By Eric Wong, BSc, CSCS

I get a lot of questions about what exercises to do for MMA. If you're already fairly strong in the basic exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc. then incorporating medicine ball exercises into the mix will really ramp up your power.

Medicine ball exercises provide you 2 MAJOR benefits that you can't get using other tools:

1.Medicine balls allow you to work in the rotational and diagonal planes of motion, which is where you develop your knockout power

2.You can throw medicine balls, provided you're outdoors or you have a concrete wall inside, which allows you to train at full velocity which further develops your knockout power

Contrast this to doing exercises with a barbell - you can generally only work one plane of motion called the sagittal plane, which doesn't work your rotational power at all.

Plus, if you try to train at high velocity, you generally have to slow the bar down so you don't throw it, which limits your ability to develop max velocity.

Here are two of my favourite exercises that you can incorporate into your routine right away to improve your MMA game:

Medicine ball side toss

•Reps: 6 - 8 per side

•Rest: 90 - 120 sec

•Sets: 3 - 5

This exercise will target your rotational power. Once you incorporate it for a few weeks using the reps/rest/sets outlined, you'll feel more 'pop' in your punches and kicks, especially your hooks and roundhouses.

Make sure you rest enough, most fighters don't take enough rest between sets when training power, which limits your ability to improve, since you start to get into the endurance energy system instead.

Medicine ball toss and getup

•Reps: 4 - 8

•Rest: 90 - 120 sec

•Sets: 3 - 5

This is a great exercise to train your upper body pushing power and quickness. The fear of the ball coming down and hitting you in the face causes you to move faster than you normally would, helping you train your getup speed which will help you if you're a striker and prefer to keep the fight standing.

So incorporate these exercises into your training plan and you'll be amazed after a few weeks and how much more powerful and how much quicker you are.

The biggest problem most fighters have is that they're not following a program that complements their MMA training and gets them results. So make sure you're following a program

If you want a program that has these exercises already built in and takes the guesswork out of everything, then follow the link below to start on a complete MMA program that's proven in the octagon:


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