Training Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ – Read on and find out why & how you are Training Like A Modern Gladiator
by Dasha Libin Anderson, MS, NASM-PES, NASE, M-KBIA
Mixed martial artists are known as modern day Gladiators; tales of their strength and conditioning routines are talked about in gym locker rooms across the country. But these myths of peak physical shape really go back to the basics of the sport’s many demands including: strength, endurance, agility, balance, power, reaction, timing and flexibility. Utilizing the concepts mixed martial artists use to prepare for their time in the cage can help bring your conditioning routine to a new level, not to mention help create a new challenge and spice up a tired routine.
The uniqueness of MMA’s conditioning comes from its use of sport specific drills, time intervals and exercise choices. All three concepts are brought together to create a training session that can closely mimic the variables a fighter will face in the ring. Adding these concepts in your lifting and cardio routine once or twice a week can help get you out of a stale routine, creating excitement as well as a new physical challenge, additionally helping the body get rid of the natural plateaus even the most dedicated fitness buffs face.
I. Just like we do in Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ – Use the intervals of MMA to create an endurance, strength and cardio session like no other!
Often in MMA (mixed martial arts) the athlete must go through a maximum level of exertion for a full five minute round. The fighter gets only one minute breaks in-between each round and championship bouts last 5 rounds (or twenty-five grueling minutes).
To mimic the level of exertion a mixed martial artist will go through we must mimic the time intervals and the elements the athlete will face in the ring.
Dasha created Martial HITT ™ Intervals, which quickly became a major component of what makes Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ so unique.
Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ utilizes both aerobic and anaerobic pathways, uses strength and endurance, requires high amounts of power exertion and additionally require a high level of balance, reaction, stability, quickness and agility . The Do-It-At-Home Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ ‘circuit rounds’ below will incorporate all of those elements — have fun!
Like A Fighter: Kettlebell Kickboxing ™
Use the exercises listed below and feel free to add in some of your own challenging variations. The main goal is to keep up strength, balance and power output through out each round. Take the rest between rounds as recovery and then jump back into the exercises with virtually no stop in between each. Typically it would be ideal to maintain each exercise for a minute before switching to the next, but for tougher versions and longer rounds feel free to switch every thirty seconds. In general including plyometrics, stability, endurance, kettle bells, sprints and free weights is ideal for this at home mix!
* Take 2 minute rests in between each round
Round 1 ‘warm up round’ 3 minutes
1 minute of kettle bell double handed swing / 1 minute of wall ball toss or KB chop / 30 seconds of burpies / 30 seconds of SL ‘Warriors Walk ™ series’ stability
Round 2 ‘intensify’ 4 minutes
1 minute of kettle bell double handed swing / 1 minute of wall ball toss or KB chop / 30 seconds of burpies / SL ‘Warriors Walk ™ series’ stability/ 1 minute sprints (do short sprints if you are limited on space)
Round 3 ‘goal time’ 5 minutes
1 minute of kettle bell double handed swing / 1 minute of wall ball toss or KB chop / 1 minute burpies / 30 seconds of plyometrics (any jumping variation) / 1 mute of negative push-ups / 1 minute of sprints / 1 minute hold plank
Round 4 ‘maintain the goal’ 5 minutes
1 minute of kettle bell double handed swing / 30 seconds of wall ball toss / 30 seconds of burpies / SL ‘Warriors Walk ™ series’ stability / 30 second of plyometrics of choice- SPRAWL/ 30 seconds of push-ups/ 30 seconds of sprints / 30 seconds plank /30 seconds of jump squats /
Round 5 ‘the push’ 5 minutes
30 seconds of jump squats / 30 seconds push ups/ 30 seconds burpies/ 30 seconds wall ball toss/ 30 second sprints/ SL ‘Warriors Walk ™ series’ stability/ 30 kettle bell swings/ 30 seconds pull ups/ push-ups/ 1 minute hold plank
Take 1 minute rests in between each round
Round 1 ‘warm up round’ 3 minutes
Round 2 ‘intensify’ 5 minutes
Round 3 ‘goal time’ 6 minutes
Round 4 ‘maintain the goal’ 7 minutes
II. Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ Bring in MMA drills to recruit new muscles : How to Do-It-At-Home-Now
The motions that are involved in martial arts are an incredible way to include multi joint, functional exercises into your routine. Every time a kick or punch is thrown the entire body is working to create the motion, build muscle, burn calories and deliver the blow. Use some of the most common Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ MMA drills to wake new muscles and functionalize your training.
