Whether you’re a striker or grappler, having a strong upper body is a great asset in mixed martial arts. The shoulders contribute a significant portion to your overall upper body strength, so having them as strong as possible is very important.
Here’s a workout that will help you maximize your shoulder strength:
1) Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Start by having a seat on a bench with a straight backrest. Hold the dumbbells on your thighs and then lift them so your elbows will be sightly lower than ninety degrees. The palms of your hands should be facing forward. Exhale and push the dumbbells over your head until they touch. Inhale as you slowly lower the dumbbells to the original position. Try three sets of twelve to fifteen.
2) Alternating Deltoid Raises
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Slightly bend your elbows and exhale as you lift both dumbbells in front of you without swinging your back and your palms facing down. Inhale as you slowly bring the dumbbells down. Your next rep will be a lateral raise. Exhale while lifting the dumbbells laterally until they are just above shoulder height, and then slowly lower them as you inhale. It’s important that your body remains stationary during this exercise; you should not be swinging your back while doing this. Try three sets of twelve to fifteen.
3) Seated Bent Over Deltoid Raises
This exercise stimulates your posterior deltoids. Have a seat at the edge of a bench with your feet out in front of you shoulder-width apart. Lean forward but keep your head up. Hold the pair of dumbbells to your sides with your palms facing inward. Exhale while lifting the dumbbells laterally until both arms are parallel to the floor. Slowly bring the dumbbells back down while inhaling. Try three sets of twelve to fifteen.
4) Dumbbell Shrugs
Shrugs are great for strengthening your traps. Stand with your back straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your palms should be facing inward. Exhale while raising your shoulders as high as possible, and make sure to keep your arms stationary. Briefly hold the position, and then inhale as your lower your shoulders.