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Build core strength like the UFC's Dan Hardy

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As part of his preparation for his upcoming title bout with welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, British fighter Dan Hardy will be building his core strength – but not by doing hundreds of sit-ups and crunches. ‘The guys get their abdominal endurance all day, every day, from sparring and drilling,’ says Ollie RichardsonHardy’s strength coach. ‘The need to apply high force from your hips and lower abdominals is paramount, so we load our exercises to fall within strength training parameters, not endurance.’
 
The landmine (the first move in the above video) works the abdominal muscles used when you’re throwing a punch. Then it’s a move you might recognise: the rocky. ‘The important thing with this move is to stick to a slow downward tempo,’ says Richardson. ‘That way the tension is sufficient to cause a strength stimulus. Be warned, though – like all eccentric movements it’ll make you quite sore.’

Landmine, sets 3, reps 4 - Wedge an Olympic barbell into a corner of the room or into a heavy plate on the floor.
- Holding it with both hands, rotate your trunk as if you’re throwing a punch.

Rocky, sets 3, reps 5 - Bring your legs up as you would in a leg raise. The essential – and difficult – part is to lower them slowly.
- You should aim to spend four or five seconds on the eccentric (downward) part of the move.

In the above video we've also got one of Hardy's prefered attack combos. ‘When you move forward your opponent will be expecting you to come with a jab, so do this combo, which starts at an odd angle, to catch him out. If he tries to counter, your kick will bring him off-balance and take some of the sting out of his punch,’ says Hardy.

Fight move – combo - Put your left foot forward and throw a long-range uppercut.
- Twist your hips and throw a right hand.
- As you bring your right hand back, move your right leg forward and kick the inside of your opponent’s front leg with your left foot.

Want some more? Then try Dan Hardy's grip strength workout.

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