Core Mobility Exercise for MMA and Wrestling
The exercise of the Day:
WRESTLE: Leg Step Over and Around
In this exercise, you’ll notice the constant core rotation. Rotation and movement of the core is the root of all martial arts techniques, including wrestling, grappling, and jiu jitsu. By practicing this movement and improving your core mobility, you are increasing your ability to perform any grappling technique possible. You’re also increasing your ability to rotate your core from the ground, as well as strengthening your entire body and core at the same time. As your body rotates, your shoulders, hips, and core, are all activated, 360 degrees around. All sides, the front, back, left, and right, are activated. Everything.
Notice how my body weight is being transferred. The core supports (arms and legs) are alternating and transitioning at all times. As we face one way, my right arm and my left leg will support me fully.
As I step forward, I change the core supports, by taking my left foot off the ground and placing the right foot on the ground.
Then, I swing my left foot around my right leg as I rotate and face the opposite direction.
As my body rotates, I place both of my hands on the ground for an instant. Then I transfer my weight to my left hand, as I raise my right hand off the ground. At this point, my entire body has made a 180, and I’m supported by the opposing limbs, my left arm and my right leg.
With contrasting core supports, opposite sides of the core are activated, and the entire core is activated at different times during the exercise. This also activates the medial, lateral, posterior, and anterior side of your core, as well as the medial, lateral, posterior, and anterior side of your legs and shoulders. This is the result of bipedal movement patterns that are featured in this exercise (google that if you don’t know what bipedal means!)
Also, notice the non-stop movement. Smooth, constant movement enhances mobility better than stop-and-go movements. It’s also better for your joints because non-stop movement makes you more fluid and powerful at the same time. When you’re able to keep moving without pause, you’re more efficient, so you’re able to transfer more energy to your opponent. You’re also able to burn more calories and move more energy throughout your body with constant motion.
Also, notice that you’re moving your entire body at once. When your whole body moves as one, and everything is in sync, there’s less stress on the joints and tendons. due to the fact that you’re moving your entire body motion and participation, your joints experience better health. Not one part of my body stays put during this exercise, so the entire body gets activated, but it is also relaxed as well.
The rhythmic activation of the motor neurons and muscle fibers is also healthy for the brain and the body. Rhythmic movements are more powerful, efficient, and physically beneficial than erratic, and non-rhythmic movements. Rhythm and timing is a huge part of MMA, so you definitely want to practice this as much as possible.
Lastly, your brain is activated completely, with perfect balance when you move like this. When you perform movements that are less fluid, less complex, and less dynamic, your brain is activated in unnatural ways.
Our most natural movements (rhythmic, total body, rotation, core mobility) are the most beneficial and functional. By performing this exercise, you’ll increase your ability to defend yourself, but you’ll also experience a healthier mind, body, and spirit as well. There is a reason that fighters are the most mental and physically functional athletes on the planet, and with exercises like this, it’s easy to see why.
Perform this exercise with caution, as always. Start slow, paying attention to your body, making sure that you don’t hyperextend or hyperflex any of your joints. Speed it up gradually. When you feel more comfortable, do this exercise as many times as you can for 90 seconds. To get stronger, to gain endurance, and increase core mobility even more, push yourself to perform as many reps as you can in 90 seconds. Pushing yourself to maximize your mobility, will provide the perfect intensity for better function, better health, and better martial arts performance.