in the 21st Century
Harry Selby, 14 October 2003
As a prolific
personal trainer in the City, my services are constantly in demand to a number
of professionals with a shortage of time and high expectations. Part of my role
as their fitness guru is applying the latest technology to obtain fast and concise
results. Gone are the days of barking out "20 press ups as fast as you can!".
I have to look at each client as an Olympic athlete and scrutinise technique more
than anything as, unfortunately, more and more people are subjected to poor instructing
which leads to muscular and postural injury. The highest cause of sickness at
work is back pain, which is down to poor posture and lack of exercise to these
core muscles. The same can be said of todays MMA students as they are missing
a vital aspect of supplementary training.
of the 1st fighters to address this issue was Frank Shamrock who looked
at all the other professional athletes from basketball, baseball, American football
and ice hockey and realised the difference between the fighter and the athlete:
The athlete is multi-skilled. The quarterback doesnt just practice throwing
the ball to the wide receiver. He is trained in plyometrics, speed and agility
drills, strength and conditioning, fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibre movement.
Why? Simple: he is a more efficient and successful athlete.
at the last couple of fights Frank had at the UFC and who does he thank
Javier Mendez for his boxing, Dr Vic his Chiropractor, TK for his judo & guard,
Mo Smith for his kickboxing, even his ex wife was his strength & conditioning
coach. He has a team of experts behind him who tell him how to train, eat, drink
and sleep correctly and what is the result?
Oh, and it does help that he
is genetically gifted for the sport.
what does the average MMA student do? A bit of BJJ. A bit of striking. Go for
a jog to get fitter. This is where the old school still lingers, "cos
it didnt do me no harm". Prime example: do a set of one arm press-ups and
straight away you will find a minimum of 4 problems.
will have a weaker arm
- Your body will
compensate for the lack of strength and co-ordination
will prefer to work with one side of the body
will therefore have an imbalance
the following weeks I will explain some supplementary techniques that will improve
your training and overall fighting, whilst keeping you a bit more injury free!
The Swiss ball was actually
developed by an Italian toy manufacturer in 1963 for use by therapists in Switzerland
hence the name Swiss Ball. The key to this piece of equipment is that it
causes the intrinsic muscle in the body to fire and help balance the body. Try
balancing on one and see how long before you fall off. Apart from looking like
an epileptic dancer for a few short seconds, throwing your arms and legs around
to try and counter your over-balancing, you body will start to fire smaller internal
muscles to keep you on the ball. Now imagine that you are on the ground with an
opponent and the two of you are scrambling for position ever been off balance,
or tried to explode out of a position? It is those same intrinsic muscles that
are firing to start your skeletal muscles to perform the movement.
is the 1st muscle to fire when you punch or kick someone? Tricep, deltoid?
Hip flexor, quads? Both wrong. The very first muscle to fire is your abdominals.
Exercise No 1
ball control. Use the Swiss ball to switch from side control to scarf hold
and repeat to the opposite side. This engages your balance, control and fluidity
Body reversal. Lie
facing down, arm out in crucifix position with the ball on your chest. Sweep your
leg through and rotate the body to face up (just like an escape from a failed
shoot as opponent sprawls on you.
Place your elbows in line with your shoulders on the ball and extend your legs
to balance on your feet. Keeping your back totally flat, slowly rotate your elbows
in a small circle. Your core will be working the abs and lower back, whilst all
the muscles around the shoulder have to work to keep the movement going. Try this
for 1 min and increase both time and size of circles.
The old staple of the boxing
gym and slowly made its way to the forefront of modern exercise techniques. This
piece of equipment can be used as an impact exercise for conditioning to the abs
as well as for plyometric training drills. They now come in different sizes and
Most boxing gyms will have
large leather or suede medicine balls weighing between 3-5kgs, used for abdominal
training with a partner. These exercises will incorporate passing the ball between
each other in a variety of movements and angles; rotating from side to side, sitting
up and passing the ball, etc.
modern medicine balls now come in a variety of sizes and weights that allow people
of a lesser stature to use them (girls, of course!). Much like the way the swiss
ball works for the core of your body, the medi ball (as they are named and marketed)
can be used for arm and shoulder stability.
2 - Plyometrics
3 - Speed