9 MMA Training Exercise Ideas

9 MMA Training Exercise Ideas

Training for boxing exercises without a coach/trainer can be daunting & overwhelming. You could be just a beginner looking to start with boxing exercises or a boxing enthusiast, already well down the training path but looking for fresh ideas.  

Whatever your goal is, Boxing is a sport that requires strength, speed, and endurance, all of which need to be developed in your training & so we’ve listed the top 9 boxing exercises you can do anywhere & start your fitness journey. We’ve broken down the 9 exercises in 3 parts i.e. – Upper Body, Lower Body & Cardio, and Core Training.

Pro Tip - As you likely know, a proper warmup is crucial in avoiding injuries and getting the most out of your workout.

Upper Body Exercise

This list consists of upper body boxing training exercises that helps you with strengthening the upper body so as to avoid injury & build the upper body you’ve always wanted.

#1. Shadow Boxing “Straight Punches”

Shadowboxing is the act of punching into the air, usually without an opponent, as exercise. Throwing Straight punches is a really great way to increase your punching speed & prepare for defense against punches.

My suggestion would be starting with a 3-minute non-stop punching in the air with any speed you are comfortable with. You can use multiple combinations of punches such as uppercuts or jabs. Do not forget the footwork which is very important in increases the intensity of this cardiovascular workout & making you feel like fighting a real opponent.

You should aim for at least 300 punches in 3 minutes which is pretty good speed to start with & you should consider checking out FGHTR’s Reflex Ball which can help you get better hand-eye coordination with proper punches.

#2. Elbow Strikes

An Elbow strike is more of a self-defense

There are 7 Different Elbow Strikes you can practice being as precise in you strike as listed below –

  • Horizontal Elbow Strike
  • Downward Elbow Strike
  • Upward Elbow Strike
  • Spearing Elbow Strike
  • Dropping Elbow Strike
  • Reverse Elbow Strike
  • Spinning Elbow Strike

Of course, we won’t be able to cover all that in this blog but you can check out The Guide to Elbow Strikes by Stephan

There are basically 3 ways to an elbow strike i.e. – Get your stance right > Position your one arm & shoulder in striking position & one supporting it & in preparation of blocking > Strike!

Some tips to consider while practicing elbow strikes.

  • Use your hips, shoulders, and torso and stance to get the best momentum which lends you power and speed.
  • Try the movement out slowly at first. If it feels wrong, even after a few tries, do some stretches. If it still feels sore, you are doing something wrong.
  • Stretch before you try this out.

technique but definitely a useful & scary one to use. Fighters practicing martial arts like Muay Thai or MMA are generally the ones to use elbow strikes but it’s a technique useful for every fighter out there.

#3. Jab Cross

A jab-cross is a combination of surprise effect of the jab and the strength of the cross - a straight punch - aiming for a knockout. A jab-cross is a bodyweight boxing sequence that demands a strong breathing technique and allows progression as you change speed and power.

The jab and cross can be cleanly thrown one after the other because you need to be in the same position to throw them both. Throwing an accurate jab is the key. It will set up whatever punch you decide to throw afterward. 

Some Tips to practice Jab Cross

  • Look for the perfect opportunity to place your jab. Don't waste energy punching in the air.
  • Practice on the heavy bag to gain power. You should hear a loud pop that resonates in the room. If it is not loud enough, snap your hand out more or use more of a twitch. Your body weight is what gives your punches power.
  • Practice for speed. The jab should sting the opponent and get him a little dazed. It is not a knockout punch.

Lower Body Exercise

#4. Knee Strikes

A knee strike (commonly referred to simply as a knee) is a strike with the knee, either with the kneecap or the surrounding area. Kneeing is a disallowed practice in many combat sports, especially to the head of a downed opponent.

You can start this exercise the knees slightly bent. Keep your feet in a fighter’s stance with your left foot forward. Raise up both your arms to the left as if you’re grabbing an object. Now tense up your core muscles and pull your hands down as you bend your right knee and lift it up to meet & return to the beginning position.

Tips –

  • Be sure to bring the striking knee up as high as comfortably possible.
  • Avoid allowing your upper body to lean too far forward. Keep your chest up the entire time.

