Every workout routine from a standard gym trainer is always the same. Their routines are always about building your chest, shoulders, legs and arms all separately. But a good MMA routine develops muscles groups based on the movements that you use to strike, sweep and take down your opponents.
Every gym trainer always looks at the bench press as the holy grail of building and defining muscle and strength. Guys in the locker room always talk about how much they can bench, or how many reps they got in. But, when it comes to fighting, the bench press offers little in the way of really knowing how to deliver a punch. This is because the bench press has you laying down and only using the chest and shoulders in a up/down motion.
When you workout with a good MMA routine, you would be thinking more about the movements that you would need to throw that punch. That would not only include the chest and the shoulder muscles, but also the obliques and back muscles that torque your body for its full potential. When you are throwing a punch, you aren’t standing in a completely straight up position (like the bench you would be laying on).
Now, to be sure, I am not discounting the bench press in any way. It is a great exercise for building strength and isolating your chest and shoulders for bodybuilding. But in an MMA routine, it would not be the best way to really develop the muscles used.
A different, better exercise would be to throw a heavy medicine ball or even a heavy bag to a partner. When you begin your movement of throwing the medicine ball, start the ball at your hip or on your side. This better reflects the torquing that your body does when you are delivering a hard punch. Raise the ball towards your chest and press it to your partner. In doing so, you are developing your chest and shoulders as the bench press, but it is in a more free flowing motion. You also should be standing, which develops your balance making you a more formidable fighter.
This is just an example of the unorthodox methods of developing muscles for movement, and not just to build. MMA routines are created around the thought of what movements should be isolated for each different strike that is done. That way, you compound the development to deliver the most powerful blow possible.
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