Lower Body Workout for Fighters and Grapplers

FREE Report: Simple Strategies for Massive Strength!

ishii sledby Corey Beasley

"Legs feed the wolf"

Movement, footwork, takedowns, kicks, knees and even punches ALL generate from our lower body. In order to perform at our best, we must have good mobility, stability strength and power in our legs.

The following workout for fighters is a simple example of how we typically train the lower body of our athletes.  Obviously, there are many different leg exercises, rep schemes and other variables that we can tweak, but this should give you a template to work from.

 Warming Up

Our goal during this warm up is to raise our body's core temp, address common tight spots and prepare for the workout ahead. Warming up can help prevent injury, so take it serious and do it well.

Speed Agility Quickness

This section of the workout helps 'light up' the nervous system and gets our athletes to move quickly and explosively. You can use a variety of ladder drills, box jumps and other plyometric type exercises to fit your needs and ability level.

Strength Work

Depending on your goals and ability level, we can use a variety of exercises and variables to build strength, add muscle or condition the system for competition.  In this workout, we are using two lower body exercises to focus on the glutes, hips and hamstrings.  The first exercise is a rotational sandbag lunge, created by Josh Henkin.  It is a great exercise that challenges the entire body, but does a great job tying in the legs, hips and core.  Perfect for fighters.  The second exercise is the barbell hip thruster, developed by Bret Contreras.  It is one of our favorite ways to strengthen the glutes and it transfers perfectly into grappling, wrestling, etc.

Rotational Sandbag Lunge

Barbell Hip Thrust


Our goal with conditioning is to stimulate the system, not annihilate it.  We want our athletes to be prepared, but also realize that they have other practices to attend during the week.  The sled drive is simple and brutally effective at increasing work capacity.  It can be done as fast as possible, with light loads, heavy loads and a variety of other ways.  In this example, we are using a medium load for short bursts of time...Perfect for simulating takedowns, pressure against the cage and more.

Sled Drive

Workout Details

  1. Warm up 10-15 minutes
  2. Box Jumps - 5 reps X 5 sets, with 1-2minutes rest between sets.
    Explode from the bottom position, up onto the box, land soft and stick the landing.  Step down and repeat.
  3. Sandbag Rotational Lunges - 6 reps per side, 4 sets total, 90-120 sec between sets.
    Stay tall, eyes up, stomp the front heel into the floor and drive the hips forward to propel the bag on each rep. Hips are the driver, not the arms.
  4. Barbell Hip Extension - 6 reps, 4 sets total,90-120 sec between sets.
    Wrap a pad around the bar, rest bar just below the belly button, on the hips. Drive thru the heels, hips high, creating a table at the top.
  5. Sled Drive - Double bodyweight load on sled. Push as fast as possible for 5sec, rest for 30-60sec and repeat for 6-12 rounds.
    Arms straight, ribs up, eyes forward and move for speed.
  6. Rest, roll, static stretches to cool down.

This workout is great for developing mobility, speed, strength and conditioning and can be used in between fight camps to stay in shape.  As I said earlier, this is just one of many workouts that we use to get our athletes prepared for competition.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will do our best to answer it.

Workout for Fighters