How quickly you can attack and retreat plays a major role in successful combat. To train this ability, however, is not always very easy. The reason for this is simple. Most strength exercises are great for improving general strength of the body or legs, hips or arms, but they usually do little to improve movement skills in the cage. To do this requires greater specificity of the exercises.
This means that the strength exercise should duplicate the exact movements or joint actions that you must execute in performing the attack and retreat. One of the best exercises that I have found for duplicating the actions seen in the attack is the basic forward lunge. To improve the ability to retreat quickly I have found that the reverse lunge is perhaps the best to use. Continue Reading...
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Do not confuse the forward lunge with what many people call a lunge, but in reality, execute a split squat. In other words, they take a short forward step and then lower the body straight down so that they are basically doing the squat.
The lunge I am referring to is known as the classic lunge. In this lunge you take a long step so that you truly do lunge. In this version you must have a powerful pushoff or body drive to forcefully push the body forward. Depending upon your initial starting position, this involves mainly the calf muscles in ankle joint extension. It may also entail some hip and especially knee joint extension.
When done correctly this lunge is not a simple exercise. Not only must you exhibit great force in the initial push, but you also must maintain an erect body position during the entire movement. This is needed so that you emphasize getting power into the hit and at the same time, do not get your head close to your opponent. When done correctly you'll notice how you need good flexibility in the hip joint flexor muscles in order to allow the pelvis to drive forward. This is the key to getting more force into the punch especially if you also rotate the pelvis after the forward drive.
To do the exercise as needed to produce the force and give you good reach, I have found that the typical lunch with a barbell is not effective. The resistance of the barbell on your shoulders creates more resistance pushing you down rather than creating resistance to work the muscles more effectively in the forward push. The solution was in the Active Cords in which you use a nonslip belt around the hips with attachment of elastic cords directly in the rear or one cord on each side of the hips. The resistance of the cords allows you to create a powerful forward push.
With the Active Cords it is possible to create as much resistance as needed without any added pressure on the spine as occurs with the barbell. Execution of this lunge is more specific to what you must execute in the cage. To become even more powerful in your forward drive, you should do the lunge in an explosive or plyometric manner. However, you should not do these versions of the lunge until you have a well-developed strength base. The reverse lunge is done in a manner similar to the forward lunge but in reverse. You assume the same starting position but instead of striding forward, you step backward as far as possible. You still have the Active Cord hip belt around the hips so that you have adequate resistance in this movement. Also important is to maintain an erect trunk position as you execute the movement.
When you have mastered this movement and have a sufficient strength base, you will then be ready to do this exercise in a more explosive or plyometric manner. When you are proficient in the explosive variant you can then do quick reversals to work on both the forward and backward lunges simultaneously. This however is more advanced and you should not undertake doing it until you have the basic forward and backward lunges mastered.
Which is Better for Fighting: Special or General Fitness?
General strength exercises are used in overall body conditioning. They are not directly related to the specific actions seen in your sport i.e., strengthening the muscles as they are used in MMA for example and increasing your functional potential for improved performance. Like greater punching power!...read more