How To Efficiently Warm Up For BJJ

How To Efficiently Warm Up For BJJ

Photo: Marko Stupar

Guest post by Daniel Vaughan UCLA undergraduate, judo brown belt under Mike Verdugo and BJJ GF Team black belt under Master Julio Cesar Pereira. Daniel is an instructor at M3Fight Academy.


Many times I typically see people stretching before class and right off the bat, I start shaking my head.  Any kind of static stretching while your body isn’t warmed up is actually bad for you.  Stretching is best after class when your body is warm and you need to cool down to relax.

Risk of overstretching when your body is cold is greater, and tightness lowers your speed and range of motion when you start exercising. Some research has shown that athletes who stretch before a workout are more susceptible to injuries and performance issues.

What should not be done for BJJ warm ups:

Calisthenics, strength building, cardio. Squats, burpees, crunches, jumping jacks, push-ups etc. Do this on your own time. BJJ class is for BJJ.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to maximize our class time.

We will outline a basic class warm up for fundamentals/beginners.

Begin the class with 10 to 15 mins of basic movements: hip escape, reverse hip escape, bridging, peek outs, turning to the knees, technical stand up, breakfall, sprawls, shots, uchi komis etc.  All these movements are best when your body is warmed up and they’re all related to BJJ movement. You should also be doing these drills with partners, not just solo. If it’s hip escapes, have the person pass the guard then shrimp.


For advanced classes the warm up should be relevant to what is being taught. If the class is working on a series for omopolata, proceed to do entrances into the position. If it’s arm bars, twenty arm bar entrances and so on should be done.

Drilling to warm up is great but we all know it’s a grind. Mix into the advanced class flow rolls.  This is where you spar at about 50% or less intensity, you give and take. Your partner does a sweep to side control, he lets you work your hip escape and attack from the guard.  If someone puts on a submission, they release it and let the person escape to move and attack.  This helps your game flow naturally without overthinking. To put it simply, keep on moving and don’t hold your partner in a cross face for 5 minutes.

What kind of warm up structure does your academy use? Let us know!