Solo MMA training:
Include 50 jab –cross combinations, followed by 50 high hook motions and then 50 upper cuts.
With your hand directly in front of your face (boxing stance), throw 50 high straight kicks each leg (aiming the touch the top of your head with your toe). Then follow up with 50 crescent kicks each leg (the crescent kick is virtually the same as the straight kick, but as you kick up you also make a large circle with the leg right in front of your body).
Bag work: All you need is 16-ounce boxing gloves and a heavy bag:
Throw on a pair of 16-ounce boxing gloves and work five three-minute rounds of straight punches.
Stay away from hooks and upper cuts unless you have had formal training (the motions are more likely to cause wrist injury if not done correctly). Your straight punches will include the jab-cross combination.
Staying with the heavy bag, keeping your hands up and from boxing stance throw a straight kick that will push the heavy bag back with the ball of your foot. Do 100 kicks each leg, pushing the bag back in one swift motion. Once 100 kicks is easy, do timed rounds (2-5 minutes of kicking for a total of five rounds).
This ‘push kick’ kick is ideal for beginners because it requires the least amount of training, yet still provides a great calorie burn and strength training workout.
Knee skips are one of the best, and toughest conditioning tools around. To add this motion to your heavy bag routine, first hug the bag with both hands, clenching the hands on the other side of the bag. Once you have a firm grip, skip alternate knees into the bag, striking with the tip of your knee. Try to develop a fast paced rhythm once you get the hang of it and do not stop until your count or round are up.
Do 100 straight or opt for tougher timed round of two minutes of continuous hitting.
Hit the Mat with Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ – BJJ & MMA Ground Series
MMA groundwork requires a mat, or a padded floor
Aim for fifty consecutive repetitions of each exercise
Laying on your back, bridge up and reach your hand to touch the opposite side of the floor, go left to right with out stopping
First, sit on your butt, placing the arms right behind you, then lift your body up with your hands and legs, butt suspended off of the ground, then just crawl backward and forward
Get into push up position and start to crawl forward, like Spiderman does when he is climbing the side of a building
Picture a big gorilla jumping around, then hunch down and bend the knees, touching your knuckles to the ground, start to laterally jump to the left or right side in a continuous, hunched over, legs bent ‘gorilla’ style motion
From standing, jump down and lightly thrust your hips to the ground while spreading your legs wide, then, jump right back up to standing in one swift motion
Upper-body crawl (1 minute / 2 reps)
Lay flat on your back, legs fully extended, then try to crawl using only your upper torso (do not use hands, arms or legs to help with the pushing motion)
III. Stack your exercises like a Mixed Martial Artist & see why Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ is always such a unique workout!
Mixed martial artists try to do as much ‘compound’ multi joint motion exercises as possible, mimicking the sport but also teaching the muscles how to work in unison. They also ‘stack’ their exercises in a way that maximizes performance and minimizes injury.
The Stack Rule of thumb is to place the most detailed and difficult exercises first.
Any power lifting exercises will always go before regular weight lifting. In weight training, the bench press, dead lift and squat go before any other exercise because they are the most difficult and require fresh muscles in order to get maximum benefit. As you progress down your training routine, continue to Stack the exercises from most difficult and most muscles activated to least difficult and least amount of muscles in use.
As for the exercise themselves, all strength training is specifically made to incorporate a variety of muscle groups, not isolating muscles. Therefore, push ups, pull-ups, kettle bell exercises as well as the compound weightlifting exercises are always the premium choice for building functional and useful strength and power. For a non-mixed martial artist, these basic concepts might help liven a routine as well as help power and strength gains for more functional areas of training like injury prevention and sports performance.
So, there you have it, three great ways Kettlebell Kickboxing ™ uses MMA principles to help you get a Bonus Bang out of your training!