Thursday, June 4, 2009

Top 14 Partner Bodyweight Exercises For Combat Athletes

For combat athletes, getting "strong" is not just a matter of increasing their squat, deadlift, or any other weightroom number. While barbell and dumbbell training is often necessary for building a great base, fighters and grapplers need a different kind of strength - the kind that doesn't always tell the full story through the weightroom. Combat athletes need a great deal of strength and explosive power, but they need to be able to express that strength and power repeatedly for multiple rounds of 3-5 minutes or for a 6 minute wrestling match against a live opponent that is trying to do the same thing to you. And this is where the confusion for most athletes starts, and why there are more and more of these "mma strength coaches" popping up - most of these guys having never thrown a single punch in their lives - putting athletes through ridiculous circuits, throwing together anything that comes off the top of their heads (or so it seems). But I digress...that could be a 3 part installment article in itself!

But what I want to talk about today is some functional, bare bones, real world strength and conditioning for grapplers and fighters. Here are my TOP 13 partner bodyweight movements that don't require ANY equipment, just a killer instinct and willingness to CRUSH IT. These movements can be used as a "warm up" before skill practices, but they also work great as a finisher (and you don't have to worry about burning yourself out). Oh, and I lied about using zero equipment. You'll need a simple bath or beach towel for some of these (I was close).

Here ya go, in no particular order, the baddest of the bad of partner bodyweight calisthenics:

Total Body:

1. Partner Pick Ups

2. Partner Rotations

3. Partner Carries

Upperbody Pushing:

4. Partner Wheel Barrow Push Ups / Forward Walks / Backward Walks / Lateral Walks / Clapping Push Ups

5. Partner Push Ups

Upperbody Pulling:

6. Partner Recline Pulls / Alternating Recline Pulls

7. Partner Towel Rows / Alternating Towel Rows / One Arm Towel Rows

8. Partner Towel Curls (work great at the end of sessions to fry grip and arms!)


9. Partner Drags

10. Partner Squats

11. Partner Lateral Hops

12. Partner Push Lunge / Push Lateral Lunge

Posterior Chain:

13. Partner Glute Ham Raises

14. Partner Hip Pops / Single Leg Hip Pops

So how do we organize these for a training session? Well first of all, you don't need to use all of them every time you train. Secondly, its best to pick one movement from each category and work these movements in a circuit.

Here are two examples, but you can mix and match these any you want - and feel free to come up with your own variations! Repeat each circuit for 2-4 sets, or if you want, do 1-2 sets of circuit 1 and then 1-2 sets of circuit 2 for a complete workout.

Circuit 1:
1. Partner Pick Ups x max reps in 30 seconds
2. Wheel Barrow Push Ups x 12
3. Partner Towel Rows x 12
4. Partner Drags x 50'
5. Partner Single Leg Hip Pops x max reps in 30 seconds per leg

Circuit 2:
1. Partner Rotations x 5 each side
2. Partner Carry x 50'
3. Partner Push Ups aka Partner Bench Press x 10-12
4. Partner Recline Rows x 10-12
5. Parner Squats x 15
6. Partner Glute Ham Raises x 10

Give these a try and watch your "mat strength" and conditioning go through the roof!

P.S. Martin Rooney of Parisi Speed School has an excellent book out called Training For Warriors with detailed descriptions of many of these exercises. I highly reccomend checking out that book and his Training For Warriors You Tube Channel.

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