#4 Best Ring Exercise for Fighters
One of the ScottSonnonLIVE blog followers asked the question,
“Scott, ill be honest with you. I didnt “get” your training style, until now. Some of those exercise look great to simulate the specific conditioning requirments of an mma fight. The drawback to me is that some of the exercises are not convenient, as they require a partner and lots of diff. apparatus. My question is, couldnt the same thing be accomplished with burpees, calisthenics, sprints, sledgehammer, snatches etc? Best of wishes to Alberto, Im sure with your training he will go far.“
This is a really important question, since besides pros and amateurs training at commercial gyms, a lot of my readers are of the austere genre of garage trained athletes… the grass-roots backbone of MMA.
There are certainly ways that you can innovate your own homebrew versions of equipment. I’ve posted “DIY” do-it-yourself versions of kettlebells, clubbells, parallette bars, pull-up bars, medicine balls, et cetera. Although you can make your own homemade versions, there are certain pieces of equipment you can’t substitute for others. If your only tool in the toolbox is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. MMA is the most complex combat sport ever created, and for that you need a wide array of tools, techniques and teaching. I’ve been posting these DIY blogs and free tutorials to help stimulate your imagination as well as help share the education I’ve been graced with by such phenomenal coaches.
The horizontal muscle-up is an example of a useful technique which requires a specific tool - gymnastic rings. You could possible perform it on a bar, rafter or tree limb, but for optimal training effect, investing in a reliable pair of commercial grade gymnastic rings cannot be argued. I prefer Tyler Hass’ Elite Rings from www.ringtraining.com. They’re light-weight (a HUGE plus), very portable, highly adjustable and yet virtually unbreakable.
I developed the horizontal muscle-up for two reasons:
As a remedial version of the full muscle-up: most fighters do not have the luxury of studying a highly refined gymnastics skill, and those who do often suffer the same over-specializations from fighting which initially prevent the range of motion necessary to even approximate the skill. As a result, developing the standard, vertical muscle-up remains inaccessible to most fighters because of the long learning curve, and an inordinate amount of training time which is better dedicated to exercises which can improve range of motion and continue to tap the energy system necessary for fighting: stamina and power-endurance.
As an extended range of motion exercise for shoulder flexion beyond the conventional 180 degrees (directly skyward): Many fighters still refuse to conduct overhead development. Do to neglecting this range of motion, most arm submissions end very early, result in injury, as well as limit the contractile static-endurance for clinch work and early power generation necessary for striking. This absence of an ability to move into the 90-123 degree range of motion is a serious detriment, so I developed the horizontal muscle-up first as a dynamic flexibility exercise, and secondly as an extreme range strength recovery exercise.
Ultimate Fighting Championship Coach
Shoulder Range of Motion