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MMA Workout Routine You Can Do at Home

Have you ever wanted to train in mixed martial arts? You might not be able to get to a gym regularly like the professional fighters competing at the highest level but that doesn’t matter, you can achieve an adequate MMA workout from home. Thanks to the internet and the numerous free resources that now exist, finding MMA specific workouts and exercising like a pro-athlete has never been easier.

Training for MMA is a great way to achieve a solid workout, raise your heart rate, burn fat, and build your fighting skills – all of which lead to a healthier overall mindset day-to-day. You may need some equipment initially but that is also easy to acquire once you’re willing to make that initial investment.

The best MMA fighters typically train five or six days per week and usually do multiple sessions in one day. Of course, as professional athletes, these fighters are not inhibited in the same way as a beginner would be. If you want to train for MMA then a workout at home is a great way to start improving your fitness and stamina, which will assist you in the transition towards training full time – if that’s what you wish to achieve.

The work you do at home will include different types of martial arts so you can tailor your experience and train like your favourite MMA fighters. This guide should help you create a solid plan for an MMA workout routine which will get you in shape.

Variety is the spice of life and the freedom that comes from studying MMA at home allows you to test whatever waters you please, giving you a better idea of what works for you and what doesn’t. If you’re specifically loving drilling muay-thai techniques, you can choose to center your workouts around it. It’s a luxury that you likely won’t find when you enroll in a gym and one that stands as a major benefit planning your MMA exercise at home.

A martial artist throws a kick in front of a lake.
Training outside is an even greater source of energy for both the mind and the body.
Photo credit: pixabay

MMA Training at Home

To train in MMA at home, you’ll need to get some basic equipment in order to get the best from your MMA workout routine. While not everything listed is completely essential, here’s a list of training equipment worth getting to start you off on the right track:

You may be working on your own or you may have a partner – this will determine what equipment you need for your workouts. Grappling dummies are a great tool to replicate a body but can be expensive. And while nothing can beat the real thing, there are many solo drills that you can perform without a dummy or a training partner.

Mats allow you to train comfortably barefoot and also to protect your body from harsh impact if you are grappling. Getting mats for the home is highly recommended as it protects your floor when doing exercise from sweat and fluid.

There are many different types of gloves and all have different uses, if you are using a heavy bag then opt for a glove with more protection. If you are a novice to the world of kicks, then shin-pads are an absolute must in order to protect you from any injuries that may hinder your progress.

Learning MMA at Home

There has never been a better time to train MMA from home. In this age of instructional DVDs, YouTube videos, and online training platforms, you won’t be short of options. It all depends on how you learn. Some people may want to find a gym to learn at but others prefer to study and exercise in the comfort of their own home.

Esteemed fighters such as Jon Jones and Max Holloway have admitted to learning techniques by watching instructional videos on the internet – with the former crediting YouTube tutorials for some of the wilder moves that he leaned heavily on during his initial rise through the light-heavyweight ranks.

Some great online learning platforms that can help you plan your workouts include former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw’s ‘Get Fit to Fight’ program which involves MMA related fitness and techniques (1). Evolve MMA is the largest gym in Singapore and they boast multiple world champion instructors. Evolve have developed an online University that gives you access to training programs and a video library of techniques (2).

Related: How To Win In A Street Fight

There are also some great free resources on YouTube and other MMA websites that are invaluable in aiding your learning if you are entirely new to MMA training. If you do consider yourself a complete notice, then it may be worth looking at a technical introduction to MMA in 10 moves which can help you get your best foot forward in tackling some of the basics (3).

A fighter fires off a left kick at the heavy bag.
A heavy bag is one of the most important pieces of training equipment you will ever purchase.
Photo credit: Pixabay

Training At Home Vs. Training In A Gym

So can it be done? Taking your training into your own hands is something that no doubt will appeal to a lot of people who see enrolling in an MMA gym as an inconvenience. And while there are certainly differences to be found in doing your workouts solo, as opposed to with a live body, you can still reap quite a lot of benefits from an MMA workout routine that takes place purely in your own home.

The question more or less boils down to how far you’re looking to go in your martial arts journey. Some aspects of training in a gym just cannot be replicated – things like sparring and drilling techniques with a partner. But even with that being the case, that’s not to say that you can’t reach a basic level through solo-drilling alone.

If you have the discipline necessary to keep yourself in check and the self-awareness to be critical, where necessary, training at home can be fruitful experience – one that can also serve as a platform that will perhaps allow you to eventually join a gym.

That being said, following a program that is run exclusively from home can be enough to give you a well-rounded and refined skill-set – meaning that you don’t necessarily need to look at home-training as a route towards an eventual transition to a gym.

There is no doubt though that MMA classes will help you progress at a much faster rate especially with an experienced coach and students who are eager to learn and train. As the saying goes ‘iron sharpens iron’.

Create an MMA Workout Plan

To get the best workout possible you will need to plan what your exercises will include. Approaching this with each week in mind will allow you to set a healthy foundation for yourself and your body while taking care to manage your overall workload and keep your drills and exercises as diverse as possible.

How do I get in shape for MMA?

