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Review: Basement Tapes Series for MMA Conditioning Explosive Power

Boston-based Kevin Kearns has been around the martial arts community for a long time, and the list of mixed martial artists that he works with just keeps getting longer. In the second part of his "Basement Tape" series, Kearns introduces the viewer to some of his methods for developing explosive power.

What's Good

This DVD introduces a variety of exercises that address explosive power development in almost any angle that you can think of. While some of the exercises, like the Kettlebell snatch, are fairly standard, Kearns has a lot of unique ideas on this DVD. Besides the Kettlebell snatch, there's some explosive pull up variations, and a ton of medicine ball exercises. Kearns demonstrates these with a wall, but you could just as easily do them with a partner.

This DVD also includes a series of agility ladder drills for developing explosive footwork. Like the Core Killer and the sledgehammer work, the ladder drills could easily be used by themselves, without doing the rest of the workout.

The bonus section on this DVD is a section on using a foam roller for self-massage. This section alone is gold, especially if, like most martial artists, you have numerous nagging injuries you haven't bothered to attend to. While self-massage is no substitute for the real thing, it definitely helps with injury prevention and recovery.

What's Bad

Unfortunately, this DVD uses the same production style as the previous one in the series; no chapters, no menus, and jumps between explanation and follow along sections. It's very frustrating, especially given how common DVD technology is.

Feature or Bug?

This DVD includes the same warm-up and cool-down stretches, core killer, and sledge hammer work from the first DVD. It's great if you want just one DVD to carry and reference while you work out. No so great if you're just watching for new information.

What's Required?

To do everything exactly as presented on this DVD, you'll need: a medicine ball, two four-pound sledge hammers, a body blade, an agility ladder, a kettlebell, a fairly high pull-up bar, a swiss ball, and a foam roller. That's a lot of equipment. Of course, you can make substitutions: snatches can be done with dumbbells, you can do the agility work without the body blade, and so on.

Overall, this is a solid DVD for any martial artist or combat athlete looking to improve their performance. If you have access to the equipment, or reasonable substitutes for it, it's definitely worth checking out. If your equipment or space is very limited, however, you may need to look elsewhere.


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