm against a wall and your left arm extended overhead, left leg raised off the floor. Raise your left knee up and lower your left arm until they meet - hold for three seconds. Complete 10 reps on one side and then switch to the other side. Aim for 5 sets and you'll feel the burn! For an extra challenge, try the move without placing your hand on the wall!
#9. 'Suicide' Sprints
This cardio drill is often used by basketball coaches and it's a great way to help your body get used to changing direction quickly, building endurance.
Set up six markers, six yards apart, in a line. Now sprint from the first marker to the second, and touch it with your hand. Then run back and touch the first marker. Then sprint to the third marker. Then back to the first marker. Then to the fourth. Keep going until you are exhausted!
Burpees, or squat thrusts, are the exercise we love to hate! But they're also the perfect way to workout your whole body and get in shape for any type of martial arts.
Start in a standing position. Squat down low, placing your palms on the floor directly below your shoulders. Now kick your feet back behind you and land in a push-up position. Then reverse the movement, jumping straight up into the air. Land softly and repeat.
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