Fitness – Strong to the Core

Strengthen your core for KO power.

Strength and conditioning coach Brian Harris keeps his stable of fighters at American Top Team—including Brad Pickett, Mike Brown, and Will Brooks—in peak fighting shape by incorporating exercises that build muscular endurance in the core. For this installment, Brian explains three exercises he used to get Bellator lightweight Will Brooks prepared for his TKO-win over Chris Leyva at Bellator 97.

Dumbbell Push Press
Emphasis: upper body, core, legs
Reps: 20 / Sets: 3
Begin with a dumbbell resting on your shoulder. Slightly hinge at your hips and bend your knees. Drive your arm upward and lock your elbow. End the movement at full extension with your biceps by your ear. Complete 10 reps on each arm.

Core Rotation with Cable
Emphasis: core in a rotating pattern
Reps: 20 / Sets: 3
Begin in an athletic base with your knees bent and chest up. Keeping your head straight, rotate the handle of the cable machine from one side to the other, while pivoting on your inside foot. Keeping your elbows locked out makes the exercise more difficult. Pull quickly, with a three-second negative back to the starting position. Complete 10 reps on each side.

Stability Ball Hip Curl
Emphasis: core/hip flexors
Reps: 20 / Sets: 3
Begin in a pushup position with your feet elevated on a stability ball. Maintain a tight core while keeping the ball balanced. Slowly bring you knees to your chest. Return to the starting position.

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