Best Calisthenics For MMA (Explained)

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is one of the most popular sports in the world. There are nearly 500,000 people in the US who practice mixed martial arts at least once a week, and MMA gyms are springing up all over the place.

And yet, it’s less common to find out how to build a MMA workout that incorporates calisthenics into your routine.

Calisthenics refers to a system/type of training relying on the hands and bodyweight.

Punching is far more exhausting than you think, and in fact, you expend 23% more energy while punching as opposed to kicking. This is because when you punch, your body absorbs the force of your momentum.

Is Calisthenics Good for Mixed Martial Arts?

Yes, Calisthenics is good for Mixed Martial Arts. This is because of the high-intensity training that MMA fighters need to do. Calisthenics helps build endurance which is paramount in Mixed Martial Arts and helps develop body control and a high level of strength.

Calisthenics is designing a full-body system to help improve overall strength and endurance. This will help MMA fighters condition themselves better.

Most of the strength for MMA comes from Calisthenics, and it aids in building body mass that is fundamental for Mixed Martial Artists.

What Are the Benefits of Calisthenics for MMA?

There are many benefits of calisthenics for mixed martial arts, including:

  • It helps with core strength which is vital for martial arts.
  • Regular calisthenics sessions will help prepare you for any opponent due to the variety of moves available.
  • Your body will become stronger and more flexible.
  • Calisthenics can be used as a replacement for punching bags or mitts.
  • It is a good option if you don’t have access to weights – or space.
  • Calisthenics can be done outside at any time and in any place.
  • No space, no problem- You can do various exercises, including push-ups and crunches on the floor.
  • You will learn how to balance your body to your power.

There are no side effects, so it’s great for all ages.

It is important to note that calisthenics is not recommended for beginners as it could lead to joint issues in the long run.

About Calisthenics For MMA

MMA athletes have to rely on their muscle power to win the fight. This power comes from increased strength and endurance. Calisthenics can help you achieve these results while also providing a great alternative to traditional strength training routines.

Mobility exercises will help you improve your range of motion, which is essential for MMA fighting. These exercises will also lead to an increase in flexibility, which is vital for any fighter!

Calisthenics will help you develop power and your punching, kicking, and throwing technique. This can be a great way to help you get fit and stay in shape.

It also improves your balance and footwork, which are critical in the ring. The best way to improve your stamina is to do cardio between strength training sessions or calisthenics sessions.

Calisthenics will help you stay in shape without causing unnecessary harm to your joints.

Best Calisthenics Exercises for MMA

The following calisthenics exercises will help you improve your MMA skills:


These can be done in several different variations, such as Wide grip pull-ups, close grip pull-ups, and even a band. Using the band will give you added resistance and force you to use more muscles than usual. Depending on how high of a number you want to reach, you can do different types of pull-ups. Pull-ups help increases your upper body strength and can be done with or without a partner. With that said, his increases arm and back strength will help with grappling.

Pull-ups are one of the most effective calisthenics exercises for MMA.


Just like the pull-ups, chin-ups can be done in various ways. You can do them with an underhand or overhand grip; you can also do them with and without a partner. Chin-ups are an excellent way of developing your upper body strength which is crucial for MMA.

The augmented upper-arm strength gained from chin-ups will improve your punching power, stamina, and stamina in general. Chin-ups also incorporate a range of muscles, which will help increase your overall strength.

Broad Jumps

Broad jumps increase your ability to jump vertically and horizontally. It is especially important for MMA fighters who may need to jump in the ring. Good MMA fighters are graceful while fighting, which requires being able to move comfortably and swiftly in all directions.

Once you get comfortable with broad jumps, your body will be prepared for many different moves, including side kicks, roundhouse kicks, and even high knees.

Calisthenics exercises such as broad jumps will help improve your explosiveness and agility in the ring.

Hill Sprints

It is never a good idea to sprint up and downstairs, especially if you aren’t an expert. Hill sprints are a great way to build your leg strength and stamina while also boosting your cardiovascular health.

Hill sprints are excellent for muscle mass in your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.

Hill sprints consist of running very fast in short bursts and a short rest period. It will improve your endurance while also increasing the speed of your punches during MMA fighting.


Inchworms are an excellent way to develop your agility and balance. They also strengthen your back, arm, and core muscles which will help you stay in shape during MMA matches.

