Rowing for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)


Anderson
Anderson "The Spider" Silva

Rowing is a total body workout that can be used for both metabolic conditioning and pre-exhausting before going out on the mat. For more information on how some of the top fighters use Concept2 equipment or to send us your favorite rowing workouts for MMA, email Greg at gregh@concept2.com or call 800.245.5676 ext. 3074 (US and Canada only).

Sample Workouts

Before trying these workouts, please read our liability disclaimer.

Workout 1: Chuck Lidell’s Rowin’ and Rasslin’ Workout

Sports Illustrated reports that former UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell uses this workout as part of his training. John Hackleman, Liddell's trainer says, "The machine works mainly the legs but also the lats. By the time he finishes 800 meters and wrestles, he's exhausted—it simulates how tired he'd be in a fight. To make it worse, I'll have him start wrestling on his back and fight his way to the top of his opponent." View Full Article (Sports Illustrated)

Details: On the indoor rower, start with knees bent and bare feet strapped into the footrests. Keep your rowing pace under 2:30/500m.

  1. Row 500m.
  2. Wrestle for 2½ minutes.
  3. Rest for 1 minute.
  4. Repeat steps 1–3 for 5 sets total.

Workout 2

This and the next workout are from John Lovins’ posting on the CrossFit MMA forum. John does the workouts once or twice a week to keep in his best fighting shape.

Details: Do the burpees during the one minute break between rounds. Keep your rowing pace under your best 2k time plus 40 seconds.

  1. Do three rounds of:
    • Box for two minutes.
    • 15 burpees.
  2. Row for 2000m.
  3. Do three rounds of:
    • Kickbox for two minutes.
    • 15 burpees.
  4. Row for 2000m.
  5. Do three rounds of:
    • Fight for two minutes.
    • 15 burpees.
  6. Row for 2000m.

Workout 3

Details: Try to keep your rowing pace at your best 2k time plus 20 seconds.

  1. Do three rounds of:
    • Box for three minutes.
    • Row 500m.
  2. Do three rounds of:
    • Kickbox for three minutes.
    • Row 500m.
  3. Do three rounds of:
    • Fight for three minutes.
    • Row 500m.