If you’re training in MMA Roseville, California, then you’ve probably heard your instructor telling you to engage your core when practicing different striking and grappling techniques to increase your power and stability.
And that’s fine, but very few people actually know what the core is, much less how to work on those core muscles to help you during MMA sessions.
Well, if that sounds like you, today’s post will be just perfect for you! You’ll find out all about the core, what it is, what exercises will help improve it, and how specific exercises will directly affect your MMA performance. Ready to find out more? Let’s dive in!
What Is “The Core”?
In short, the core is a collection of muscles around your abdomen, lower back, and upper thighs.
Simply put, they’re the first muscles that are engaged in any movement you do, and strengthening them helps support the spine by helping to keep it stabilized, aiding with rotation and motion. The muscles are split into two groups: the inner core and the outer core.
The inner core is the muscles closest to the spine, so aren’t visible just by looking at the body.
* Transverse abdominis
* Pelvic floor
* Deep cervical flexors
The outer core muscles are mostly visible, so you can see the results as you train these areas because they’ll become more defined.
* Anterior muscles (your abs)
* Hip flexors
* Spinal erectors
Developing these muscles is essential for MMA, but why?
How Does The Core Help You In MMA?
Because the core supports movement, they’re the first muscles that need to be strengthened to help you complete the range of motions required in MMA Roseville.
Whether you’re striking or grappling, you’re still going to need to engage your core to make you more powerful and stable.
Any fast movement (so basically EVERY movement in MMA) needs a strong core, or else the power is lost and you can’t perform the techniques with the intensity required for maximum effect.
During explosive movements, your core is responsible for transferring power from your lower body to your upper body.
You can work your upper body and lower body in isolation until they’re the best they can be, but without the core muscles, you won’t be able to work at full power. Imagine your core muscles as the bridge through which any power-based move must cross.
If you’re conducting a powerful strike in MMA, then it always starts in your core because of the momentum required to move towards your opponent.
If power can’t be passed from your legs to your upper body through your core muscles, then the resulting strike will lack any real power.
Your core muscles also protect your spine from injury, so making sure they’re strong is vital if you want to perform MMA at your best without risking injury to your spine. Strong core muscles will stabilize your spine, so the moves you make in MMA don’t jar it.
But perhaps the most important thing of all is that strong core muscles help you take powerful strikes from your opponent, just as much as they help you deliver them. This is vital in MMA. If you get knocked down, you can always get back up again with strong core muscles.
What Are The Different Types Of Exercises That Affect The Core?
There are different BJJ exercises you can do to affect your core muscles and work on them ALL.
For years, many people thought sit-ups for your six-pack were enough to build a strong core, but as you’ve already seen from the sheer amount of muscles involved in your core, that isn’t the case.
It’s important to understand the types of exercises there are that will work different core muscles.
And don’t worry, you’ll see a bunch of specific exercise examples so you can incorporate them into your core strength training next time you workout.
These exercises help you resist bending in your lumbar spine, which is important for stability, but also for protection from injuries during MMA Roseville.
By keeping your lower back neutral and squeezing your glutes, you’ll work the key core muscles responsible for anti-flexion.
Planks and Back Extensions are common anti-flexion exercises that will aid you here and improve stability in your core.
These exercises help you resist side bending through your lumbar spine, which is important in grappling moves in MMA to keep you held firm in your chosen position.
The key here is to lock your spine in place without moving it. Common anti-lateral flexion exercises include Side Planks and Farmers Walks, which will train your core muscles to lock in place alongside your spine, improving your resistance.
These exercises help you resist extension through your lumbar spine, which is important for strength in striking moves, but also important for protection against injuries again.
The key is to keep your spine neutral without overextending.
Ab Wheel Roll Outs and Stability Balls help with this, because it works your lower back muscles as well as your abs, preventing overextension and improving your strength simultaneously.
These exercises help you resist rotation through your lumbar spine, which is important for fast movements and power when striking in MMA Roseville.
The key is to lock your core and not rotate through it or the lumbar spine, instead working the thoracic spine.
You don’t need to know the difference right now, you just need to know the exercises that encourage this.
These include Medicine Ball Throws and Band Rotations, which help you rotate in the right way whilst locking down your core muscles, improving your power.
These exercises help you keep your core and lower back in neutral positions, which are important when grappling and striking in MMA to prevent injury and to increase the speed of your motions.
The key is to have a neutral spine without rounding your lower back. Jackknifes on a Stability Ball and Hanging Leg Raises are good examples of these exercises.
Next MMA Roseville Training Steps
If you’re serious about getting better at MMA, then you need to strengthen your core muscles. Doing so will increase your power, strength, stability, and resistance in grappling and striking moves, all whilst helping you prevent injury to your spine.
Remember the different types of exercises listed above and start incorporating them into your workout routine. Yes, your upper and lower body muscles need your attention too, but without a strong core, you won’t improve in MMA in the way you want to.
Alongside your MMA classes, you’ll also want to work on your core muscles to give yourself the best chance at performing well during your MMA Roseville or BJJ sessions!
If you’re yet to sign up to for MMA classes, then check out GBJJ.org, a Granite Bay MMA/BJJ school near Roseville, California.