MMA Workout Routine for Female Beginners

Empowering Women Towards Knockout Fitness

angela lee performs uppercut

If you have ever seen an MMA bout, you’ll be sure to know the sport is all about non-stop action. Fighters battle it out head-to-head in an octagon using a combination of striking, grappling and determination to secure victory.

Mixed martial arts participants must be well versed in a bunch of styles if they want to rise to the top. Including the likes of; boxing, kickboxing, karate, Brazilian jiu jitsu and wrestling.

If that wasn’t enough, they must also be super fit. Needing exceptional conditioning to work  hard until the final bell.

Kicking Stereotypes In The Ass!

ronda rousey mma glove

At the forefront of this martial arts explosion is a group of talented female fighters kicking stereotypes in the ass! Women such as; Rose Namajunas, Cat Zingano, Angela Lee and Joanna Jędrzejczyk.

Because of these ladies, what used to be a world dominated by men is now a diverse global craze. Today the UFC has three female champions and Invicta FC exists as a women’s only fight league.

Ronda Rousey picks up most of the credit for pushing women’s MMA into the spotlight. Her good looks, badass attitude and incredible fighting skills even landed her in Hollywood.

However, it was her ability to finishing matches in the opening seconds that first empowered women everywhere. With many feeling inspired to begin their own MMA journey. 

Getting Fighting Fit

The greatest thing is you don’t have to train every day day to feel the benefits of the sport. Due to the dynamic movements required for battle, an MMA workout can be extremely diverse. Creating a real full body fat fighting experience, that’s also fun.  

The following MMA inspired workout has been put together specifically with beginners in mind. There are no time limits; so even if you are total newbie you can have fun and reap the rewards. It’s all down to you to push yourself and decide the intensity.

Simply perform each exercise for the given number of reps, resting for as long as needed. Try to keep your heart rate elevated, as MMA is all about pushing the pace. On a scale of 1-10 aim for around a 6 or 7. Once the round is complete, rest for 60 seconds and go again!

If you’re new to exercise aim to complete this workout two or three times a week. Make sure  to include a rest day in between, so you can hit each new round stronger. Even the One FC champion Angela Lee makes time to recover after a tough session.

The Full Body Fight Night Routine

Exercise 1 – Pushups x 10

female does push up with perfect form

Pushups will help build the chest, arms and shoulder muscles required for sharp punches. Try to keep a flat back throughout the whole movement and engage that core.

  • Start up top in a high plant with hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Lower your body to the floor, keeping control at all times.
  • Once at the bottom, exhale and push your body back to the top.

Repeat this process for 10 reps.

If you can’t complete the set, don’t worry. Try modifying the movement with your knees on the floor.

Exercise 2 – Feet Up Ab Crunch x 10

female performs feet up ab crunch

This exercise is a staple in the Muay Thai gyms of Bangkok. It fires-up those lower-abs into action, whilst kick starting the upper-abs as well.

  • Lay flat on the with knees bent at 90 degrees and feet in the air.
  • Clasp your hands behind your head, without pulling on the neck.
  • Raise both head and shoulders towards the ceiling.
  • Return them gently to the floor under control.

Repeat these steps for 10 reps.

Exercise 3 – BJJ Get Ups x 8

female performs technical get up

Getting up from the ground safely is one of the first things BJJ athletes ever learn. The movements required for a BJJ get up is also great for engaging the whole body.

This exercise will target your glutes, engage your core and work the shoulders.

  • Start sat down with knees bent and feet on the ground.
  • Place your left foot firmly on the floor in-front.
  • Lean over to the opposite side, placing your right hand behind to brace yourself.
  • Distribute weight into the right hand and left foot, making the right leg light.
  • Finally, get up safely by swinging your right leg out behind you.

Perform these movements for 4 reps on each side.

Exercise 4 – Skipping Knees x 8

female performs knee strike

Skipping knees require the attacker to hop from one foot to the other, making them lighting fast. UFC strawweight Joanna Jędrzejczyk is an expert of this move, so check out her highlight reel!

  • Stand in a fighting stance, with one foot in-front of the other.
  • Pick up your back leg and drive it forward using your knee as a point.
  • Then as you bring it back, place it onto the floor and drive your left knee forward

Once you have this move down fluidly it should feel like you are skipping. Repeat these steps for a total of 10 reps on each side.

Exercise 5 – Forward Lunge With High Guard x 8

Woman performs forward lunge

The forward lunge is perfect for simulating the entry into a round winning takedown! Also, by utilising the larger muscles in your lower body, it is also a great for burning calories. Try to maintain a high guard throughout this exercise to practice staying safe from counters.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and eyes facing forward.
  • Keeping the core engaged, taking a lunging step forward with your right leg. Try to have your heel hit the floor first and not your toes.
  • Once your shin is straight and right thigh is parallel to the floor, push back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat this process using the left leg.

When carrying out the forward lunge make sure to not hit your knees on the ground. Aim for smoothness over speed to maintain good form. 1 repetition on each side counts as 1 complete action.

  • Bonus Move – If you are training with a friend perform the split squat between their legs. Then, once at the bottom, grab behind their knees to replicate a double-leg entry.

Exercise 6 – Squat Roundhouse Kicks x 6

two women roundhouse kicking

Build power in those legs and stability in the core with this combination exercise. First, you perform a body-weight squat before exploding into a roundhouse kick up top. For a little inspiration, take a look at the beautiful technique of UFC star Holly Holm.

  • Start with feet shoulder width apart and eyes facing forward.
  • Perform a deep squat keeping your back straight and weight through your heels.
  • Once at the bottom, use your leg muscles to explode upwards
  • When you reach the top, throw a round house kick with your right leg
  • Return to your starting stance and repeat again throwing the left leg

Once you have completed each exercise you have finished the round! Now, take 60 seconds rest just as a pro-fighter would before going again. Aim for 3 whole rounds of the following to simulate a full MMA fight:

Exercise No.NameReps
1Pushups10
2Feet Up Ab Crunch10
3BJJ Get Ups8
4Skipping Knees8
5Forward Lunch With High Guard8
6Squat Roundhouse Kicks8

For the hardcore females out there – aim for a championship bout instead. Push the pace for 5 full rounds and keep moving during your rest period. Then, after your hard fought victory, throw up your hands like a true champion.

 

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