TXMMA – Texas Mixed Martial Arts

Dynamic Pull-ups for Grappling





By: Josh Bryant MS, Adam benShea MA

The far majority of grappling techniques are implemented by gripping and pulling.  So, when you are devising a workout plan to improve your grappling skills you want exercises that mimic these movements.

With this in mind, turn your attention to pull-ups!

To perform a pull-up, you grip the bar and pull yourself up.  Moreover, the weight you’re lifting is your own.  This is important because in every form of competitive combat you must be able to effectively move your bodyweight.

Even the most basic pull-up variation will benefit your grappling.  For this reason, most successful MMA/Grappling strength and conditioning programs include pull-ups as a crucial part of the workout routine.  However, to best mimic grappling movements, two training elements should be added to your pull-ups: dynamic grips and explosive movement.

Your grip must be dynamic when transitioning between pummeling and a body lock or a kimura and an armbar.  Having the ability to smoothly progress from one grappling grip to another is not something that occurs without repetitive training.  While this can be done through drilling your martial techniques, you can also train this movement will increasing your strength and conditioning.

In addition, when you shoot a takedown or attempt a submission, you do so explosively.  Dynamic techniques can be achieved through extensive practice of your developing skills, but this can also be done through combat functional training.

As a means to better mimic grappling techniques, here is an example of pull-ups with changing grips variations and an explosive element.   (Video embedded below)

Adam benShea is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Ricardo “Frajinha” Miller (Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). Adam has won the World, Pan American, and California State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and holds an MA from Indiana University. Check out his website myhomeworkouts.com for more workout ideas:. Adam is the Joshstrength.com Grappling/MMA Advisor.

Josh Bryant is one of the fastest rising names in the fitness industry. Currently Josh is a strength coach who works successfully with many clients, both in person at Metroflex Gym and via the Internet. By using the Joshstrength Method, he has trained world record setting powerlifters, women fitness competitors, Olympic athletes, professional fighters, NCAA champions, and a host of high school athletes who have received collegiate scholarships. As an athlete, he won many national and world titles in both powerlifting and strongman, and at 22 years of age was the youngest person in powerlifting history to bench press 600 pounds raw. He squatted 909 pounds in the USPF, officially bench-pressed 620 pounds raw, and officially deadlifted 810 pounds raw. In 2005, he won the Atlantis Strongest Man in America competition. Along with ISSA certifications in fitness training, nutrition, and conditioning, Josh has been awarded the prestigious title of Master of Fitness Sciences (MFS). He was also recently named the ISSA Director of Applied Strength and Power. In addition to being certified by the NSCA as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and by NASM as a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES), Josh completed his master of sciences degree in exercise science (July 2010). He has been published in numerous magazines, periodicals and websites. Josh Bryant is the founder and owner of Joshstrength.com and The Joshstrength Method. To learn more about Josh Bryant or to contact him visit www.joshstrength.com.






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