Tips & Drills - mma kicking

MMA, Boxing & Fighting - How to Hit, Kick and Punch with More Power

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MMA Training – From the Ground Up

If you want to improve the power of your punches, hits and kicks then train from the ground up!

Ground Reaction Forces

As a fighter steps into a punch, hit or kick, their back foot pushes against the ground and essentially the ground pushes back in the opposite direction. Technically this often referred to as “Ground Reaction Forces” as the ground “reacts” to the fighter pushing into the ground by pushing back up against the fighter in the opposite direction.

Training Ground Reaction Force “Muscles and Movements”

If you want to punch or kick harder then create strength in the select muscles that work to push back and down into the ground.

Improving Strength and Stability of The Side Kick

As a fighter performs a sidekick with the left foot, they will first push their right foot sideways, backwards and downwards into the ground behind them. This action allows the fighter to step into their kick and shift their weight forwards in the direction of the punch or kick, dramatically increasing the amount of power, speed and effectiveness of the kick.

This movement first requires many muscles of the right foot and leg to work to stabilize the right foot as it pushes into the ground and then works to extend the right ankle, knee and hip to move the body sideways and forwards in the direction of the kick.

While these right foot and leg muscles are working against the ground, muscles of the core, pelvis, hips and left upper thigh are working to first stabilize the pelvis so the fighter can lift the left thigh and leg up, pulling it in close to the body before finally explosively extending the left hip, knee and ankle to kick the left foot into the opponent or target.

A great way to build greater strength, stability, endurance, power and speed in these side kick muscles and ultimately in the side kick movements is by using resistance bands connected to select points on the pelvis and legs. When bands resist the side kick movements, the correct side kick muscles are trained and conditioned to perform the side kick with more range-of-motion, greater strength, endurance, power and speed, making this an extremely “functional” way to improve side kick performance.

Training the Muscles of the Pelvis and Hips – Using Powercore 360

One band is connected to the right side of the hip trainer, which pulls the right side of the pelvis and hips backwards and downwards into the ground. As the fighter pushes the right foot into the ground, the muscles in the right foot, leg and outside of the right hip must create more force to push the body sideways away from the ground.

Because of the attachment point of the bands to the hip trainer, the muscles on the sides of the pelvis, specifically the glute medius (on both the right and left sides of the pelvis) and other pelvic, hip and thigh muscles which stabilize the hips and thighs as this movement is performed are strengthened to improve the fighter’s side kick performance.

Repeating this resisted movement will train and condition these muscles to perform this movement with greater strength, stability, endurance, power and speed depending on the: 1) amount of load (resistance), 2) duration of the exercise bouts or the number of repetitions, 3) the number of sets performed, 4) the duration of the recovery period, and 5) other exercise variables.

Train Stabilizers Before Prime Movers

The big muscles, the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves, often get much of the training focus and credit for the force of a side kick, while the underlying stabilizer muscles, which have to work to stabilize the pelvis so the big muscles can create maximal forces, often don’t get optimal training or credit for what they do or need to do.

Often referred to as stabilizers, auxiliary or tonic muscles, these smaller, deeper muscles play a huge role in kick performance. These muscles actually fire before the big “prime mover” muscles (glutes, quads, hamstrings…), and they function to hold the position of the pelvis, spine, shoulder blades and other bones and joints in the optimal position, so the big prime movers can generate maximal force to explosively perform the sidekick movement.

Fact is if the stabilizers are conditioned adequately they will actually reduce the amount of force of the big prime mover muscles can generate by inhibiting force development thought the nervous system (the nerves which control muscle contraction).

Want a stronger more powerful sidekick? Spend more time training the stabilizers to have greater strength and endurance to hold the position of the pelvis, spine and other boney structures in proper position, and so the big prime movers can created maximal force and not get shut down by the smaller stabilizer muscles.

Maximal Carryover of Training Stimulus into Performance - “Functional Training”

There are many different ways to exercise a muscle to build strength in the muscles, but building strength doesn’t necessarily carryover into improved kicking performance.

The best way to ensure that strength training carries over into kick performance is to train functionally, performing the exact motions of the kick so the training stimulus on the muscles and nervous system is the same as it is when kicking. So improve kicking performance by kicking, but increase the amount of resistance to the kicking muscles and movements by using resistance bands connected to the correct points of the body. Do this by connecting bands to the pelvis & hips, to the ribs & spine or to the arms & legs.

Powercore 360 is Functional Sports Training

Powercore 360 has developed a functional way to train kicking and other sports movements by connecting resistance bands directly to core, arms and legs so the training stimulus completely and immediately carries over into what ever sport movement skill you want to train!


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