Strength and conditioning for MMA is an evolving science, getting more detailed as the popularity of the UFC and mixed martial arts grows. Like all sports, MMA fighters must dedicate themselves to workouts that will take them to the highest level of physical fitness possible.

To make sure you’re achieving your full potential as a fighter, make sure you utilize these 3 MMA workout tips in your strength and conditioning program.

Tip #1 – Follow a Program

If you’re not following a program, you could simply be spinning your wheels. The worst thing you can do is go to the gym and say to yourself, “OK, now that I’m here, what am I going to do?”

If you’re serious about being an MMA fighter, then you must have a strength and conditioning program that’s laid out for at least the 8 weeks leading up to your fight. If you don’t have a fight lined up, then you must think about what you need to improve and focus on those aspects of your game.

Tip #2 – Maximize your Efficiency in the Weight Room

As a mixed-martial artist, you’ve got to train jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, wrestling, and put them all together into MMA at the very LEAST. This doesn’t leave you a ton of time to work on strength.

So you’ve got to get the most bang for your buck in the little time that you do have.

In your strength program, you can do so by training full body workouts focused on movement patterns. Think squat, lunge, deadlift, push, pull, and twist instead of chest, biceps, quads, hams, back, etc.

Hitting the full body with different movement patterns two days a week will allow you to make progress in your routine without over training. Here’s an example of a 2 day split:

Day 1: Reverse lunge – Bench press – Woodchop – Arnold press – Reverse Curl
Day 2: Squat – Chinup – Romanian deadlift – 1-arm row – Skull crusher

You could do these workouts on Monday and Thursday to develop your strength and power.

The repetition range you use will depend on your goals, if it’s muscular endurance, then choose 10-12 reps, if you’re going for pure strength, you can get down to 3-5 reps. A good balance is between 7-8 reps per set. The lower the reps and heavier the weight, the more rest you generally want to take.

Tip #3 – Use a Medicine Ball for Conditioning Circuits

By far the best tool for developing MMA specific power is the medicine ball, since you can throw the ball as hard and fast as you can in rotational movements that heavily involve the core. Integrating the medicine ball will allow you to develop knockout power with your strikes, as well as explosive take down ability.

Exercises like the side toss and chop toss will have you (and your opponents and sparring partners) feeling a difference after only a few weeks.

Unfortunately, many people do these exercises completely wrong, in terms of reps, weight, and form.

To see how you can integrate medicine ball exercises into your MMA strength and conditioning program, check out the following site: MMA Workout Program.

How to Start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training at Home

Are you looking for a way to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at home by learning online? If you can’t afford to train regularly at a martial arts gym or simply don’t have the time, then there are various techniques you can perform at home to increase your core strength and give you a foundation in BJJ.

How Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Was Formed

BJJ was formed in the early 1900’s by Helio Gracie, Carlos Gracie. Some people call the martial art Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. The fighting system derived from the Japanese Martial art of Judo, taking the best moves and improving them. Over the years the moves have been adapted and refined. The sport hit mainstream attention with the emergence of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Royce Gracie, who managed to submit fighters much larger than him.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training Tips

There are various ways to train your BJJ at home. Obviously it’s going to be better if you have a partner as you will be able to thoroughly practice the moves, but if you don’t then you can actively practice the foundation movements in order to gain some extra mobility and straighten your core.

Kimura Sit Up – To do this move you have to lie down with both of your knees raised, feet touching the ground and arms by your side. You then sit up, reach one arm over your body and touch the floor on the opposite side.

Triangle Choke – In this exercise you must lie down flat on the ground and then hoist your body up vertically onto your shoulders keeping your hands on your chest so your abs are performing the movement.

Hip Escape – Like the kimura sit up you must lie down on the ground with your knees raised and your feet flat on the ground. You must then move your body side to side forming a right angle, keeping your shoulders slightly raised. This will cause isometric tension throughout your core.

By performing these exercises every two or three days you will see drastic results in your overall fitness. You will gain core strength, flexibility and agility. This will prepare you for the more serious training methods and help you understand the fundamental movements of BJJ.

Lean Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Online

If you want to learn BJJ or any other form of martial art online then make sure you find a training program that offers video tutorials as well as an active user forum and written instructions on how to accurately perform the moves. There is a program online called Damage Control. This system was developed by a former UFC fighter, and is used by professional mixed martial artists across the globe.

Learning mixed martial arts online can be very effective. Damage Control is a professional training guide used by a number of world class MMA fighters.

