1. Wrestling Drills

Wrestling drills are a massively underrated way to improve your contact skills.

The physical demands of Rugby and American Football is effectively wrestling and running. You should train like it.

Here’s a few simple drills you can do:

2. Tumbling

Falling, tumbling and crawling drills teach general body awareness and build confidence when bracing to hit the ground.

The benefit of these over wrestling drills include:
     1) You can do them more frequently
     2) They don’t require a partner

Use them to warm-up for sport, weights or conditioning on a daily basis.

Wresting warm-up videos are a good place to find inspiration:

3. Armour Building

Armour building is building the yoke (neck, traps, shoulders) and “callusing” it for contact.

We’re effectively preparing your tissues for collision.

Great armour building exercises include: Loaded carries (farmers, zerchers, front-rack carry, partner carries)Zerchers (carries, squats, shrugs, good mornings)Kettlebell movements (kettlebell cleans, Turkish get-ups, armour building complex)

4. Neck Training

Collins et al (2014) claim that for every pound of neck strength, odds of concussion is reduced by 5%.

Whilst neck training won’t directly increase your physicality, it protects you from injury in contact situations.

If you haven’t performed neck training before, start with plate neck flexions, aiming for 3 x 20 reps with a 20kg plate.

5. Get Strong and Jacked

The boring basics of building muscle mass and strength through compound lifts can’t be overlooked.

If it didn’t matter, there wouldn’t be weight classes in MMA.

Before we look at advanced methods, JT Online Performance Athletes must attain a high level of basic strength and muscle mass through compound lifts, sleep and well managed nutrition.