How to Train Like an MMA Fighter | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Train MMA Style With the TRX Rip Trainer

September 22, 2011

MMA fighters are some of the most powerful and best conditioned athletes in the world. They must be able to produce crushing punches, kicks and throws, while withstanding their opponent’s attacks for three five-minute rounds.

In any sport, it’s essential to train how you compete. The closer your workout mirrors your sport, the better you will perform. Pete Holman, TRX Rip Training development director and former U.S. Taekwondo champion, has developed a TRX Rip Trainer MMA workout that closely simulates a mixed martial arts fight. The best part? You can do it at home, in a gym or in the octagon.

The workout incorporates four exercises—the Rip Jab Punch, Rip Punch, Rip Pitchfork and Rip Windmill—that mimic fundamental MMA skills, like punching, throwing and absorbing a blow. Performed with the Rip Trainer, it enhances rotation, boosts power and increases metabolism (the body's ability to produce and use energy).

Although the Rip Trainer MMA workout is designed for fighters, it is appropriate for athletes playing football, hockey, lacrosse and other high contact sports. Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk performs MMA-inspired workouts in the off-season to improve his explosive power, hand speed, footwork and flexibility. (Watch Hawk perform his functional MMA workout at D1 Sports Training.)

Rotation
Almost every MMA skill involves rotation of the core muscles, including the hips, abs and low back muscles. Try punching with just your arm; then punch again, driving with your hips and core, and notice the difference in power.

When you do Holman's four exercises, the asymmetrical resistance (an uneven load affecting one side of the body) created by the Rip Trainer will challenge your core rotators. The result? A stronger and balanced core so you can more powerfully rotate into a punch or throw, or stabilize against your opponent’s body blows.

Power
Speed kills in MMA, which is why power (amount of force produced in as little time as possible) is more important than absolute strength.

Holman’s Rip Trainer workout excels in this area by engaging the power-generating lower body and core with full body and explosive movements. In addition, the exercises challenge your muscles in ways that closely match fundamental MMA skills, so you become more powerful and efficient in these movement patterns.

Metabolism
Your conditioning workouts should match the demands of your sport. This ensures that your energy systems and muscles can power you through a game or a match without succumbing to fatigue.

Holman designed the Rip Trainer MMA workout to directly reflect the demands of an MMA fight. Three intense, five-minute circuits will develop your metabolism so you can deliver powerful blows and be at your peak throughout every fight.

Perform the following four exercises in circuit fashion. Do each one for 30 seconds per side (one minute total), rest 15 seconds and move on to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit three times.

Rip Jab Punch

  • Assume staggered stance with left foot forward, facing away from mount
  • Hold Rip Trainer at chest level with shoulder-width grip and Rip Cord at left arm
  • Forcefully extend left arm forward and step with left foot to perform jab
  • Flex left arm in controlled manner and step back with left foot to return to start position
  • Repeat for specified time; perform set with right arm

Rip Punch

  • Assume staggered stance with left foot forward, facing away from mount
  • Hold Rip Trainer at chest level with shoulder-width grip and Rip Chord at right arm
  • Forcefully extend right arm forward and drive through right hip to perform punch
  • Flex right arm in controlled manner to return to start position
  • Repeat for specified time; perform set with left arm

Rip Pitchfork

  • Assume quarter-squat stance facing mount
  • Hold Rip Trainer in front with shoulder-width grip; hold bottom of Rip Trainer with left hand, with right hand grasping near Rip Chord
  • Simultaneously extend hips and knees
  • Rotate through core and flex right shoulder to perform pitchfork motion
  • Lower in control to start position
  • Repeat for specified time; perform set with left arm

Rip Windmill

  • Assume athletic stance with feet slightly wider than hip-width with mount to side
  • Hold Rip Trainer in front with shoulder-width grip; hold bottom of Rip Trainer with left hand, with right hand grasping near Rip Chord
  • Lower into quarter-squat and rotate core in one, fluid motion to create circle with Rip Trainer
  • Repeat for specified time; perform set on opposite side

In the above video, Holman demonstrates each exercise and shows you some advance moves to make them even more effective.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Must See
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,222,351
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,260,960
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 83,204

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,466
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,478
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,723
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,368
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,988,602
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,610
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,505
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,175,033

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

VertiMax CEO Mike Wehrell on Life After Football

The Best Home Exercise Equipment For Under $200

A Field Guide to Weird Looking Weightlifting Bars

17 Insanely Expensive College Athletic Training Facilities

Embrace Contact in Basketball With This Tool

New Cirrus Yoga Mats Let You Show Team Spirit

A Better Foam Roller: the enso Roller by EvoFit, Reviewed

Fitbit Surge vs. Charge HR: Which One Is Right for You?

Under Armour's Armour39 Helps Athletes Get Better

Push-Up Equipment That Works

Battle-Tested Workout Equipment You Can Make Yourself

Mayfield Wildcats Get a New Training Home

Training Tool: SKLZ Recoil 360

Common Lifting Accessories and What They Do For You

8 Training Innovations Shaping the Future of Fitness

Improve Your Batting Average With a One-Handed Bat

12 Must-Have Items in the Athlete's Gym Bag

Short on Workout Equipment? Try These Tips

Your High School Weight Room Is Inadequate

3 Specialty Barbells That Build Strength and Size

A Simple Home Gym Setup and Workout

5 Fitness Trackers That Are Worth the Money

Pros and Cons of Using a Weightlifting Belt

Basketball Workout: Vary Your Equipment

Short on Workout Equipment? Try These Tips, Part 2

Short on Workout Equipment? Try These Tips, Part 3

Best Baseball Equipment for Pitchers

Low-Cost Speed Training Gear

Previewing the New Fitbit Flex

Fitbit Force: They Got it Right

You Need These 4 Fitness Training Accessories

Show Your Team Pride With a Cirrus Stability Ball

5 New Game-Changing Fitness Inventions

3 Pieces of Inexpensive, Effective Football Training Equipment

The Most Overrated Equipment in the Gym

Spend Less, Get Stronger

Spark Motion Takes Baseball Training to the Next Level

Previewing the Armour39

Weight Room Debate: Should You Wear Lifting Gloves?

One Piece of Home Exercise Equipment Every Athlete Needs

Nike+ FuelBand Tracks Your Everyday Activity

6 Ways to a Better High School Weight Room

Guide to Training on Different Surfaces

The Best Workout You're Not Doing