3 Old School movements to increase your core stability and strength for grappling and MMA 9/13/12:
By Coach Joel Bane
1.) Weighted Sit-up:
Your abdominals are just like any other muscle. They really need to be challenged to strengthen and grow. Find something to anchor your feet such as a set of heavy dumbbells or something similar. Next, find a heavy object to place across your chest and do sit-ups while holding it as close to your chin as possible. You can use a dumbbell, kettlebell, sandbag or even a stone. Typically dumbbells are preferred and low reps are your goal here. Try to keep reps below 25 with appropriate weight resistance and you will feel your abs tearing down only to come back stronger the next time around. You don’t have to use insane weights. Try lighter weights with very slow reps for similar results. Try 3 sets of 10-20 reps.
2.) Hanging Knee/Leg Raise:
Find a jungle gym or a pull-up bar. Grab hold with both hands and hang from the bars with your arms straight. Pull your knees up to your chest, pause and slowly let them back down. For best results, go slow and avoid momentum. If you want to make things more difficult, you can try some advanced modifications. The first variation is to grab hold of the bar and pull yourself up until your eyes are in line with the bar. Hold this flexed arm position. Then, bring your knees up to your elbows, bring them back down slowly and repeat. For something even tougher, try raising your legs up until they are parallel to the ground without bending your knees. Try not to swing. These are very tough but very effective. If you can’t hold the bar, there are grip straps out there that you can use to help. Try 3 sets of 8-20 reps.
3.) Russian Twist
This is the last core exercise to round out this workout. This one is old fashioned as well but still very effective. Simply sit on the ground and, again, find something to hook your feet onto to keep you anchored. Lean back until you are in a half-way sit-up position. With your abs tight, rotate from side to side, slowly pausing when you reach the end of each rotation. If bodyweight alone is too easy, try holding a dumbbell or a medicine ball. Hold the ball or weight out and follow it with your head rotating your entire torso. Remember to breath and execute slowly. Try to get three sets of 20 reps. If you can, try performing these on a decline bench for a more advanced workout.
Try this out and let us know what you think!
Yours in fitness, Coach Bane