There are so many exercises to choose from in the Strength and Conditioning World, but only few that are really worth a damn. A lot of people focus on working Sport Specific Movements, but the body doesn’t just care about improving performance; but improving joint health and stability as well.

Strength and Conditioning is typically focused on building a strong athlete IN THE GYM. But what truly matters is building the best athlete in the cage. Even as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, I’d rather have most of my athletes spending more time drilling wrestling, boxing, or grappling than working with me in the gym.

But if they do work with me, there’s three things I need to work on:

1.) Increasing durability (keeping you doing MMA and not getting injured)
2.) Improving Recovery Ability (doing the bare minimum strength work, so you can drill MMA better and more often).
3.) Focusing on your weak spots (If you are a fast athlete, make you stronger. If you are a stronger athlete, make you faster).

In this three-part series I’ll profile three movements fitting the bill for improving all three things I typically see in MMA athletes. Although these three movements may be nothing new; by doing them more often, you’ll speed up performance improvements because you’ll have a better balanced body – One that doesn’t just outperform your opponents, but outlasts them as well.

All of these exercises help load the body is opposing movement patterns from motions typically used in the MMA game. Gone are the days of body part splits; and here and now are the days of focusing on how our body moves in a coordinated fashion from head to toe.

1.) Partial Rack Pulls – Partials allow you to heavily load small ranges of motion to better develop ligament strength and speed up the ability for your body to balance all the rounded back work during wrestling and grappling movements. Think of a basic clinch.

– Back Rounded
– Arms In and Tucked
– Legs Bent

The Partial Rack Pull allows you to fight off hyper specialization of your body by avoiding practicing the same movements that you’re already doing when you drill during MMA training.

A good thing about most Partial work is it allows you to starve off CNS fatigue, as it’s not nearly as neurally draining a Full Range of Motion Deadlift.

My Recommendations:

– Use A Barbell
– Go Medium to Heavy in weight
– If using Medium Weight work within the 5-8 rep range. 5-8 sets
– If using Heavy Weight work within the 1-3 rep range. 1-4 sets

Tomorrow I’ll be back with some pointers on Push Presses. Until then, you can find me in “The Play Pen”, editing videos of myself playing with my clients, training clients for Pure Greatness, or writing smart ass articles on Easier Strength Training. If you’d like to contact me you can email me at [email protected], friend me on Facebook (Darryl Lardizabal), or shoot a Tweet my way (@XPO312).