Combat Conditioning – Core Training Exercises

A strong core is essential to martial arts, MMA or any kind of combat conditioning, you can imagine how often the question about core strengthening exercises come up. Abdominal exercises in your combat conditioning program must be a priority.

In this post I thought I’d share one of my personal routines that I use as part of my conditioning program for combat athletes. I rarely use a routine for very long however this is one that I incorporate often as a training session finisher.

The general idea behind this routine is to perform each exercise in sequence with no scheduled breaks. You may find that in the beginning you have to stop briefly however this should be minimized. As you progress eliminate these breaks.


I have outlined some guidelines on where to begin and how to progress as far as rep and times per week. Keep in mind that your abdominal muscles are indeed muscles and adequate recovery needs to be planned into your routines.

  • Beginner 5-10 reps each exercise 1-2 times a week
  • Intermediate 10-20 reps each exercise 2-3 times a week
  • Advanced 20-30 reps each exercise 3-4 times a week

Below is the exercise sequence, strive to perform each exercise one after the other with no scheduled breaks. A very common mistake I see when training abs is people either forget to breath or breath at the wrong time. You should exhale during the contraction phase of the exercises. You should also never pull on your neck or head; always strive for good form.

  1. Abdominal Crunches
  2. Seated Raises/Heels to Ceiling
  3. Crossed Legged Seated Raises
  4. Left/Right Isolated Crunches
  5. Leg Raises
  6. Toe Touches
  7. Single Leg Raises V-Ups or Jack Knifes
  8. Russian Twists
  9. Supine Bicycles
  10. Medicine Ball Twists
  11. Oblique Sit Ups

Additional variations include adding ankle weights for increased resistance.

Source by Tom D Harvey


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