How to Improve MMA Striking Skills – 8 Really Effective Ways

I am writing this post in 2018 and so far as you may know a myriad of scientific research has been made for improving MMA fighter’s striking performance and some are proven to be more effective than others.

As you may know, I am very active on researching everything related to MMA and according to my really thorough research, I gathered 8 really effective ways to improve your MMA striking skills and power and I know that some will step up your game!

Note: This article is based on my research, articles of authoritative figures and some other sources. And the references can be found at the end of the article.

how to improve MMA striking

1. Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing help you do kicking, punching techniques in a proper form and improve your skills. Shadow boxing may not be enough for developing punching and kicking power but if you do it with gloves or resistance equipment you can actually improve it quite significantly. If you are interested in doing it and improving your striking with shadowboxing significantly, you can have a look at the bodylastics review which is preferred a lot for shadow boxing.

With that, you can also visualize the distance between you and your opponent and practice punching techniques accordingly. So you can hit with more precision and will learn how you can make the biggest impact.

2. Speed Bag

Have you heard speed beats power? Well, it is the truth and literally, the results of a myriad of MMA fights depend on it. And the best way to improve the speed of punching is speed bag training. Many authoritative MMA trainers strongly recommend doing it consistently for improving your skills and also many UFC Stars work on speed bag religiously. Some of the names are Jose Aldo, Nick Diaz…


Explosiveness actually depends mostly on genetics and this is why NFL teams always want to see the vertical jump data of players. Since they want to see their potential. Because these people already have fit bodies and they can improve explosiveness to a certain point and this is determined by your genetics.

And it is one of the most important aspects of MMA striking.

As I said it depends on genetics however you can still improve it and even though you can improve it slightly, this can make a huge difference.

The explosiveness can be improved with many training types. With that, plyometrics are just great for having more explosiveness and the best way is to train your upper body and lower body separately.

3. Upper body (arms, shoulders…)

If you have ever been in a commercial or local MMA gym, I am sure that you would have seen that someone trains with battle ropes. And there are some certain techniques which are just perfect for activating muscle fibers and help you have a more explosive upper body. A good example for that is the side slam technique.

Even though there are other exercises like medicine ball throws etc. battle rope training is quite popular and just superior to others for improving it and in addition to that, you can do it anywhere!

Battle rope training improves your explosiveness and thanks to it you can improve your striking

4. Lower Body

Lower body explosiveness is more important since many striking techniques start with your foot.

Another plyometric exercise can be done for improving your lower body’s explosiveness. Box jumps is actually quite a common plyometric exercise for it and if you are interested in doing that, you can check out the reviews of good plyometric boxes.

5. Change Your Routine

According to your weak sides, changing your routine is just essential. So if you have an experienced friend or trainer, they can watch your session and you can get a feedback or if you don’t have anyone to show some guidance, you can record your training and get the help of online MMA coaches.

6. Bag Work

Considering that you have a proper form during bag work, you need to go hard and push yourself during your sessions so you can get better and stronger.

With that, even though there are a few good MMA gloves which can help you have safe sessions, you will have sore knuckles with most of them. So while you are training with a punching bag, I highly suggest you punch the bag with heavy bag gloves so you can be safe with extra padding. Also if you focus on purely striking, definitely use MMA striking shin guards for kicking and thanks to these you will have less sore legs and feel more natural during your session.

Even though you can’t improve your precision during heavy bag sessions, you can go as hard as you can and you can solely work on your punching and kicking power!

7. Track Everything

Tracking everything related to punching would be awesome, right?

You can track your improvement closely and make adjustments in your routine and thanks to that, you can have more control over your progression. If you are interested, have a look at the review of Hykso (punch tracker). You will see that it is exactly what you are looking for. With that, I also know that you may also want to track your kicking performance as well and you can find some really interesting notes about it in that writing.

8. Consistency!

In life, we need to do everything consistently. If we want to build muscle, lift weight regularly. If you want to build a business, work consistently…

If you are going to be ready for a fight or sparring, you need to do these workouts and implement the methods above consistently.

So you can kick, punch harder and do combos more fluently. You will also feel natural with your movements during your match or sparring session.

And a myriad of authoritative MMA figures and successful MMA fighters say that feeling natural and having fluency are just vital for improving MMA striking!

Final Thoughts

There is literally a myriad of ways to improve your MMA striking and methods above will definitely help you improve it. With that, you also need to spar and see your progress in “the real environment”.

With that, some of these mostly improve your precision some improve mostly speed and some help you hit harder. So in order to improve your striking, you need a good blend and as I mentioned above an MMA trainer can help you have good a program. I hope that this article is informative for you and if you have any thoughts about the topic, please feel free to share it below.


Image Courtesy of MARINES and pxhere via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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2 thoughts on “How to Improve MMA Striking Skills – 8 Really Effective Ways”

  1. I am confused about explosiveness and how you actually will gain more of it. You said it’s mostly genetics and for that reason, it’s a ???

    Can you show me what you mean as far as how it will help you with your striking skills?

    1. You can definitely have more explosiveness but it will be a slight change. Check out this writing for exercises, tips, and more. You can also find a detailed answer to your question

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