Though Brazilian jiu jitsu is a well-rounded workout of its own, it is also important to incorporate other exercises and physical activity into your life outside of BJJ to reap the most benefits for your health and fitness journey. These workouts don’t require you to get a gym membership or start training at CrossFit 287 – but we do offer an excellent program. Instead, it is easy to stay in shape for jiu jitsu from the comfort of your own living room, garage or backyard.
No matter how many rounds you do or how long each round is, your cardio must be up to par. Not only that, but your endurance must be able to keep up for x number of minutes for x number of rounds. Most people hear cardio and dread the thought of running, but there are other ways to get your heart rate up without a treadmill. For example, jumping rope, bicycling and doing burpees are great ways to maximize your workout. Learning to pace yourself and control your breathing are two more ways to maintain your endurance and avoid a “cardio tap.”
The primary premise of jiu jitsu is to use your own body movements and techniques to dominate your partner into a submission. In order to do this, it is important to be able to handle your own bodyweight, as well as your partner’s. Exercises such as squats, push-ups and pull-ups do not require weights and are simply your own bodyweight. Additionally, squats will increase the strength and muscle in your legs, while push-ups and pull-ups work your upper body strength. Pull-ups can also be beneficial in strengthening your grips – which is a huge part of gi jiu jitsu.
In addition to bodyweight exercises, to increase muscle mass, you can add weights to your workouts. This can range from a few sets of dumbbells at home to a full workout area or gym space with weight machines. Either way, lifting and gaining muscle can help you in jiu jitsu when facing an opponent who is heavier or stronger than you. Though it is not necessary to be extremely strong when it comes to jiu jitsu, it can definitely help in some cases as you continue on the BJJ journey.
Jiu Jitsu Drills
Many BJJ warm-ups can be done completely on your own and can actually be implemented as a workout. Not only are you getting your body moving and increasing your heart rate, but you’re also helping your movement and technique. These drills – including running, high knees, butt kicks, inside and outside shuffles, hip escapes, shoulder rolls, bear crawls, sit-outs, long steps, shots/sprawls, etc. – can be done pretty much anywhere with open space and will become more natural movements, engrained in your mind to do without a second thought.