Training for the MMA environment requires a comprehensive approach to training that includes strength, cardio, flexibility, speed and so much more. Much of this can be done with little or no equipment but certain key pieces of equipment can greatly enhance your training results, in particular for strength training.
A key component of MMA training is building the core and lower body muscles to improve performance and prevent injuries. Fighters who strengthen their back, glutes and hamstrings are better suited to withstand the compressive loads on the spine along with forces that occur during training and competition. Another plus is that the basic exercises prevent back and knee injuries, especially to the anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL).
It is generally recognized that the glute ham exercise is far superior to the back extension for training as well as for rehabilitation. By working both functions of the hamstrings, the glute ham places minimal compressive forces on the spine, forces that can alleviate future back pain.
The glute-ham machine is generally not going to be found at your local sporting goods retailer but many fine versions are available on line including the below pictured model (SGH500) from Body-Solid. The SGH500 features a contoured foot plate that is ergonomically designed to maximize leverage as the fighter raises his/her body.
Other key features are the high density rounded off split upholstery pads for comfort and support. in addition, the SGH500 allows complete vertical and horizontal adjustability for workout resistant variations. Look for similar features in any glute-ham machines you are looking to purchase.