You can be completely out of shape and begin working on your cardio through an MMA-centric workout. In fact, many gyms do everything in their power to make it clear to prospective members that being out of shape should be of no concern if you’re hoping to sign up. Training at home is no different. Start from wherever you are right now and work your way up towards a solid level of fitness.

The key components of a successful MMA workout routine will always include the following:

  • Strength – an essential part of any athlete’s exercise, it builds power and reduces injuries.
  • Striking – include boxing, muay thai, and taekwondo techniques to give yourself a varied workout.
  • Grappling – if you have a partner to grapple with then excellent, if not, a grappling dummy is a great option for home.
  • Cardio – getting your heart rate going is essential for an MMA workout routine. The better your cardio is the more enjoyable working out will be.

By working equally in all areas you will ensure you have a great all-round base of fitness to aid your performance. If you need to find any equipment there are some great online stores that can supply you with everything you need to lay a strong foundation beneath you.

Planning out our weekly regime ahead of time also introduces an element of healthy pressure that will aid you in holding yourself accountable for your progress week-by-week.

Working on your hands is an important part of any mma workout routine.
Working on your boxing technique is something you can do anywhere.
Photo credit: PickPik

MMA Exercises at Home – Step By Step Guide

Let’s get started with your workout – we are going to split this into 2 different MMA workout routines. One workout will be MMA conditioning focused and the other will be technique focused. You may want to perform each workout on separate days or if you can then try them both on the same day.


Essential for any MMA workout routine is a warm-up – we suggest that performing mobility exercise and light cardiovascular exercise is the best way to prepare yourself for a session.

  1. Mobility Routine – this involves movement of all the major joints in the body and stretching in preparation. Spend as long as you need with this step until your body feels prepared for the next.
  2. Shadowboxing – 3 rounds of 30 seconds of shadow boxing will serve to raise your heart rate ahead of the more intense exercises to be found in this guide.

Conditioning Workout

It is important that a conditioning workout realistically mimics actual MMA preparation in terms of the type of exercises selected and the amount of time that you will work for. Below there are 5 exercises that will make you work for 45 seconds and rest of 15 seconds before moving on to the next one. This helps to create short intense bursts of exercise that develop your cardio and power. The short rest time represents the moments in a fight where there may be a break in the fighting while you move around the ring. Perform this circuit as many times as you would like. We suggest 3 rounds, to begin with.

For each exercise, put in 45 seconds work, followed by 15 seconds rest. Repeat this cycle for 3-5 rounds.

After each full round of doing all the exercises make sure to have a 1-minute rest in between rounds.

  • Squat Jumps
  • Press Ups
  • Heavy Bag
  • Pull-Ups or Bicep Curls
  • Burpees

This workout is designed to incorporate the full body and use of external weight and bodyweight to allow you to improve your power and overall fitness.

Technique Workout

This workout will be broken into 3 different sections which focus on different striking disciplines. Muay thai and boxing and a separate grappling workout.

For the striking element work on a heavy bag as it will stay rigid when you strike – something that can assist you in developing power. Mastering the basic techniques in both stances is a great way of exercising and also learning striking for MMA. Many fighters these days, such as Tony Ferguson, Jorge Masvidal, and Jon Jones can operate in both stances which makes them a more difficult and unpredictable opponent to face.

Here is an example of some boxing and kickboxing sequences to go through:

Boxing techniques – perform in 5-minute rounds focusing on controlled technique. Have a break in between rounds of 1 minute.

  • 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)

Kickboxing techniques – perform in 5-minute rounds focusing on controlled technique. Have a break in between rounds of 1 minute.

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

Grappling techniques – solo drills or dummy drills are a great way to exercise and move like a grappler. There is a great free resource from John Danaher available to download and focuses entirely on solo drills (4). Follow these simple exercises to complete your grappling workout. Perform 10 repetitions of each, work in a circuit, and repeat 3-5 times.

  • Sprawls
  • Forward Rolls
  • Backward Rolls
  • Shrimps
  • Bear Crawls
  • Sit throughs
  • Triangle setups

If you have any difficulty with the exercise then there are a lot of good resources and technique videos on youtube which can help you to master the basics of solo grappling exercise (5).

What exercises do MMA fighters do?

MMA fighters are among the very best conditioned athletes on the planet. Their training programs tend to mix sparring, technique drilling, and strength + conditioning workouts and for the most part, everything will be ramped up in its intensity during a fight-camp (which will generally last for about 8-10 weeks).

With a heavy emphasis on metabolic conditioning-based workouts, the goal for all fighters is to develop every type of functional strength imaginable – something that will allow them to deal with the multi-faceted demands of an MMA fight.

This guide can help you take your first steps towards an MMA workout routine at home. It could aid you in progressing your MMA experience towards starting joining a gym. Whatever you choose to do we hope this information allows you to improve your speed, endurance, core strength, and overall performance.

So with that being said, all that remains is for you to take the first step down this incredibly rewarding path, a path that could well prove to be a life-altering experience for you in the long-run. If planned and executed correctly, sticking to an MMA workout routine at home can be just as beneficial to you mentally as it is physically – leading to a happier and healthier vessel for this near-limitless supply of information.

Happy training!



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