In this awesome street fight bar brawl scene from the movie Knockaround Guys, Vin Diesel gives what is now famously known as the “500 fights speech” before kicking the shit out of a local tough guy…

“500 fights, that’s the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course, along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that’s what you are.”

What a badass!

Now that we are a few months into 2011 and have had enough time to see how the MMA fighters around the world are doing, I decided it’s time to put out an update of the mixed martial arts fighter rankings.

So, here are the current top 10 MMA fighters at each weight class as well as the overall pound-for-pound best MMA fighters for 2011.

Top 10 Pound-for-Pound MMA Fighters:

1) Georges St. Pierre
2) Anderson Silva
3) Jose Aldo
4) Frankie Edgar
5) Jon Fitch
6) Jake Shields
7) Jon Jones
8) Gilbert Melendez
9) Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
10) Rashad Evans

Top 10 Heavyweight MMA Fighters:

1) Cain Velasquez
2) Brock Lesnar
3) Fabricio Werdum
4) Junior dos Santos
5) Shane Carwin
6) Frank Mir
7) Antonio Silva
8) Fedor Emelianenko
9) Alistair Overeem
10) Roy Nelson

Top 10 Light Heavyweight MMA Fighters:

1) Jon Jones
2) Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
3) Rashad Evans
4) Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
5) Lyoto Machida
6) Forrest Griffin
7) Ryan Bader
8) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
9) Dan Henderson
10) Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante

Top 10 Middleweight MMA Fighters:

1) Anderson Silva
2) Chael Sonnen
3) Yushin Okami
4) Nate Marquardt
5) Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
6) Demian Maia
7) Jorge Santiago
8) Vitor Belfort
9) Michael Bisping
10) Hector Lombard

Top 10 Welterweight MMA Fighters:

1) Georges St. Pierre
2) Jon Fitch
3) Thiago Alves
4) Jake Shields
5) Josh Koscheck
6) B.J. Penn
7) Carlos Condit
8) Nick Diaz
9) Paul Daley
10) Diego Sanchez

Top 10 Lightweight MMA Fighters:

1) Frankie Edgar
2) Gilbert Melendez
3) Gray Maynard
4) Shinya Aoki
5) Eddie Alvarez
6) Kenny Florian
7) Tatsuya Kawajiri
8) Jim Miller
9) Sean Sherk
10) Anthony Pettis

Top 10 Featherweight MMA Fighters:

1) Jose Aldo
2) Hatsu Hioki
3) Chad Mendes
4) Manny Gamburyan
5) Michihiro Omigawa
6) Marlon Sandro
7) Diego Nunes
8) Joe Warren
9) Dustin Poirier
10) Josh Grispi

Top 10 Bantamweight MMA Fighters:

1) Dominick Cruz
2) Joseph Benavidez
3) Urijah Faber
4) Brian Bowles
5) Scott Jorgensen
6) Miguel Torres
7) Takeya Mizugaki
8) Brad Pickett
9) Masakatsu Ueda
10) Demetrious Johnson

Top 10 Flyweight MMA Fighters:

1) Yasuhiro Urushitani
2) Mamoru Yamaguchi
3) Ian McCall
4) Jussier “Formiga” da Silva
5) Yuki Shojo
6) Darrell Montague
7) Ryuichi Miki
8) Kiyotaka Shimizu
9) Alexis Vila
10) Fumihiro Kitahara

Top 10 Women MMA Fighters:

1) Marloes Coenen
2) Cristiane Santos
3) Tara LaRosa
4) Sarah Kaufman
5) Zoila Frausto
6) Megumi Fujii
7) Naho Sugiyama
8) Yasuko Tamada
9) Rosi Sexton
10) Miesha Tate

The UFC fight night — fight for the troops 2 — is Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 9pm EST. You can watch it free on Spike TV. You can also watch it online and a few other ways.

There are some pretty good match-ups to watch. Here is the fight card for the event:

Evan Dunham vs Melvin Guillard
Matt Mitrione vs Tim Hague
Mark Hominick vs George Roop
Pat Barry vs Joey Beltran
Cole Miller vs Matt Wiman
Cody McKenzie vs Yves Edwards
Damarques Johnson vs Mike Guymon
Mike Brown vs Rani Yahya
Waylon Lowe vs Willamy Freire
Charlie Brenneman vs Amilcar Alves
Will Campuzano vs Chris Cariaso