#5. Turning Kicks

Turning kicks or more known as spinning kicks is more of a professional technique you can practice & exercise to become a pro fighter.

Turning kicks is a great way to exercise your legs, test your balance, get an aerobic and cardiovascular workout and learn a little bit about martial arts (if you're new to all this). The key element in fighting style turning kicks is speed, not just the execution (i.e. as you kick out) but also of the retraction of the leg, which helps work out the antagonistic muscle groups (i.e. the ones that stabilize the execution of the kick and help recover the leg to its starting position). Plus, the constant change of position as you alternate legs helps you develop your footwork.


  • Kick at the maximum comfortable height where you can still feel the power in your kick.
  • Do not lock the knee joint out, instead flick the leg out and back in again. This helps you develop speed in your kicks and prevents the knee joint from excessive wear and tear. 

#6. Front Kicks

All punches and kicks are thrown into the air or onto pads. It's a high-energy workout that can burn between 350 and 450 calories an hour, according to the American Council on Exercise. Your elevated heart rate moves into in an intense zone in which cardiovascular conditioning takes place.

You can start with standing up tall with good posture and raise your arms up straight in front of you to shoulder height. Then standing balanced on your left foot, lift your right leg up straight out in front of you. Aim to get the foot up to hip height, without bending it at the knee. This will be challenging if you have tight hamstrings.

Some Tips to consider while practicing Front Kicks -

  • To kick higher, practice often and stretch frequently. The more you work on your flexibility, the higher you will be able to kick.
  • After learning the simple front snap kick, you may move on to learning the front push kick. This variation uses the same basic technique, but with a more forward motion from the hips instead of snapping from the knee.
  • Targets for this kick include: the knee, groin, solar plexus, chin, and face area, depending on how high you can comfortably lift your leg.

Cardio & Core

#7. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are a classical cardiovascular and endurance exercise. Why this traditional exercise still matters today? It might seem simple, leaping up and down, but behind the scenes, these exercises can have a significant impact on your body High Knees.

Jumping jacks not only gets your heart pumping but also activates your entire body from fingers to toes while also working your legs, arms & core at the same time.

You can start in a standing position with arms by your sides. Engage the core slightly and set the shoulders, ready for movement.

Keeping arms and legs straight (but not locked out) simultaneously jump the legs out to the sides and raise the arms to shoulder height. Stabilize the hips, core, and shoulder girdle.

Return to start and continue at a controlled rhythmic pace for time or reps.

Jumping jacks is the best cardio you can do especially from home during COVID-19 when you don’t have access to a gym.

#8. Jump Rope

Jump rope is one of the best workouts you can do. You’ll burn fat, lose weight, and improve your cardio, all while gaining lean muscle mass.

Speed Jump roping has been the basis of training for all the professional fighters. If you practice explosive sports such as boxing, MMA, or any sport including CrossFit and you want to get better, then jump rope exercises are the way to go.

You can start with a minimum of 20-minute jump rope exercise taking breaks of 10 seconds every minute or so. To learn more about in-depth Jump rope workout, you can check out Jump Rope Dudes

As you master the jump rope basics and are ready for the next level, you’ll want to focus on intensity and endurance to really burn fat and build muscle.

If you are serious about Jump rope workout then check-out FGHTR’s Professional Speed Jump Rope

#9. Leg Plank

Leg Planks is hands down the most core-intensive workout you can do. Since planks work your core, that means they work basically the whole body, from your pelvic girdle to your shoulder girdle as well as your legs. The plank strengthens your spine, your rhomboids and trapezius, and your abdominal muscles, which naturally result in a strong posture as they grow in strength.

You can start by getting into a plank position on your mat. Keep your arms straight and abs engaged, while keeping the whole body in a straight line. Inhale and lower the hips while moving the torso forward so shoulders are over hands. Lift your right leg up and hold for one breath. Exhale and lower the leg

The plank works out a tremendous number of muscles in your body, which makes them appealing for all sorts of training – strength, endurance, you name it. Planks can even be a benefit for those wanting to do cardio training.

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