T Nation

5 Exercises That a Fighter Needs


They definitely do pushups.


What the fuck are walks?


Walking on your hands maybe?


It depends where you're fighting. Self-defense street fighting, I'd wager:

Speed drills
Speed drills
Speed drills
Speed drills

  1. Perfect Pushup (It rotaes your arm like a punch)
  2. Snorkel Training (Gotta have an open mouth to get KTFO like Maia and Wanderlei)
  3. Gas Mask Training (Sherk does it and he's a beast)
  4. Training hardcore on a playground with kids (training around school kids like Fedor makes you tough)
  5. Pull Jumps (it's why BJ beat Kenny Florian)


This would only be funnier if someone actually wrote an article on it.


Im thinking about changing 5 to drinking pee.



  1. Cutting down trees
  2. Running from bears
  3. Climbing trees
  4. Punching bears in the stupid bear nose
  5. Pushups




What's with the hate against bears? Especially #4. That's just uncalled for.


As an American you must hate bears. Communist bastard.


Technique, heart, self-disipline, courage, mind control...for exercises anything thats going to build some pure anarobic power.




Number 3 is impossible because of number 1.
I advise you to rethink your bear fighting strategy.


I’ve been trying to develop a radically reduced exercise program as a supplement to my karate practice. It needs to be as reduced as possible as the bulk of my training time at home has to be kata and bagwork or actual fighting drills So far, I’ve got:

  1. Pushups. Largely because they’re contained in gradings, but also because nobody is too strong for pushup variations- try to do a planche pushup and call me a liar. The aim is to gradually increase mechanical disadvantage after getting a good grounding in the basic move
  2. Situps- because they’re in the grading. They’re not a particularly useful or productive exercise, but the intense pain I experience when trying to do all those situps in class argues for their inclusion.
  3. Burpees. These are in the grading too, but I really like the idea of being able to grind out tons of these suckers. Great for work capacity. I don’t add a pushup to these as I’ve already got them covered.
  4. Clean and press. Because I’ve learned that incorporating some kind of barbell work- however minimal- has a great impact on the rest of what I do. I do escalating-density type stuff with them. They’re a good full body exercise. I do them in a loose, ‘ground to overhead two hands lift’ style. Just get the thing overhead.
  5. Running. Pretty much all fighters run and it’s doing great things for being lighter on my feet. I also skip.

If I’m allowed a sixth I would nominate either squats or chins.

Sound good?


A 7 year old thread! Dont get many of these.

First , I am not a certified trainer, I will just let you know whats been working for me. I train for one reason only: to be better than the enemy, so I will change things up about every 6 weeks, while still working on core skills: two movements that are working for me:

Standing Landmine Presses: (T-Nation has an article on landmine presses). I pick up the bar, place my hands together on the end of the bar, with the weight evenly on the palms, and then lower to the center of my chest, and then push straight up. This is done in my boxing/MT stance and IMHO, really builds the ability to get the whole body into a punch. I use enough weight that causes me to drive up with my legs. I am not a strong guy, so my weight on the end of the bar is around 180 and on good days 200 (counting bar weight). I do 40 reps, usually 6 to 8 at a time until reaching 40 . Ater this, I take some weight off and work single arm, which really brings core balance into play. I do 40 to 60 reps on each arm ( same 8 to 10 reps).I believe it has made a difference for me on the heavy bag, plus, there is no shoulder issues with me. I can feel it all over the next day, especially in the abs.

Word of caution: if you try this be careful lowering the bar back to the floor, if it gets away from you, lower back will take the strain, I lower the bar to my lower chest, top of the abs and then lower to the floor, always under control. also, watch your toes, good way to crush them.

My second choice is weighted carries or farmers walk, IMHO, a superior all body movement that builds strength and power. My two cents.


I think if I weren’t forced to dwell on certain bodyweight exercises due to grading requirements, I’d definetly chuck some kind of rotational movement in there, something like full contact twists. Rotational strength is very important for martial arts.


Hang on, what about stretching?


not trying to be a bubble buster- just speaking form experience

I’ve tried many many many rotational movements in the weight room.
none of them have any carry over to combat sports.
( or any sports)

ask anyone who is a thrower- they generate a huge amount of rotational power
to throw a discus hammer or shot put ( or rock or what have you)

for the most part they rely heavily on cleans snatches some lifrting heavy ass shit.

( yes squats and push press too)

for whats its worth here my 5 little 2cents.

DB snatch
lets you build power from the ground up - db’s easier to learn then bb variant.

continuous broad jump
this will accumulate the ability to generate power- and be ‘explosive’

agreeing with @idaho farmers walk/trap bar carry
grip- obliques - hips - abs all get strong from these

Hanging leg raise- feet to bar
abs- low back and builds some flexibility

sled push- yes more of a conditioning tool then anything else
blows out the p-chain and can build some serious conditioning.

I picked these - as they worked for me
with the least amount of damage and a shit ton of results.

are there a million other things that can make you stronger.
these work and wont jack you up so you can’t train
Its too easy to find good shit to do in the weight room that will leave you too dead to train your sport.