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3 Unconventional Exercises to Develop Rotational Strength and Power
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Photo by Corey Beasley

The majority of the strength world still uses machines and traditional lifts.  While this may be beneficial for building muscle, it does not hellp develop sport specific strength for fighters and grapplers. 

Don't get me wrong, I love me some squats n deadlifts, but its a piece of the puzzle, not the whole puzzle. 

Striking, takedowns, throws, scrambles, and the majority of submissions involve a lot of rotational stability, strength and power.   

We've all rolled with the skinny guy who was ridiculously strong on the mat or hits like a truck.   

Odds are, those guys had strong hips, well developed core musculature and were able to transfer energy well from their legs and arms. 

While it can be complicated, I will simply show you a few of our favorite drills that we use with our athletes. 

Check out Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall performing a few of our favorite rotational exercises. 

 

Barrel Tilts 

 

Tilting a 500lb barrel may seem simple, but it is very taxing on the hips, obliques and lats.  Perfect for wrestlers, grapplers and mma fighters fighting for under hooks/position. 

 

Rotational Sandbag Squat 

 

Punching power is generated from the feet, through the hips and into the arm. This squat variation helps develop strength in the legs and core, while also training the body to work together.

 

Rope Sidewinders

 

The sidewinder is perfect for developing speed and power. Although it may seem like an upper body movement, the legs, hips, core and upper body all get worked on this explosive drill.

These are just a few of the exercises and drills that we use to develop rotational strength in our athletes. There are literally hundreds of other options, but the idea remains the same. Develop strength and teach the body to function as a unit and you will be stronger and more explosive on the mat or in the cage.

Corey has been a strength coach for over 15 years, is co-owner of Innovative Results gym in Orange County, CA., and is the founder of FightCampConditioning.com, which features strength and conditioning information for combat athletes.

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