Cable machine knees
Credit: Photograph by Dustin Snipes

Similar to the punching rotations, Rutten uses a cable machine to build up the crucial muscles that give power to his kicks. He puts on a few plates, and after attaching the handle to his ankle with the "roll" at the bottom, he braces himself by holding a nearby machine. Then he throws his knee upward – really high. "I throw the knee as high as I can and I only use my hip flexor," Rutten says. "And I explode – everything I do, I explode." He does a minimum of 25 reps, for three sets, and recommends keeping track of your performance so you have goals to break through. "I write everything down, and I try to break the record every week. If I just hit 25, then I go for 30. If I hit 30 I go up in weight. Failure for me is when I can't bend my knee up anymore."