guide to mma workout at home

Guide to The Best MMA Workout at Home

Stuck at home without any equipment or gym to work with? A true Mixed Martial Artist doesn’t let his surroundings impact his training or spirit. Although we recommend joining an MMA gym, if you aren’t able to do that or if you currently can’t afford an MMA membership, there are still ways to get a good result from a home workout. In this guide I’m going to show you some of the best ways to get a good MMA/Boxing workout from home without the use of equipment! This is the ultimate MMA workout at home guide.

Train MMA/Boxing at Home

First things first, you’re going to need space to do this workout. This could mean workout out in a garage, a home gym, or even outside if the weather permits. Having the space to naturally flow within a shadow boxing session can give you the confidence you need in order to pull off fighting combos. Also, you don’t want to ruin your house and there are many risks when working out in a smaller or confined area.

Shadow Boxing at Home

The first thing you should always do is start your MMA workout with some shadow boxing. This is done best in front of a mirror so that you can see your style of striking and the improvements you need to make while striking. If you’re new to shadow boxing, a good rule of thumb is to always finish your punching combinations with knees or kicks.

If you’re a boxer then don’t worry about knees or kicks, just work on your punching combinations and your flow. Visualize the opponent in front of you and moved to create angles that could be used in a real life situation. Don’t be stagnant with your movement, allow yourself to be comfortable so that you can become more confident with your flow.

Your shadow boxing should be set up in rounds with non-stop shadow boxing so that you can establish a good pace, similar to one you would have in a real life fighting situation. You could do two rounds of five minutes each, or if it’s a quick workout one round will be enough to get your body warm and loose.

I like to wear hand wraps even if I’m just shadow boxing. I find it really gets me amped up, and I end up training longer since I went through the ritual and routine of wrapping my hands. If you need a pair of hand wraps, I like these ones (and here is a video from this brand on how to wrap your hands):

Gold BJJ Hand Wraps
Extra long 200 inch hand wraps, with just the right amount of stretch.

Some fighters find it beneficial to do more rounds and a shorter duration such as 30 seconds – one minute, with a 30 second break in between. Find the style that works best for you and execute. Another great way to warm up before stretching is jumping rope, many professional fighters/boxers swear up and down that jump roping helps establish a good fight flow.

Good Beginner Boxing Combinations:

Do these in both stances if you’re trying to master your technique in both Orthodox and Southpaw.

  • 1-2 (Jab-Cross)
  • 1-1-2 (Jab-Jab-Cross)
  • 1-2-3 (Jab-Cross-Lead hook)
  • 1-2-3-2 (Jab-Cross-Lead Hook-Cross)
  • 1-2-5-2 (Jab-Cross-Lead Uppercut-Cross)
  • 1-6-3-2 (Jab-Rear Uppercut-Lead hook-Cross)
  • 2-3-2 (Cross-Lead Hook-Cross)

The reason why we use the wording “Lead” and “Rear” instead of “Left” and “Right” is because when switching stances this can get confusing. Someone who is trying to master all styles of fighting should be able to fight in both Orthodox (Left foot first) and Southpaw (Right foot first). This is obviously better suited for MMA because it gives your opponent a different look for takedowns, while in boxing you’re only using punches and most boxers preferably only master one stance.

Good Beginner Kickboxing Combinations:

  • Jab-Rear Leg Kick
  • Cross-Lead Leg kick
  • Jab-Rear Head kick
  • Cross-Lead Head kick
  • Jab-Overhand

Again, the reason MMA Guru uses the wording “Lead” and “Rear” instead of “Right” and “Left” is because these combinations are meant to be used in both stances (Orthodox and Southpaw). A true martial artist should learn both stances so that they become a more technical striker, which is highly beneficial in a real life fighting scenario.

Good Advanced Kickboxing Combinations:

  • Jab-Cross-Lead Head kick
  • Cross-Lead Hook-Rear Leg kick
  • Jab-Cross-Lead Hook to the Body- Rear Head Kick
  • Cross-Lead Knee (switch or step)-Lead Hook-Cross

If you’re more advanced don’t hesitate to throw in a couple of elbows after punching combinations or even after knees. Whenever you’re doing a lead kick or knee you always have the option (depending on how far your opponent is from you) of stepping into the kick/knee or switching your feet into the kick/knee.

A video example on the technique of the “switch kick”:

If you want to take your boxing workouts up a notch, you’ll want to pick up a heavy bag, hand wraps, and heavy bag gloves. Also be sure to check out my favorite heavy bag workouts as well as my favorite speed bag workouts. Another new and extremely popular at-home boxing option is FightCamp (check out my full FightCamp Review) which is commonly referred to as “the Peloton of boxing.”


MMA Workouts at Home

If you don’t have access to a heavy bag, or if you need a workout you can do from a hotel room or small space, don’t worry, there’s a solution. In fact, according to Matt Marsden, a fitness instructor at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida, who has a training and coaching background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Boxing, Muay Thai, and Tae Kwon Do, this type of workout is pretty common for MMA fighters because they travel so frequently and sometimes have to train outside of the typical gym setting.

