This week’s video tutorial is going to discuss a topic I've been getting many questions asked to me regarding “how to increase power in striking skill sets for martial arts using barbell exercises?"
This is a complex question to answer because of all the variables we have to take in account.There are several factors that are directly and indirectly related to achieving more power specifically in martial arts.Frist, lets address how the human body was meant to move..Second, I will address how classical barbell lifts may hinder more than help one gain the proper power and force curve that directly relates to MMA striking and boxing, and human movement.
Contralateral Reciprocation – the human body was created to propel itself through the air by using moving the opposing sides of the body simultaneously. This is also refers to the body’s gait cycle. The upper and lower extremities are connected to the body’s core systems, when in motion create a slinging effect. Examples of walking, running, throwing, jumping, and crawling Planes of motion
There are 3 planes of motion that force can occur on (sagittal, frontal, transverse). All human movement happens on a multiplane fashion. This is also true for all sports.
Body directional force- In order for the body generate force it has to use some method of direction to achieve this. There are 3 ways the body generates power (locomotion, rotation, inclination)
Now I will talk about training with classical barbell exercises (bench, press, squat, deadlift, clean n jerk, snatches), and their advantages and disadvantages to using them as a primary method of developing power, balance and movement for martial arts. The primary advantage of using classical barbell exercises is it’s proven to increase maximal muscle contraction which translate into strength.The major reason for this is all barbell lifts happen on the sagittal plane, in a bilateral stance. The sagittal plane is the only plane in where external resistance and the body’s center of gravity are the closest to one another to produce the greatest forces. The nature of moving heavy loads of weight in a compound manner does produce the greatest neuromuscular contractions .
However, are these gains going to directly carryover to a dynamic sport like MMA and martial arts skills? The answer to this is twofold. If barbell exercises are over used and over relied upon they can and will produce negative results. Here’s why.
Here are 5 reasons traditional barbell exercises can never help a fighte rimprove on.
First, all these exercises are performed in a bi lateral and stationary position that only happens on the sagittal plane. Handling forces on a longitude manner. Remember there is no movements like this that are in combat. Boxing techniques are happening on the transverse plane using multi directional forces.
Second, Barbell exercises don’t train you to loco mote taking all rotation out of the body ‘s oblique slings systems thus limited the gait cycle.
Third, barbell exercises don’t train the core systems in a slinging manner to perform contralateral reciprocation.
Fourth, barbells don’t promote a stretch reflex needed in sports which require balance, agility and timing.
Fifth, if you have any current injuries to your shoulders, spine, hips and knees barbell lifts are the worst exercise to do then. There are quite a bit of negative effects on the human skeletal muscular system.
Bench pressing damages the rotator cuffs and creates overly tight pecs, thus not allowing the shoulder joint to move as freely.
Squatting compresses the spine and creates instability on the knees overtime.
Dead lifting also compresses the spine and over strains the paraspinal muscles and Quadratus lumborum muscle.
In Olympic lifting the clean and jerk and the snatch are much too dangerous to rely on for promoting more power because of the body needed to perform a level change to lift the barbell overhead. These lifts put the shoulder girdle in an unstable position.
Checkout more of my video series!
“Keys to Developing Maximal Power for MMA Striking”
"The Shield Defense for MMA"
"The ten most important strikes to master for MMA"
"The Perfect Jab for MMA"