Mixed martial arts – train for the UFC

Want to get fit and lose fat? This MMA workout by Fitness First trainer Anderson Silva will have you literally hitting your goals.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is the fastest growing sport in the world today. The combination of movements in MMA trains your entire body and can hone your skills for almost every type of sport, exercise or workout routine.

The fluent movement patterns, falls, slams, strikes, holds and cardiovascular training is a pure indulgence of the human body’s capabilities.

But I can’t stress enough the importance of preparing your body for MMA training. Attempting explosive movements when fatigued and with an inadequate level of mobility, strength and the experience to control your force is a recipe for disaster. From UFC fighters to corporate warriors, your training plan must respect the movements and your body in order to achieve your goal.

A common mistake in MMA is to over-train, which can lead to injury. As for any goal, education, consistency and a balanced approach is the key to the success of your MMA journey in and out of the gym.

 Training Tips 

  • For this workout, complete 6-7 reps of each exercise followed by a rest of 30-45 seconds. Complete 2 sets to really work your body.
  • When you’ve mastered the technique of each exercise, try completing them in an “AMRAP” to simulate competition intensity.  Set a timer with 3-5 minute rounds and try to complete As Many Reps As Possible.

 01  Back to wall MMA squats 

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and your back against the wall, holding a weight bag in your arms. Slowly slide down the wall until your hips get as close to the floor as they can. Keep your body tight. Push up through your heels, rocking your shoulders side to side against the wall to return to standing.

 02  Cable kick in with towel pull 

Begin in a crouch with your right side towards the cable machine, left hand on the ground and right hand gripping your towel. Drive your left leg diagonally beneath your body, kicking between your left hand and right leg as you pull the towel towards your body, performing a row, until you’re facing the cable machine and your elbow is all the way back. Complete all reps before swapping sides.

 03  BJJ triangle hip raises 

Lie on your back with your arms beside you, palms on the floor. Raise your legs straight up with knees slightly bent. With momentum, raise your hips and bend your left leg with your knee pointing out, placing your left shin underneath your right knee to make a triangle shape with your leg. Bend your right leg to lock in your shin. Lower and repeat with the opposite leg.

 04  Cable towel throw over 

Face the cable machine in a lunge position. Reach forward and grab the towel with both hands. Turn 180°, pulling the cable over your shoulder, rotating your hips and torso with knees bent and core engaged. Repeat on the opposite side.

 05  Alternating legs hip bridge with push press 

Lie on the floor with feet on a bench, holding a plate over your chest. Using one leg, raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, pushing the plate up with your arms at the same time. Raise your other leg towards the ceiling as you move. Alternate legs as fast as you can.

 06  Partner/wall slam ball side toss 

Stand side-on to your partner or a wall, holding a heavy ball under your chin with both hands. Transfer your weight from the outside foot to the inside foot, explosively rotating through your hips and torso as you throw the ball to your partner or slam the ball against the wall. Catch the ball as it comes back and return to start position. Repeat for remaining reps. Turn 180° and repeat on the other side.

 07  Swiss Ball sprawl 

Stand with a Swiss Ball in front of you. Lean down and place your hands on the ball. Jump your feet back into a push up position and perform a push up, touching your chest to the ball. Jump your feet in, stand, circle around the ball and repeat on the opposite side.

 08  Take Down Entrance 

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, two kettlebells held to your chest. Step forward with one leg, touching the ground with your back knee. Drive your hips forward and walk through to standing. Step back and repeat on the opposite side.


Anderson Silva is a personal trainer at Fitness First Dee Why.
He recently participated in the creation of the Barra Fit 2.0 program for Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Find him at proudsports.com.au, on Instagram @anderson_proud_sports and contact him at andersonsilva_pt@yahoo.com.au