Dead Lifts For MMA

Gone are the days when a fighter could reach the top of his game without being strong. These days, a fighter needs every advantage he can get, and there’s no better way to get that edge than to boost your full body, sport-specifi c strength.


The dead lift is one of the best total-body strength-building exercises for fighters. It’s relatively simple, you can use a lot of weight and best of all, it will make you strong in all the right places. Since fighting demands more mobility than, say, football, I have my fighters perform the dead lift with a wide (snatch) grip while standing on a four- to six-inch platform. The wide grip and elevated platform forces your hip, knee and ankle joints to work through a greater range of motion, and this carries over perfectly to the demands of a fight.


With a narrow stance, squat down and grab the bar with a wide, unmixed (both palms facing down) grip. Your hips should be low and chest held as high as possible. Stand up with the weight by pushing your hips forward. Lock out your hips at the top of the movement by squeezing your glutes hard. Lower the weight as quickly as possible, but stay tight.

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