Five Reasons Why Grappling Should Be Your Fitness Routine

Five Reasons Why Grappling Should Be Your Fitness Routine

Photo by Daria Kochetkova Photography. IG: Tebezvonu.

Whether you want to feel more confident about your appearance, or need to improve your overall health, then exercise needs to be a part of your daily routine. However, if there simply isn’t a great deal of time for fitness in your schedule, then it’s important to focus and to choose the most efficient method to tone up or lose weight. Here are five reasons why you should incorporate grappling into your fitness routine, and how it’ll get you in the best shape of your life:

1.Full Body Workout in 60 Minutes

In any martial art, it doesn’t take much to have you sweating and gasping for air. There’s a reason why BJJ classes are generally only an hour long. The 60-minute class is intense, enabling you to burn up to 1,000 calories. For this reason alone, it would be really difficult for most students to continue even for a half hour longer, without feeling completely burned out. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you begin your class by doing warm-ups, and then drills. I visited an academy in New York City, where the warm-ups consisted of doing pushups on your fingertips, to help develop a strong grip. In many jiu jitsu classes, the warm-ups themselves can sometimes be pretty brutal. The drills can also be challenging and fast-paced, and you’ll likely find yourself completely winded, and exhausted after just the first half of the class. Then, after focusing on learning a new technique, you try and put it to work as you spar with different students. I can guarantee that just two five minute rolls is the quickest and most effective way to get your cardio workout in. In Brazil, some BJJ academies do 10 minute rolls per partner, and switch partners about three or four times… You do the math.


Since you’ll be practicing loads of submissions and takedowns in your BJJ class, you’ll build up good muscle memory, allowing you to make those moves become second nature if you are faced with any sort of self-defense situation. Doing any kind of MMA builds confidence, character, along with mental and physical strength. There will be many times when you’re forced to step out of your comfort zone, which in the long run just strengthens your mind and spirit. There’s a huge difference between the BJJ practitioner at the beginning of his or her journey and several years into the training. They are simply not the same person. For one thing, confidence instilled from being on the mats has increased so much that it permeates every aspect of that person’s life.

3.Long Term Success

The main benefits of commiting to an MMA are that it’ll continue to help you stay fit and focused in the long run. The more you train, or stay invested when you can’t, the better you will become. You can’t lift loads of weights, or run on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a time to improve your BJJ game. While weights and cardio do help to build better endurance, the best way to get really good at Jiu-Jitsu is by doing it. There will always be new goals to build up to, and moments of failure. But there will also be accomplishment and the gradual build-up of skill, all while you are exercising and taking a healthier approach to life in general.

4.Simulating Reality

Curls, and deadlifts are great ways to tone, but they can only influence your state of mind so far. BJJ is meant to push you to accomplish greatness, to drive you to keep going in moments when you think you can’t go any further. Not only are you working out your martial arts muscles, but you’re simulating the reality of the fight. This not only lodges itself in your muscles, but expands your mind as well.  

5.Building Up Muscles

If you’re a runner, then you won’t be spending much of your time using the bench press, or doing overhead squats. You’re going to be working sport specific muscles. Different sports call for different muscle groups, but BJJ requires most if not all muscles to be active during training. Some of the best conditioned athletes on the planet happen to be martial artists. On top of strengthening your biceps, fingers, core, and legs, among others, you don’t have to come to the gym wondering if you’re doing the exercises right to begin with. Your coach is there to make sure the drill or technique you’re working on is correct. Many times people arrive at a gym and don’t know how to perform something they saw online, or simply aren’t doing their exercises correctly. This can be really frustrating, and leads to no discernible results.


Overall, there are so many positive benefits of grappling that it becomes essential to include in your fitness routine. Grappling helps your mind and body stay fit. It can also push you to attain new goals, and to feel confident and protected on the street.

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