Deadlift Variation That BUILDS Massive Grip and Core Strength for MMA

By Mike Rojas

 With all things being equal, the STRONGest Fighter should be victorious.  When you are in the gym, strength should be your highest priority.  Bottom line,  you’re looking to gain that edge over your opponent and I am going to share one of my favorite exercises that I use with my wrestlers, jiu jitsu guys and other athletes.  Here’s your chance to learn the exercises and movements that will make you better and will produce results on the mat or in the cage.

You NEED to out work him, to out lift him, to outlast him.

Quick Reminder:  Always start your workouts with a dynamic type warm-up to prepare the body for the training session. When you are done, you should have a light sweat going and have excited the CNS for the upcoming movements. Now we are ready to lift!

There is nothing more basic than picking something heavy off the ground. In MMA, jiu jitsu, wrestling and other combat sports, lifting SOMEONE off the ground is essential. Doing this correctly requires a strong back, core, hips, legs and grip.

Today's exercise is a modified version of the deadlift, perfect for fighters that need to de-load and work on technique, core and grip strength.

**This is a very technical exercise and should no be put in a circuit or timed evolution.**

We will only be loading one side of the bar and we will be lifting it on the weighted side.

The main focus here is form, breathing and grip. The hand closest to the collar will be underhand and the hand near the center of the bar will be overhand. This is a key point due to the load on the bar. The grip will be taxed throughout the lift.

Load the bar light enough to be efficient but heavy enough so that you remain in proper form throughout the lift (up & down). Remember to collar the end as well. Understand that you may be familiar with a normal Barbell Deadlift, but this will challenge you to stay within your means and make you a stronger athlete.

Perform 3-5 reps on one side then immediately switch sides and rotate your grip to get the full effect of this lift. It will be easy at first and it will be humbling as you increase the weight each set.  Always keep your back flat and drive into the ground. You do not want to alter your normal deadlift technique, but you do want to reinforce the proper cues to becoming a very proficient deadlifter.

IMPORTANT!  If this variation is too difficult for you to master, try to add one sided Farmer Walks or Suitcase Deadlifts into your training program. You will benefit from both of those movements as well, then you can progress to the One-Sided Deadlifts.

Use this movement once every 3-4 weeks on a day you want to lighten the load on the body. It is a great movement to increase strength.

Mike is the Owner and Head Strength & Performance Coach of Strong 101 Gym in Norco, CA. His coaching has helped produce numerous Div. 1 athletes in multiple sports. The success of Strong 101 is based around proper programming coupled with efficient technique and movement. This has helped make Strong 101 the #1 athlete training facility in the Inland Empire.