Inchworms are also good for Stretching. It helps you relax your shoulder joints and stretches your spine as well. They also strengthen your legs which are important for MMA.

Lunge Jumps

Lunge jumps are a great way to increase your flexibility. They help improve range of motion and flexibility. They also increase the strength of your calf, quadriceps, and hamstrings, which are all vital for MMA training.

There are a variety of other calisthenics exercises you can use for MMA training, such as planks, torso twists, rotating sit-ups, and more. These will all make you stronger and healthier while also improving your stamina.

Martial Arts Training Schedule

If you want to turn your calisthenics into an MMA routine, it’s important to plan out your days and weeks. The type of exercise you will do will depend on how often you train. For example, when heavy bag training is more important than cardio, you can exercise less frequently. However, if you like working out with a partner or need more cardiovascular health benefits, you should aim for three times a week. The following is an example of a routine for MMA training.


  • Warm-Up: 5 Minutes of Jump Rope
  • Kicks: 3 Sets of 20 Seconds on Each Leg
  • Punching Drills: 5 Minutes of Punching
  • Cooldown: 5 Minutes of Jump Rope
  • Stretch and Cool Down: 10 minutes of Stretching
  • Strength and Conditioning: 3 Sessions a Week

Reflex Training For Martial Arts

Reflex training can be a great way to help you improve your flexibility and speed. Reflex training will allow you to train your muscles without overworking them. It is also the perfect way to prepare for a fight, especially when you need to be quick on your feet and fast on your feet simultaneously.

Reflex training is similar to calisthenics exercises in that it also increases strength and endurance.

Ways to Improve Reflexes For Martial Arts

Reflex sessions can be a great way to improve your reflexes and general quickness. Some exercises you can do are:

  • Mats: Doing push-ups on mats will help improve your balance, coordination, and quickness.
  • Sparring: Sparring with a partner is an excellent way of improving your reflexes.
  • Punching Bags: Hitting a punching bag can also help improve your reflexes, especially if you are tired or not feeling well.
  • Jumping Ropes: Jumping rope is an excellent way to get a good cardio workout, but doing double jumps will help improve your reflexes simultaneously.
  • Toe Taps: Using your toes, you can use more than just your arms and legs when punching.
  • Colored ball throws are an exciting reflex training routine that will improve your reflexes and skills. Start by throwing a ball with the same hand and foot as your throw. Then, add another color ball to your throws. Once you can throw all three balls easily, start doing multi-color throws.
  • Punching Bags are an excellent way to improve reflexes, especially if you are tired or not feeling well. You can also do partner punching bags that will help improve your cardio and strength at the same time. This helps increase your speed and flexibility at the same time while also improving coordination.

Martial Arts Bodyweight Workout

Martial Arts Athletes use the following workouts as a way to improve their overall strength and use their body weight to overpower opponents:


The push-up is an excellent workout for your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Push-ups also help add mass to your arms. Here are some other ways you can use push-ups for a better workout:

  • Make sure you don’t pull your head back or arch your back when doing the push-up.
  • Push down with the top portion of your feet, not just with the toes.
  • Keep your mind focused on pushing and going as high as you can, not holding anything.
  • You should stay with a strict form, not moving any other body parts or leaning forward.


Burpees are another excellent workout for your arms and legs. They also help improve your cardiovascular health. They also work your core. Here is how to do a burpee:

  • Begin in a push-up position.
  • Drop down to the ground or floor (depending on how advanced you are in your training) and place your hands on the ground or floor. Then, extend one leg straight behind you and bend it back. Then, jump forward so that your other leg is extended straight behind you and bent back. Then, push off the ground or floor before you land back on your feet. Then, jump back into the push-up position.
  • Continue this process for five repetitions on each leg. Start with two sets of 10 reps and build up from there.

Dragon Flags

Dragon Flags are a great form of cardio and an excellent way to build up your core strength. Here is how to do dragon flags:

  • Lay flat on a bench with your back facing down.
  • Use both of your hands to grab the bench under your head.
  • Slowly lift your legs and torso in the air, lower them, and then repeat this process for as many reps as your body can endure.


Bodyweight training and calisthenics are great for building strength and endurance and improving your health and feeling better. If you want to be stronger, faster, or if you just like the idea of working out at home, then make sure that you incorporate some bodyweight training and calisthenics.

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