Dustin Poirier’s Elite MMA Bodyweight Workout

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Dustin Poirier’s Elite MMA Bodyweight Workout

Dustin Poirier's Elite MMA Bodyweight Workout 1

UFC 257 was the biggest event of Dustin Poirier’s life.

And for those of you who may not know, I’ve had the privilege of working with Dustin on his strength and conditioning for the past few years now.

Anyway, before UFC 257, Dustin had to quarantine in Vegas for 14 days.

It was just him in a hotel room. No coaches. No fancy equipment. No nothing.

He didn’t even have enough space for a yoga mat.

But Dustin is a competitor.

He wanted to stay in top shape. So, he texted me and asked me to write up a bodyweight routine for him.

Something that was sports-specific, both biomechanically AND bio-energetically.

So, I wrote him the following workout. And it caught wind.

People all throughout the MMA world were talking about it. In fact, I went on Twitter and saw Michael Bisping talking about it.

Here’s what I wrote him:

Dustin Poirier’s MMA Bodyweight Workout

Considering Dustin was so close to a fight, this workout is very sport-specific. The goal of this workout is to maintain his cardio, enhance movement quality, and develop his core. You’ll notice that most of the movements have direct correlation to the sport.

In fact, the majority of these movements contain sport-specific movement patterns that are lifted directly from a fight.

These movements allow us to get as energetically and biomechanically sport-specific as possible WITHOUT actually being in a fight.

It doesn’t take an expert to recognize that this workout is geared more towards endurance and less towards strength. This is mostly because Dustin has adequately prepared physically for UFC 257, but he was losing his gas tank sitting in a hotel room all day.

All this said, here’s Dustin Poirier’s MMA bodyweight workout:

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Sprawl to Sit-Out x 30 Seconds

The first movement for this MMA bodyweight workout is a sprawl to sit-out. I spoke about this workout being sport-specific both bioenergetically AND biomechanically, as Dustin was nearing his fight. Both of these movements have their place in the sport. And the ability to repeat them with quality can be key to success.


Here’s how to perform the sprawl to sit-out:

  • Start in a fighting stance
  • Drop down to the ground and sprawl
  • Kick one leg through to the opposite side of your body
  • Roll out and stand-up
  • Repeat this on both sides until time has elapsed

Shadow Box x 30 Seconds

The second movement for this MMA bodyweight workout is simple shadow boxing. The previous move got the heart rate up. It probably has you a little bit gassed. This shadow boxing is a chance to get some recovery in while also working on maintaining quality strikes while fatigued.

Try your best to breathe through your nose, as it will help your endurance in the long run.


1-2 Combo to Penetration Shot x 30 Seconds

The third movement in this MMA bodyweight workout is a 1-2 combo to penetration shot. This movement has you simulating a strike to takedown situation. You’re going to throw a jab, followed by a cross, and a takedown attempt. Again, you’ll notice that almost all of these movements come straight from the sport. This is to make this program as sports-specific as possible so Dustin could maintain movement quality AND keep his gas tank deep.


Here’s how to perform the 1-2 Combo to Penetration Shot:

  • Start in a fighting stance
  • Throw a jab
  • Throw a cross
  • Drop one knee towards the ground and go in for a penetration shot
  • Repeat until time elapses

1-2-3 Combo to Sprawl x 30 Seconds

Next, we have a 1-2-3 combo to sprawl. This move simulates throwing strikes and defending a takedown. Again, a common occurrence in MMA. Here, we’re focused on throwing fluid strikes, quickly transitioning into a sprawl, and getting back onto the feet as quickly as possible.


Here’s how to perform the 1-2-3 Combo to Sprawl:

  • Start in a fighting stance
  • Throw a jab
  • Throw a cross
  • Throw a hook
  • Sprawl
  • Roll out and get back up as quickly as possible
  • Repeat until time elapses

Mountain Climbers x 30 Seconds

The fifth movement in our bodyweight workout is a straightforward cardio movement. Mountain climbers are here to give you a break from the transition movements and allow you to really push yourself as hard as possible.



Here’s how to perform Mountain Climbers:

  • Start in push-up position
  • Bring one knee to your chest
  • Switch the positions of your feet
  • Repeat until time elapses

Kimora Sit-Ups (Alternating Sides) x 30 Seconds

Finally showing our ground game some love. Kimora sit-ups combine a traditional sit-up with an attempt at a Kimora grip. This, again, is a simpler movement, except this one has some sports-specificity thrown in.


Here’s how to perform Kimora Sit-Ups:

  • Start on your back, heels on the ground, toes up
  • Perform a sit up while lifting your heels off the ground
  • As you sit up, rotate to one side and mimic a kimora grip
  • Repeat on both sides until time is elapsed.

Hip Bridges to Turtle to Peak Out x 30 Seconds

We’re back to the complex movements. This movement simulates an escape from the bottom position on the ground. It also works the posterior chain while also developing your sport-specific movement quality.


Here’s how to perform Hip Bridges to Turtle to Peak Out:

  • Start on your back, feet flat on the floor
  • Thrust the hips up
  • Roll over to one side and find your way to a turtle position
  • Flip onto your butt and roll out of the position
  • Repeat on both sides until time elapses

Push Up to Hip Thruster x 30 Seconds

Next we have push ups to hip thrusters. This movement is almost like a burpee, except instead of jumping off the ground, you’re going to thrust your hips to activate the posterior chain.


Here’s how to perform Push Ups to Hip Thrusters:

  • Start in push up position
  • Perform a push up
  • Bring your feet towards your hands
  • Come up to standing and thrust your hips forward
  • Lower back down into push-up position
  • Repeat until time elapses

Shadow Box x 30 Seconds

Back to shadow boxing for some recovery. Again, focus on throwing fluid strikes while breathing through your nose. You want to get to a point where your stand-up serves as the calm in the storm that is MMA.

Double Leg Mountain Climbers x 30 Seconds

Finally, we’re finishing with double leg mountain climbers. This is just a variation of normal mountain climbers that has you moving both legs at the same time. The goal here is to push yourself. This is the last movement of the round, so make it count.


Here’s how to perform Double Leg Mountain Climbers:

  • Start in push up position
  • Hop your feet up towards your hands
  • Return them to their original position
  • Repeat until time elapses


If you thought you could lay around between rounds, think again. We’re doing active recovery in this MMA bodyweight workout. You’ll be performing one of the following movements between each round:

  • Plank x 60 seconds
  • Side Plank x 30 seconds each
  • V-Ups x 25 reps

These are simple movements, but they’ll go a long way in strengthening your core, and helping you deepen your gas tank.

You’ll perform a total of five rounds of the above workout as well as the core for rest.

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