Physical strength and endurance are essential aspects of combat sports. Training for fighting requires building functional strength through workouts that target specific muscle groups, improve agility, and increase endurance. If you’re looking for a way to improve your fighting skills, incorporating strength training into your routine is a great start. In this blog post, we’ll share some of the best workouts that can help you build functional strength for fighting, improve your overall performance, and protect yourself from injury. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fighter, these workouts will help you become a formidable opponent in the ring or on the mat.

What Are Good Workouts To Build Functional Strength For Fighting

Functional strength is an essential aspect of fighting, providing the ability to generate power and maintain balance during quick and intense movements. Building functional strength requires developing a workout routine focusing primarily on multi-joint exercises that utilize several muscle groups simultaneously. One of the best workouts for building functional strength is compound exercises that engage the entire body, such as deadlifts, squats, and pull-ups. All these workouts help to improve grip strength, core strength, and overall body control.

Another effective workout to build functional strength for fighting is kettlebell training, which is becoming popular among mixed martial arts fighters. Kettlebell swings, snatches, and turkish get-ups require the body to produce force from the ground up, working the entire body while improving power, speed, and agility. Incorporating plyometric exercises like box jumps, jump squats or lunges, and medicine ball throws can also help to improve strength, coordination, and endurance.

In conclusion, functional strength plays a crucial role in fighting, and incorporating multi-joint exercises, kettlebell training, and plyometric workouts as part of an exercise routine can help fighters gain both power and stability. These workouts can help fighters develop quick movements, better footwork, improved agility, and more explosive punching or kicking capabilities. The ultimate goal of the workout is to make the fighters faster, stronger, and more resilient in the face of challenges, making them an even more formidable force in the ring.

How Do Compound Lifts Like Squats And Deadlifts Improve Fighting Strength?

Functional strength is crucial for fighters to perform well in their respective martial arts. The workouts for building functional strength are different from traditional bodybuilding workouts. It mainly depends on increasing overall strength, speed, agility, and flexibility. One of the best workouts for building functional strength is bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, and squats. These exercises help to develop core strength and balance, which are essential for effective fighting techniques.

Another workout that improves functional strength for fighting is plyometrics, which includes explosive exercises like jump squats, box jumps, and agility drills. This helps fighters develop power and speed, which is beneficial for kicking and punching movements. Incorporating functional training equipment like resistance bands, medicine balls, and kettlebells into workouts can also improve functional strength. These tools can help add resistance and challenge the body in new ways, which can ultimately enhance fighting abilities.

Finally, compound exercises like deadlifts, bench presses, and squats are great for building functional strength. These movements work the entire body and develop power and explosiveness. It is also essential to include cardio exercises like running or biking in a fighter’s workout routine. Cardio workouts improve endurance and stamina, which are crucial for fighting matches as well. Overall, a combination of bodyweight exercises, plyometrics, resistance training, and cardio will help fighters build functional strength for improved fighting abilities.

Is Plyometric Training Effective For Building Explosive Power In Combat Sports?

Functional strength is the type of strength that directly translates to real-life movements and activities. This is essential for fighters who need to have explosive power, speed, and endurance in their muscles. In order to build this type of strength, fighters need to focus on exercises that improve their overall body coordination, balance, and stability.

One good workout to build functional strength for fighting is the tire flip. This exercise will help to work the entire body, from the legs to the upper body, while also improving their explosiveness. Another good workout is the sled push, which will help to improve their overall strength and endurance, as well as their speed and acceleration. Fighters can also incorporate bodyweight movements like push-ups, pull-ups, and squats, which will help to build functional strength and improve their overall fitness and athleticism.

Overall, fighters should focus on exercises that require them to move their entire body, engage multiple muscle groups, and challenge their coordination and balance. By incorporating these exercises into their training routine, fighters can build functional strength that will help them perform better in the ring or octagon.

How Important Is Grip Strength In Fighting And What Are Some Exercises To Improve It?

Functional strength is the foundation of an effective fighting style. It is a combination of strength, speed, agility, and endurance that enables a fighter to move quickly and efficiently while delivering powerful strikes. Therefore, the workouts that build functional strength for fighting need to focus on improving multiple aspects of physical fitness.

One of the most effective workouts for building functional strength is compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. These exercises work multiple muscle groups simultaneously and develop power and stability needed in fighting. Plyometric training is also a great choice, which involves explosive movements like jump squats, clapping push-ups, and box jumps to improve speed, agility, and power.

Additionally, endurance exercises such as interval training, running, or cycling can help increase your stamina, giving you the ability to keep fighting without tiring quickly. Finally, incorporating movements that simulate fighting, such as bag work, shadowboxing, or sparring, can help train your neuromuscular system to respond to situations similar to actual fighting.

Are Bodyweight Workouts And Calisthenics Sufficient For Functional Strength In Fighting?

Functional strength is important for fighting as it involves movements that mimic actions used in everyday life or fighting. There are several workouts that can help build functional strength for fighting.

One such workout is the kettlebell swing, which targets the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) as well as the core muscles. It also involves explosive hip extension, which is crucial for generating power in punches and kicks. Another great workout is the push-up, which works the chest, triceps, and shoulders, and can be done with variations to target different muscle groups. Pull-ups and chin-ups also work the upper body and help with grip strength, which is important for grappling and holding opponents.

Finally, compound lifts such as squats and deadlifts are great for building overall strength and should be included in any functional strength training program for fighting. They work several muscle groups, including the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and back muscles, and help with explosiveness and power. Other exercises, such as lunges, farmer’s carries, and planks, can also be incorporated to target specific muscle groups and improve functional strength for fighting.


Functional strength training can be a game-changer for fighters. Incorporating exercises that focus on movement patterns and enhancing power, mobility, and balance can improve one’s fighting skills and overall athletic performance. Some of the best workouts to build functional strength for fighting include squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, and planks. Along with these exercises, it’s essential to incorporate agility drills, plyometric exercises, and cardio to build endurance and explosiveness. With a holistic approach to functional training, fighters can develop the strength and conditioning they need to take their fighting skills to the next level.


By Colter