NO MATTER WHAT you want to do in the gym, building the body of a mixed martial arts fighter starts from the ground up.

No matter how hard you can punch, if you lack strength and power in your lower body, then you’re going to be missing a very important piece of the puzzle. But note: This routine will work muscles you haven’t felt before, and may lead to an increase in swearing upon standing and sitting.

Try to push through it, because the exercises here will increase testosterone production, recruit a ton of muscle fibers, and speed up your metabolism—all leading to a leaner more athletic looking body.

Dynamic warmup

Start off with a dynamic warmup, which will increase blood flow, stimulate the nervous system, prevent injury, and get you mentally prepared for the workout ahead.

Early week workout

Make your lower body day the first workout of the week, which will make you less likely to skip out on it.

Work out barefoot

Try some of these exercises barefoot to strengthen the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the foot and lower leg. Just make sure it’s okay at your gym.

This lower body workout by Training for Warriors Director of Operations, John Annillo, C.S.C.S.:

Target muscles:
 Lower Body


Skill level: Intermediate-Advanced

 Perform both workout A and B during the week alternating between the two each workout allowing at least 48 hours in-between. Time Needed: 1 Hour

How to do it: After warming up, perform the exercises in the workout following the numerical order. Perform the first and third pair of exercises as a superset i.e. 1a/1b and 3a/3b with no rest in-between the pair.

Workout A

1a. Squat 4×5
1b. Squat jumps 4×5
*Rest 2-3 minutes between each set
2. Straight-leg deadlift 3×10
*Rest 45 seconds in-between sets
3a. Walking lunges 3×12 (each leg)
3b. Bar hip raise 3×12
*Rest 45 seconds in-between sets

Workout B

1a. Deadlift (4×5)
1b. Lunge jumps 4×5 (each leg)
*Rest 2-3 minutes between each set
2a. Good mornings (3×10)
*Rest 45 seconds in-between sets
3a. Split squats 3×12 (Each Leg)
3b. 45° Raise 3×12
*Rest 45 seconds in-between sets

How to perform the exercises

1. Squat

Set up a barbell on the supports of a squat rack. Step underneath the bar, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and let the bar touch your upper traps. Grab the bar with your hands as close together as is comfortable. Nudge the bar off the rack, take two steps backward, and stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly outward. Take a deep breath and bend your hips and knees, lowering your body as far as you can (try to squat to where your thighs are below parallel to the floor) . Explode back upward to the starting position. That’s one rep.

2. Squat jumps

Get into an athletic stance as if you were about to jump, and lower your body until your thighs are about 45 degrees to the floor. Explode upward, jumping as high as you can off the floor landing with soft knees. That’s one rep.

3. Straight leg deadlift

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a bar at hip level in front of you. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend at the hips and slightly at the knees until your upper body is parallel to the floor. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That’s one rep.