6 Awesome Core Exercises For Martial Arts

Just look at any Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or MMA fighter, chances are they’ve got a nice set of the rock-solid 6-pack or even 8-pack abs that everyone dreams of having. This is because a well-conditioned core is particularly important in martial arts. It provides stability and increases your overall strength. It’s also where all the power in your kicks, punches, throws, and submissions are generated.

Conditioning your core is key to improving your martial arts game. So today, ONE Championship superstar and Evolve Fight Team’s Mark Striegl shows you 6 Awesome Core Exercises For Martial Arts:

1) Toe-To-Bar

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The Toe-To-Bar is an advanced version of the hanging leg raise or the knee-to-elbow. The wide range of movement involved works the lats, biceps, and the entire abdominal region, making it the perfect exercise to build well-defined abs while developing core strength.

How:
• Start off by hanging from a bar with your hands a little more than shoulder width apart and your arms fully extended.
• Next, keeping your legs as straight as possible, squeeze your core and bring your toes up to touch the bar.
• Recover back into your starting position and proceed into the next repetition.
• Be sure to keep your upper body straight and your toes pointed so that you are engaging the core.

 

2) Alternating Plank and Reach

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The Alternating Plank and Reach will work through your core while also providing many other benefits that will help you in your martial arts training. As you reach out with your arms and legs, you will be working your chest and arms and stretching out your lower back and shoulders. This is a great exercise to increase your strength, endurance, and mobility.

How:
• Adopt a regular pushup position with your hands shoulder width apart.
• Next, keeping your body as straight as possible, slowly bring your right arm and left leg up so that they are off the ground in a straight line.
• Recover into your starting position and do the same with the left arm and right leg.
• Remember to keep your hips low and body straight at all times to really work your core.

 

3) Alternate 90° Knee Raises to the Side

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If you’re looking to build a lean stomach and a strong core, then you need to target more than just your abdominal muscles; you need to work your oblique muscles as well. 90° Knee Raises to the Side are one of the best ways to work the oblique muscles, which help tighten up your love handles and give you more power in your hips.

How:
• Start off by hanging from a bar with your hands a little more than shoulder width apart and your arms fully extended.
• Next, turning your waist, point both your knees to the left or right, bend, and bring them up to your chest level.
• Recover back into your starting position and proceed to the next repetition on the alternate side.
• Remember to keep your upper body stationary at all times and execute the raises slowly.

 

4) Twisting Medicine Ball Throw

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This modified version of the Russian twist will not only work your core, it will boost your explosive power as well. The exercise also works your arms, shoulders, and chest. Do note that you will need a partner or a wall for this.

How:
• Holding a medicine ball with both your hands, adopt a seated position leaning back until your abs is engaged while keeping your feet and knees together and off the ground.
• Perform a twist with the medicine ball to the opposite side of your partner or the wall.
• As you twist back in the opposite direction, lift and swing the ball to your partner or the wall.
• As soon as the ball returns to you, immediately twist towards the opposite side and into the next repetition.

 

5) Hand-To-Wall Plant Plank

Working your core, chest, back, shoulders, and arms; this is the ultimate plank variation. The Hand-To-Wall Plant Plank is definitely an exercise you have to try when those endless regular planks get boring.

How:
• Adopt a plank position a little less than an arm’s length from a wall.
• Once in this position, start bringing your hands up and planting them against the wall one after the other so that the pressure against the wall is lifting your entire body away from the ground.
• Recover your hands back to the ground one after the other and proceed into the next repetition.

 

6) Alternate Hanging Straight Leg Rotation

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The Hanging Straight Leg Rotation is a great exercise to strengthen your core and hip flexors. It will improve mobility and the power generated from your hips, which can help in strikes, submissions, and ground control.

How:
• Start off by hanging from a bar with your hands a little more than shoulder width apart and your arms fully extended.
• Next, keeping your legs as straight as possible, squeeze your core and rotate your legs as wide as possible as if you were drawing a large circle in front of you.
• Once you return to your starting position, immediately proceed to rotating in the opposite direction.
• Be sure to keep your upper body straight and your toes pointed so that you are engaging the core.

 

These core workouts are definitely simple and awesome, but they are also really challenging. So make sure you condition your core with some regular core exercises before trying them out.

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