Perfecting Your Foundation: Leg Training For Fighters

As any good fighter knows, you are only as strong as your base. If your lower body does not possess strength, power, and agility, you’re going to be an easy target for any opponent you meet.

Fortunately, with the right approach, you can build that solid foundation in no time.
Too many fighters prioritize upper body training over lower, thinking it’ll give them an edge. For this very reason, prioritizing your lower body instead is what will really give you that edge. Train it hard while all the other fighters overlook these muscles and you’ll be the guy to beat.

When you have a powerful lower body, your kicks will be stronger and faster, you’ll be able to maneuver around your opponent better and perfect your take-downs, you’ll be hard-pressed to knock down, and you’ll injury proof your body. All in all, it just makes you a better all-around fighter. Whether you do MMA, May Thai or BJJ, you can rest assured that leg training will pay off when you step into the ring.

There’s more to leg training than simply going into the gym and lifting heavy weights though. You need to learn the in’s and out’s of proper leg training and then also strike good balance in all the different moves you do.

Let’s look at the main areas that you should focus your leg training around.


Leg Training For Strength


The first type of training you’ll want to get into your routine is leg training for strength. This is where you bring out the ‘big guns’ so-to-speak; the exercises that will really provide maximum payoffs.

Think squats, deadlifts, and leg presses. Anything that you can lift heavy weights with is fair game for these sessions. Your mission is quite simply to continually add more weight to the bar as you progress over time. If you succeed in doing so (while using good form of course!), you know you’re getting stronger.

Focus on using lower rep ranges of 3-7 reps when training for pure leg strength, doing multiple sets with those heavy weights.

Check out the video below for some ideas.

Leg Workout for Fighters


Bodyweight Only Leg Training

Next up you have bodyweight only leg training. Why do this training when you could otherwise add more weight?

First, bodyweight leg training is an excellent option to do when you can’t make it to the gym or when you’re traveling. By having these go-to moves, you will never have to miss a beat with your workout again.


Next, bodyweight leg training is also excellent for helping to improve your overall balance and agility as well. Bodyweight training allows you to perform a wide variety of different movements, which can help you learn how to better handle your body no matter what position you happen to get yourself into.

Don’t let yourself believe that the intensity of lower body, bodyweight training will go down. There are plenty of different exercises that you can do that will help you keep the intensity up to a very high level.

This will help you both build leg strength, while burning fat in the process. These workouts can easily be set-up in a metabolic type of circuit, which will help you get learner, especially when trying to cut weight.

Check out the video below for more ideas.


Leg Training For Injury Prevention

38794408 - woman and man working out with fit box at gym

There are few things more frustrating for any fighter than getting sidelined due to injury. Sadly though, MMA fighters are at a very high risk for just that. Many develop patella tendonitis over time, due to all the kicking they are doing as well as the oncoming forces that they need to withstand when they step into the ring.

Proper lower body training can help you fend this off. The stronger your lower body muscles are, the more supported your knee joint will be and the less overall grinding you’ll tend to experience. By choosing select exercises that really help improve knee stability, you can put this injury behind you.

See this video for a closer look at the specific exercises that can help.

Explosive Lower Body Training

Finally, the last type of leg training you’ll definitely want to get into your workout routine is explosive lower body training. To be a top level fighter, you need to possess a high degree of explosiveness, which will allow you to put a maximum level of power behind each kick or punch you take.

For that, you’ll want to turn to plyometric training. This form of training has you reacting against gravity, using the natural stretch reflex in the muscle tissues to rebound up as high into the air as possible, improving your explosiveness in the process.

This element of your lower body training should not be performed at the end of the workout however, or even in the same workout as when you are training for maximum strength for that matter. Maximum strength training and plyometric training are at two very different ends of the spectrum, so try and do each in its own workout for best results.

Plyometric training can include exercises such as box jumps, jump squats, split squats, as well as burpees. For complete workout programming ideas, check out the video below.

So hopefully now you can see why leg training is so very critical for any fighter and how to go about executing your leg training optimally. Don’t let your lower body be your weakest link. Stand up above your opponents and develop that strong foundation that’ll set you apart.

I’m going to leave you with and 300 Workout Lower Body Challenge – Try it and leave your comments below



This entry was posted in MMA Bodyweight Workouts, Plyometrics & Speed, Strength & Conditioning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply