The Deck Squat
I recently had a buddy of mine from Sweden ask me about the deck squat. He wanted to know how to go about teaching it and what not. It’s a great question because teaching a deck squat can be a bit tricky. You have to remember that people who come to you for training will vary in athleticism and fitness. So as simple as a deck squat may seem, not everyone can perform it equally. But, if you follow the tips I cover in this article, you will have your students reaping the benefits of this awesome exercise in no time!
In the enclosed video I cover various different variations of the deck squat. Not to be confused with “Death squat.” I had a student that confused the name until I corrected her. Lol Anyways, first and foremost, please warm up your clients thoroughly! The deck squat involves rolling off of our back all the way up into a full squat position. You work a lot more muscles in this variation than a traditional squat. Next make sure you have a comfortable surface to work on. At Legacy BJJ Burbank, we typically work on tatami mats. But, not all people have access to tatami. So in this video, you can see in our Kettlebell and conditioning room, we have these individual mats made by perform better. They add a sufficient amount of padding to perform this exercise.
Next lets get into the execution of this exercise. Start on you matted surface from the sitting position. Rock backwards to create momentum. Make sure you come up with both feet planted evenly on the ground. Then, use that momentum to squat up into the standing position. In my experience, this can often be difficult for people to do. People vary in fitness levels, flexibility and may have injuries and what not. So, if they cannot do the standard version, I tell them that it is ok to use their hands. You can use one hand at a time or 2 hands at a time. Ive had students use the hand assisted versions until they worked up to the regular version.
Last but not least is the rocking chair variation. Now if the aforementioned variation does not work for your clients, the rocking chair variation does the trick. This method involves tucking one leg in and rolling up on the side of your shin. Again, you can use a one handed assisted variation if need be. I want to thank Bjorn from Sweden for this question. Please feel free to ask me any questions kettlebell, body weight, BJJ or MMA related. I will try my best to answer it!
7 MMA Specific Kettlebell Exercises for Punching Power and Hand Speed
Close to 7 years ago, I released my firs DVD Combat Kettlebell Systems. On this DVD I introduced combat specific kettlebell exercises to improve striking and ground work. Kettlejitsu is in a constant state of evolution. So, since then, I have developed more exercises. In this article I will briefly cover exercises to improve punching power and hand speed.
First and foremost, let’s talk about safety. If you do not a solid foundation in kettlebell training, you should not attempt to try these exercises. Second of all, you should warm up thoroughly. Third, start off with a light weight. I will cover all of these exercises in a future digital download. So keep an eye out!
Exercise 1. The pull and punch: This exercise has a bit of sleight of hand. It involves pulling with one hand and a punch press with the other. This movement addresses the pivot. Pivoting into your punches is essential for strikers.
Exercise 2. Combat Thrusters: This exercise is performed from a fighting stance. Some people refer to it as a stagger stance. Again, there is a pivot at the top of the punch press. You will definitely feel these in your core! Remember, power comes from your core.
Exercise 3. The Fighters Figure 8: Before you try this, you must master a regular figure 8 and a figure 8 to a hold. This one involves a hooking type motion with a pivot at the end.
Exercise 4. Bottoms up uppercuts: I have to give a shout out to my boy Rollie Robles of Fatx101.com He attended my very first certification years ago. We were working figure 8s and someone asked my about how to throw an upper cut with a kb. At that time, I was doing the ballistic version only. Then I saw Rollie doing the bottoms up version. I liked it. So I kept it!
Exercise 5. Ballistic uppercuts: This one involves a bit of hand 2 hand. Definitely not for beginners. This one will develop your focus and hand eye coordination as well.
Exercise 6. Combat cleans: If you do not know how to do a regular clean, then please do not attempt this. This involves the pulling and punching aspect of punching.
Exercise 7. Combat High Pulls: This exercise in my opinion is most specific to throwing straight punches. Even more so than the previous exercise. Use a light bell at first. Doing high pulls from a fighting stance can be a bit tricky. Plus, keeping the bell suspended in mid air can be challenging for your forearms.
I really feel that with kettlebells, you can get more specific to ground fighting and striking than any other training device. There is not a more versatile implement on the planet! Keep an open mind and evolve! To develop your foundation so that you will be able to execute these movements, check out my Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week kettlebell and body weight download!
Combat Thruster Kettlebell Circuit This is our Kettlejitsu, “workout of the week” at Legacy BJJ Burbank. All of the exercises in this workout are performed in a fighting or “stagger” stance. This adds and entirely different aspect to the workout. Since we are working from a fighting stance, all of your muscles are working from a different angle. Pivot and torque are also addressed in these exercises. Combat thrusters, and combat high pulls add a pivoting aspect to the exercises. These two exercises are very specific to striking since it is imperative to pivot into your punches for maximum power. Check out the enclosed video to see the Combat Thruster Circuit in action