Mixed martial arts is at the apex of the workout game—it powers fighters to new peaks of fitness to endure the testing cardiovascular levels of a fight. And, of course, to take all those hits and still keep coming for some more. Suffice to say then, that if you wish for rock-hard abs, there is no better regimen to follow. Here are a few ab workouts, directly inspired from MMA, to get you fighting fit in no time.
Hip escape toe tap
This is a move inspired by Brazilian jiu jitsu, which focuses a lot on developing strength while operating with a lowered centre of gravity. Get on all fours. Your shoulders, elbows and wrists are in line as they extend to the floor. Neck is long, facing the floor. The core is tight while the knees are bent to 90 degrees right underneath the hips. While keeping your butt low, raise your knees a few inches from off the floor. This is your starting position and is known as the bear crawl. From here, pivot your body to the right, keeping your right leg and right hand in place, while the left leg extends out from underneath your body, as it hovers a few inches above the floor. With your right hand, tap your toe. Now return to the bear crawl position. Repeat on the opposite side. Do nonstop for a minute.
Single leg push kick
This is a martial arts-inspired move that uses a core workout to also give you that extra strength in your legs when you kick somebody to the other side of the gym. Or the planet. Pull your right knee to your chest while the left legs remain extended and dangling in the air. Now do a kick in which you slowly extend the right foot, with control and power, like you were pushing an opponent who was trying to jump at you. Not a whip like movement, but more circular so that when fully extended, your right leg is a little above the left. In that same motion, recoil the foot back to the starting position and repeat it. Do 45 seconds for one leg and then, without a break, do 45 for the other.
Guarded square up
This is an ab workout that does wonders for the upper abs and the side upper obliques. Lie down facing upwards, with your feet flat and your knees bent. Your fists should be clenched and your elbows tucked into your chest, like you were in the guard stance of an MMA match, in which you are on the floor and your opponent is above you. Raise your head and shoulders to about 25 degrees. This is your starting position. Now lead your head and shoulders to crunch your hip on the right side, as if you were dodging a punch being thrown to your left. Pause, and then raise yourself to about 30 degrees, getting deeper into the crunch. Now move to the centre in the same guarded, core tightened position, 30 degrees deep crunch position. Pause and then lower yourself to the starting position. Basically, you have made a square in the air with your head. Hence the name guarded square up. Repeat the motion as you crunch it to the left side. Alternate each set of square movements for a minute and a half or till fail.
Hip drive through
This one involves a move known as the figure four choke. For this one, you lie on your back and raise your right leg while the other one bends sideways so that your ankle is positioned just behind your right knee, and the two legs coming together look like the number four. The choke move from Brazilian jiu jitsu would have you choke an opponent’s head that is stuck in the space between your groin and your leg. But in this workout, you clamp down your right leg, and pull it to the floor as you rock your body forward and use your core to raise your body. Your body will be up in a guarded stance, with your hip pushing backwards. Now you roll back and switch the extended foot and the clamped foot to repeat the hip drive through with the opposite leg. Repeat for a minute.
WHAT IS HRX?
Co-founded by actor Hrithik Roshan Exceed Entertainment CEO Afsar Zaidi, HRX is a strength training workout that is increasingly getting popular across India. In HRX, you work on specific muscle groups along with animal flow and exercises which work core muscles. The time under tension of the muscle is increased for strength and hypertrophy. Here are some common HRX steps:
FRONT SQUAT WITH BARBELL This is a lower body movement which strengthens the hip and core muscles.
OVERHEAD SQUAT is a great exercise not only for mobility but also for increasing your body’s stability and strength. It mobilises our thoracic spine, ankles and hips
BEAST SIDEKICK is a great animal flow movement which require balance. We hold our body in one hand and one leg. The movements work the shoulder muscles along with calf muscles and use the rotatory power from the hip joint.
LUNGE PRESS is one of the bilateral complex movement in HRX, where you work in a lunge position and simultaneously press the weight overhead with the opposite limb.
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