If you train Jiu-Jitsu, then you have most probably heard of or have seen some videos of your favorite fighters training Ginastica Natural. But how can you define this type of workout? Ginastica Natural is a complete body weight training method that develops physical qualities like strength, power, endurance, mobility, durability, balance, flexibility, coordination – resulting in muscle tone; weight-loss and core stability among others and through breathing techniques provides the practitioner with great progress in mental and motor control.
Ginastica Natural was developed in the heart of Brazil, 25 years ago by world-fitness leader and BJJ black belt Alvaro Romano, adapting ancient techniques, modern and natural to the spirit of women and men in a completely and unique manner. Master Romano has been around the Gracie family for years and his training techniques have been used widely by the Jiu-Jitsu community. Famous practicioners of Ginastica Natural include: Rickson Gracie, Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, Vitor Belfort, Georges St Pierre, Anderson Silva, Minotauro, Roger Gracie etc…
I personally have been using Ginastica natural as a side workout or a warm up before training for a few years now. The main benefits are making my body move better and in a more flexible and fluid way. It is like simulating the movements of a Jiu-Jitsu or grappling fight without the injuries of impact. You can compare to Kata in karate or Judo where you rehearse the moves by yourself. After a few weeks of doing this, you will be agile like a monkey when sparring, I kid you not.
Ginastica Natural is also ideal for people that may not have the opportunity to train Jiu-Jitsu with a partner. Instead of not rolling at all, you can always do a session of Ginastica to help your flexibility and movements. These are all movements that you will recognize when rolling in Jiu-Jitsu. Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu has said that the main reason that he is able to have such a dynamic BJJ style is due to his practise of Ginastica Natural. The best way to experience it is to try it and to be creative with the way you roll, and as Rickson says: “Don’t do it, feel it”!
BJJ World Champion Gilbert Durinho Burns is an avid practitioner of Ginastica and talks about the merits:
“Ginástica has been really important to me in both Jiu-Jitsu and in making the transition to MMA,” explains Durinho, who will be making his debut next week. “I feel really great before, during and after training. He teaches us a lot of great exercises, movements we do all the time during a fight. But what I like best is when he mixes everything and we go rolling, switching sides, spinning in a cool syntony, until ending up on our feet,” he explains.
“The thing I feel is changing most for me is my breathing. I always had endurance, but I’ve been feeling like I have a lot more endurance, and the whole time. It may not seem like a big deal but my training has been revolutionalized, since I’ve my post training recovery has been excellent, my flexibility has improved, and I’m moving a lot better”
Rickson Gracie Beach Ginastica Natural morningworkout
Marcos ‘Parrumpinha’ Da Matta started training Ginastica Natural, with Alvaro Romano, while still training Jiu-Jitsu under Carlson Gracie. It helped him heal from injuries and improve his speed, mobility, flexibility, strength, and breath control. Here is Parrumpinha doing some Ginastica Natural at his Jiu-Jitsu academy, American Top Team West Palm Beach.