Rotational strength refers to the power of the muscles used to twist the body and plays a direct role in not only the striking power of an MMA athlete, but also his ability to absorb a hit to the midsection. Think about the rotation of the core required to perform powerful kicks and punches in MMA. The rotation of the torso helps to generate force in both of these movements. The barbell bus driver is a great measure of both rotational power and core strength.

MMA Rotational Strength and the Barbell Bus Driver

Barbell bus drivers are an example of a rotary stability exercise. These are slightly more complicated than isometric exercises because the core must remain stable while the limbs move. The movement requires stabilization of the core while simultaneously engaging concentric and eccentric movement in the upper body. The barbell bus driver will develop the striking power of a fighter and also build an iron midsection.

How to Do the Barbell Bus Driver

Begin by securing one end of a barbell to a fixed position. If you don’t have a landmine setup, you can use a towel or sandbag. Start with just the bar and add weight as you progress.


Step 1 – Barbell Bus Driver


Step 2 – Barbell Bus Driver


Step 3 – Barbell Bus Driver


Step 4 – Barbell Bus Driver

Step 1: Lift the unanchored end of the barbell with both hands and raise it up over your head. Retract your shoulders, brace your core, square your hips, and slightly bend your arms and knees. Try to keep your weight on the balls of your feet.

Step 2: Rotate the barbell to the front of your right hip, keeping the slight bend in your arms. Make sure your hips rotate with the bar, Your back foot should finish on the toe.

Step 3: Return to the starting position.

Step 4: Rotate the barbell to the front of your left hip. Remember, slight bend in the arms, rotate your hips, back foot on the toe.

Barbell Axle Strength Endurance Circuit

Give this workout a try to incorporate the barbell bus driver into your routine.