By Armando Basulto
Jiu Jitsu or Mixed Martial Arts devotees, we are always looking
for anything to help us train our bodies for the very specific rigors
of our sport. Everyone is always looking for ways to train “activity
specific” cardio or strength development, while balancing
time to recover and still be able to spar or “roll”.
the most important set of muscles we use when grappling or wrestling
are the ones that provide strength and stability to our body’s
“core” or torso. Whether you are trying to pin down
an opponent who is stronger than you or you are on your back trying
to sweep someone in your guard, it is the muscles that emanate from
your abdominals and then stabilize your pelvis and shoulders that
allow you to “lock” that person into the mat or “lift”
that person off their base for that sweep or reversal.
thousands of sit-ups or leg lifts is not enough because you need
to isolate all of these stabilizers while doing balancing movements.
Just performing linear pushing or pulling movements is not going
to train the muscle-mind connection that we need to develop.
of the best products I’ve discovered for this “core
training” is the Power Wheel, made by LifeLine USA in Wisconsin.
Though it may look similiar to the little “abdominal wheels”
that have been available at sporting goods stores for while, the
Power Wheel is a whole different animal. Though you can use it in
the same manner as the other wheels to do “roll outs”
for abdominal work, the Power Wheel comes with special straps that
allow you to attach the wheel to your feet. This opens up many different
training options for training the “core muscles”. The
Power Wheel forces you to work flexibility, core strength and stability
simultaneously; exactly what you’ll need when grappling!
you have the Power Wheel and have become comfortable with the basic
movements, you’ll be able to create some of your own exercises
that challenge your particular weaknesses.
is a work out that I’ve compiled for myself and I think it’s
a good starting point as it will provide training for all the different
areas involved in core training.
Outs – (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
This one may be familiar to you if you’ve ever worked with
one of the smaller wheels available on the market. However, the
larger size of the POWER WHEEL increases the difficulty of this
basic over-all body builder.
the knees, grip the two handles on each side of the Power Wheel
(or place your hands over the footplates) then, keeping your arms
and body straight, roll the Power Wheel away from you as far as
you can. Keep the body and shoulder locked and lengthen you torso
out from knees to head. Use you abdominal mucles (NOT your arms)
to bring your body back to the kneeling position. Feel the burn
in your shoulders and abs!
ups - (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
Strap your feet into the footplates on the wheel. From the push-up
position pike the hips up at the ceiling and bring the POWER WHEEL
up towards your hands and head. Keep your arms locked straight.
Return to push-up positions but do not let your knees touch the
like to increase the difficulty on this already challenging movement
by using my push-bars. This really strengthens all the stabilizers
around the abdominal, knees, pelvis and shoulders.
up/Push ups – (1-2 sets of 5-6 reps)
Do the same as the Pike ups but every time you return to the Push-up
position, pump out 1-5 pushups, then continue. The burn is intense!
Remember: just like when your sparring or grappling, don’t
hold your breath!
Crunches - (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
From the push up position, bend your knees and roll the wheel up
towards your right elbow until your right knee and elbow touch.
Return to push up position, repeat to the left side. This is probably
one of the best exercises for grappling as it works all the leg
and abdominal muscles needed for a strong guard and for explosive
it easy with this routine! You will feel sore and tight in places
you never knew existed! It’s better to start with one set
of everything and call it a day (even if you KNOW you could do more).
Let your body adjust the first one or two times you train with the
don’t need to do this work out every day either to feel results.
If done correctly, and in conjunction with your regular training,
this short Power Wheel program will improve your game doing it only
twice or three times a week.
Power Wheel is available for $49.95 at www.lifeline-usa.com
or by contacting Bobby Hinds at 1.800.553.6633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out their other great “physiologically unlimited”
training gear. The Power Wheel also comes with an instruction manual
and video by Jon Hinds, former strength coach of the LA Clippers.