It’s probably best that you leave mixed martial arts fighting to the professionals in the UFC and watch it from the safety of your couch. But there’s no reason you can’t train like a fighter with an MMA training routine to lose fat, build your wind, and de-stress. The following is a pretty good simulation of an MMA fight—you know, without the foot about to land upside your head.
The workout lasts approximately as long as a real championship MMA fight: five rounds. In those rounds, you’ll perform a little of nearly every kind of exercise that fighters use to prepare for battle, from jumping rope to body-weight circuits to combinations on the heavy bag. Use it to get in fighting shape, and then watch the real fights from the safest of your couch. But if you want to work out like a real warrior, try stealing the routine that Genghis Khan had his armies do.
Jump rope for three minutes. Then, rest for 90 seconds. Jumping rope, of course, is great cardio. But if you really want to get that heart rate up, try one of the 10 best cardio workouts for men over 40.
Stay light on your feet and throw jabs, crossed, hooks, and uppercuts at an imaginary opponent. Keep your hands up. Do this for two minutes.
Set a timer for two minutes. (You’ll follow this timer for the next three movements.) Perform conventional pushups. Do 20.
Stand with your feet shoulder width and toes turned slightly out. Bend your hips back and squat as low as you can. Do 20 reps.
Get into pushup position and then bend your elbows so your forearms lie flat on the floor. Brace your abs and hold the position until your timer—that’s the two-minute one you just set—goes off. Rest for a minute-and-a-half. And for when you want an excruciating ab workout, try the routine that will get you a six pack in six weeks.
Heavy Bag Punching
Set a timer for five minutes. Then, with a heavy bag, do 50 jabs, 50 crosses, 50 jabs and crosses, and then 25 jabs, crosses, and hooks. For the remainder of the five minutes, jump rope. Rest for two minutes.
Heavy Bag Kicking
Same as before: set a time for five minutes. Then, with a heavy bag, do 60 seconds of alternating knee strikes, followed by 60 seconds of alternating kicks, then 50 jabs and kicks, finishing up with 50 crosses and kicks. With whatever time you have left, jump rope. Rest for two minutes.
To wrap up the workout, set one final timer. Then, do 10 forward rolls, 10 backward rolls, 100 sit-ups, 10 ground n’ pounds (place a heavy bag on the floor, mount, and strike it; this is what’s pictured), and 15 pushups. For the remainder of your timer—yeah, we know, you get it by now—jump rope. Slate this workout into your routine and you’ll be fighting fit in no time.
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