Build your legs and lungs.
Lunges are great lower-body exercises for improving speed and increasing punching power. The exercise is also a staple for many wrestlers who are trying to improve the explosiveness of their penetration step on double-leg takedowns. Unlike many other exercises, the lunge does not require any advanced or expensive equipment. Undefeated mixed martial artist Lance Palmer (former NCAA Wrestling Champion) of Team Alpha Male demonstrated this lunge circuit and added one of his favorite variations—the alternating shot and jump—to close out the regimen.
MMA LUNGE CIRCUIT
This lunge circuit uses four movements to challenge your legs, heart, and mind. Perform the circuit for five repetitions on each side without stopping. Rest for two minutes, and repeat for three total circuits. Record your best time for each circuit, and try to beat that time each week. As your time improves, so will your strength and conditioning.
ALTERNATING SIDE LUNGE
Begin standing with your hands out front and your elbows tucked at your sides. Step out to the right side until your right thigh is parallel to the floor as you keep your left leg straight. Press up with your right leg, and repeat on the opposite side.
ALTERNATING FRONT LUNGE
Begin standing with your hands up and your elbows tucked at your sides. Step forward with your left leg until your left thigh is parallel to the floor, and drop your right knee within one inch of the floor. Press up with your left leg, and repeat on the opposite side.
ALTERNATING REAR LUNGE
Begin standing with your hands out front and your elbows tucked at your sides. Step back with your left leg until your left thigh is parallel to the floor as your right leg straightens on your right heel. Press up with your left leg, and repeat on the opposite side.
ALTERNATING SHOT AND JUMP
Begin in a wrestling stance with your back straight, butt down, and head up. Take a penetration step with your left leg and clasp your hands as if you where shooting a double-leg takedown. Bring your right leg forward as you come to your feet, and jump in the air as high as you can while landing under control. Repeat on the opposite side.