Marsden also makes it clear that bodyweight conditioning workouts are every bit as important for MMA training as throwing punches in the ring. “If there’s one thing for certain in this sport, it’s that your heart rate will change several times over the course of a five-minute round due to the many battle styles a fight can take. It may start as a boxing match, move into Olympic-level wrestling, then return back to the feet,” Marsden says.

If you’re interested in a bodyweight MMA workout designed by the pros, definitely check out Phil Daru’s Body Armor program. Phil Daru is the head strength and conditioning coach for the world famous American Top Team. He has trained the top fighters in the world including Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Dustin Poirier, and Colby Covington.

In Coach Daru’s Body Armor program, he shares the bodyweight techniques he used to help his roster of fighters optimize their mobility, power, and strength. The program includes loads of instructional videos, and best of all it doesn’t require any gym equipment.

Check out Coach Daru’s Program

The Guru’s At-Home MMA Workout

I previously talked about HIIT workouts in my Lose Weight With MMA Article. This type of workout has the same concept.

  1. Shadow Boxing or Jump Rope 30-45 seconds, 30 second break
  2. Burpees 30-45 seconds, 30 second break
  3. Shadow Boxing or Jump Rope 30-45 seconds, 30 second break
  4. Jump Squats 30-45 seconds, 30 second break
  5. Shadow Boxing or Jump Rope 30-45 seconds, 30 second break
  6. Matrix Pushups (or normal if you can’t do matrix) 30-45 seconds, 30 second break

1. You’re going to start out Shadow Boxing for 30-45 seconds and afterwards you’ll have a 30 second break. Use the combinations we talked about above. If you want to make this workout more difficult, add sprawls in your shadow boxing.
2. Next, you’re going to do “Burpees” for 30 seconds straight, Burpees are a great way to get your heart rate up. Burpees are also great because they are an amazing fat burning exercise that works your chest, shoulders, back, as well as your core and legs.

How to do Burpees:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
  • Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
  • Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto them.
  • Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or you butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
  • Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
  • Reach your arms over head and explosively jump up into the air.
  • Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.

An example on how to do Burpees below:
Great MMA Workout burpees
3. After Burpees, you’ll shadow box again for 30-45 seconds, followed by a 30 second break.
4. Next you’ll be doing Jump Squats for 30-45 seconds. Jump Squats are an absolute cardio killer that will help fighters with their stamina. This will really burn your legs out quickly and helps fighters with their kicking power and explosion. You can make this workout harder by doing a 180 spin during each jump up.

How to do Jump Squats:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Start by doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively.
  • When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible, which requires control.

An example on how to do Jump Squats below:
Great mma workout at home jump squats
5. After you complete your Jump Squats you’ll shadow box for another 30-45 seconds. This is when most fighters start getting really tired (which is when the real growth starts). Keep going, you’re almost finished!
6. Finally you’ll be doing Matrix Push Ups (Do matrix push ups on your knees or normal push ups if you can’t do standard matrix yet).

How to do Matrix Push Ups:

  • Start in the normal push up position.
  • Lean to one side (left or right) and go down in a full circular motion.
  • Once you get back to the top you’ll reverse and go in the opposite direction.

An Example on how to do Matrix Push Ups below:Matrix Push Up mma workout at home

Jiu Jitsu Gi Pull Ups

Another one of my favorite exercises is pull-ups with my Jiu Jitsu gi. All you need for this one is a BJJ gi (a belt works too) and a pull-up bar.

This is actually how the founder of the popular TRX bands got the idea for his product. The inventor of TRX bands was a Navy SEAL named Randy Hetrick who only had his Jiu Jitsu belt to train with while on deployment. He wanted to stay in shape in the field, and so he used his Jiu Jitsu belt to assist him in his body weight workouts while on deployment.

You can use this technique too, just loop your Jiu Jitsu gi or belt over a pullup bar and do either strict pullups or inverted rows. BJJ gear is typically made from really strong cotton weaves and will easily hold your body weight. I particularly like these exercises because they build your grip strength fast.

The MMA Workout Cool Down

After every workout you should always have a cool down period. This could mean a light jog or walk around the block or maybe a light bicycle session. One of the most important things for fighters is their flexible,  it’s important to never forget a stretching routine after a workout. Stretching is great for muscular growth as well as allowing your body to move in positions that can be strategically better for fighters. Stretching allows advanced fighters to get their kicks higher and allows them to practice more advanced kicks (such as spinning hooks kicks, tornado kicks, etc).

6 thoughts on “Guide to The Best MMA Workout at Home”

  1. Ian

    I have been searching for this type of site for years Now.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge.
    I am 28 years old with minor judo background, looking into expanding my training.
    My dream is to join UFC one day. despite my age, training and experience I believe i will do this.

    Taking this one day at a time.

    1. The MMA Guru

      Hey Ian,

      I’m glad to hear that you use as your guide! I wish you luck on your journey.

      – The MMA Guru

  2. Ma man

    Great article i learned alot from this, thanks.

  3. Leo Ricotta


    My dream is to be in the UFC iam 15 years old i have been training since I was 14 thank you for showing MMA workouts and combinations of Kickboxing.

    1. Dg Don

      Good Luck Leo! I’ll be in your corner waiting to hear that name!

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