When it comes to stepping in the octagon or other martial arts arena having big, ripped shoulders not only looks menacing and impressive and give you a mental advantage but can also mean harder more powerful punches you can land on your opponent. Adding the following three shoulder workouts to your fitness regime can give you all that and more.
Punches Only Sparring
This offers a great mix of tactical training and strength training while building up stamina for grueling long mixed martial arts bouts. The best martial arts equipment for this is focus mitts and heavy gloves. Use punches only, no kicks or knees to really work the shoulders to full effect. Take turns punching and holding the focus mitts for your partner (this will still give you a burn after holding your arms up for an hour). When striking have your sparring partner call out the punches and combos. Start with 2 minute rounds back and forth and build up to at least 10 minutes straight – double a UFC 5 minute round.
Forget the Tower 200 home gym, you can get just as great a workout with resistance cords bought from a martial arts supplier online for less than $40 and you can take them anywhere. If you need more resistance just use multiple cords together. You can use these resistance cords to perform at least half a dozen great shoulder exercises and do them anywhere. Great for an extra workout at night at home to get in that extra 15-30 minutes. Try front raises, side raises, reverse flys, presses and rows as well of course as punches. Remember to work out all of the shoulder muscles. High reps are great for getting cut.
Free Weight Punches
You can either use this as an extension to your shoulder workout day at the gym or use dumbbells at home to get in an extra workout in the morning or evening. Lay three pairs of dumbbells out side-by-side, preferably waist height on a bench or other surface. Start with the lightest pair of weights first. Perform as many straight punches as you can (this should be at least 50-100). Then immediately pick up the second pair of dumbbells and repeat till you max out. Follow immediately by repeating with the third and then free hand. You will definitely find you are punching faster. Repeat for 3 sets. To add a twist use combos instead of straight punches. For instance straight, hook, uppercut with the left then right hand. You should find this definitely add to your punching power and speed as well as looks.
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