MMA Workout

Conditioning Routine Alternative To Cardio

MMA Workout - Conditioning Routine Alternative To CardioBy Angie Lee

Mixed martial arts fighters are arguably some of the toughest athletes on the planet. The sport requires you to be technically skilled in a lot of different martial arts and move from one position to the other with exceptional speed, agility and a lot of explosive power. It also requires a lot of cardiovascular endurance, in order to complete the match.

Below you will find a great conditioning workout that will bring out your inner fighter and will turn you into a lean and mean fighting physique. It is also a great alternative to boring, catabolic cardio. The exercises are in random order, but you can mix and match them in different order to avoid adaptation. Go hard for anywhere between 15 and 30 seconds. If you can go longer than that, the weight is either too light or you are cruising through the movements. Instead of a full rest, do abdominal exercises in between sets. Do the workout for 30 minutes, 2-3 times a week.

Prisoner Jump Squat

MMA Workout - Conditioning Routine Alternative To CardioSquat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, with your hands behind your head and jump up as high as you can.

Battling Ropes

These are sprints for your upper body. Alternate between single small waves, double big waves and slams. For added cardio, add side-to-side shuffles. Go hard and make some noise!

Dumbbell Press and Hip Thrust

Lie on the ground with your knees bent and a dumbbell is each hand, elbows bend next to your ribs. Thrust the hips up and press the dumbbells up explosively, then come back down to start position.

Shadow Boxing

MMA Workout - Conditioning Routine Alternative To CardioAssume a fighting stance with legs staggered. Hold a 2-3 pound dumbbell on each hand and go trough basic punches (jab, cross, hook, uppercut).

Cable Rope Pull Through

Attach a rope to a low pulley of a cable machine. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart facing away, grabbing the rope in between your legs. Keeping your knees soft, lower your body until it’s parallel to the floor. Keeping a flat back, thrust your hips forward and come back up to start position.

Push Ups with Mountain Climbers

MMA Workout - Conditioning Routine Alternative To CardioGet into a push up position and lower your body as close to the floor as you can. Push back up and while keeping a flat back, explosively drive one knee at a time to your chest.


If you have access to a treadmill, go as fast as you can on a hill or flat. If you don’t stand in place and drive your knees to your chest as fast as you can, keeping the arms by your side, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.

Remember to have fun with it, go hard, keep your diet clean, and be consistent. Deliberate practice, is the key to mastery.

More on Angie

Angie Lee is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for Reebok SCNY and has also been featured in Fitness RX For Women. She is also a NYC Group fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, founder of FightWorksNYC, currently training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City.

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