How to Improve Your BJJ Game off the Mat

How to Improve Your BJJ Game off the Mat

BJJ is an art and sport that requires lots of practice. One of the best ways to train is right on the mat. You get to practice techniques and spar with fellow competitors. 

Unfortunately, we don’t get to be on the mat as much as we would like. We have busy schedules and don’t always have access to a tatami.  

To get better, you need to constantly train. Read on for our top tips for improving your BJJ game off the mat. 


It’s important to stay in tip-top shape for BJJ. Consider focusing on the following when training at home:

  • Lifting Weights

When doing BJJ, you essentially use every part of your body. You’ll find it beneficial to strengthen all of your muscle groups with weight training.

  • Drills

There are plenty of drills that mimic BJJ positions. Doing these at home will condition your body for when you’re back on the mat. 

  • Running

Think cardio isn’t essential for BJJ? Think again. You will need all the endurance you have. Consider running regularly to get your heart and lungs pumping. 

Take Care of Your Body

If you’re just starting to condition seriously, take it easy at first. You don’t want to overdo it. The idea is to gradually build your strength and endurance. For instance, if you’re not used to running long-distance, pay attention to form. One chiropractor in Kirkland suggests that different footstrikes can prevent injury. 

Those who practice BJJ aren’t strangers to injury. The sport can take a toll on your body. If you experience an injury, tend to it accordingly. Resist the temptation to push through it. If necessary, see a doctor for treatment. 

This is why conditioning off the mat is so important. You don’t just improve your strength and stamina. You’ll be protecting your body against harm. 

Practice Healthy Habits

Just conditioning isn’t enough. You should eat healthily and drink plenty of water. This will give your body the nourishment it needs to perform its best. 

Try Different Sports

Especially when you can’t get to a BJJ studio, other sports can help you improve. They use techniques and muscle groups that translate well to BJJ. They’ll also help with your conditioning. Some of our favorites include: 

  • Surfing

For starters, surfing is an amazing workout. The paddling involved will leave you exhausted after a few waves. 

Surfing teaches you balance and how to transfer your weight. The activity helps correct jiu-jitsu players’ hunched posture. 

Surfing also has mental benefits. It helps you get into a state that enhances memory and learning. Using this level of consciousness on the mat will help any player perform better. 

  • Dancing

Dancing can help you figure out where you lack mobility. Try putting on some music and dancing freely. Move in as many random directions as you can. You’ll realize where your body is stiff. 

Dancing regularly can help you gain mobility and bodily awareness. The sense of rhythm you gain can also help you improve your BJJ skills. 

  • Trampolining

This sport isn’t just for kids. There are many benefits to trampolining. For one, it’s a great workout. You’ll improve your spatial awareness and learn how to absorb impact. 

Work on Your Mental Game

Like with most martial arts, BJJ is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Start by analyzing yourself. Take note of strengths. Be honest about your weaknesses. This will help you realize what areas need the most work. 

The Bottom Line

Taking BJJ seriously requires intense training. With these tips for getting better off the mat, you’ll see dramatic improvement!

Marcelo Garcia is a 9-time World Champion and known for getting to the back and finishing with the rear naked choke, even against much bigger opponents. This four-part system covers taking the back, jumping back takes, maintaining back control, and finishing from the back. Learn Marcelo Gracia's famous Back Attack System. USE PROMO CODE "BJJEE TO GET 10% OFF.