Some BJJ athletes will choose not to do strength training as they’d rather spend that time doing more Jiu-Jitsu. Some BJJ coaches will sometimes tell their students not to lift weights because they believe that the extra muscle would make the BJJ athlete stiff and inflexible, and hurt their performance.
One thing for sure, putting on a big amount of muscle mass will negatively affect flexibility. If you want to increase strength with putting on extra weight, check out this article: 5 Ways To Build Strength For Jiu-Jitsu Without Putting On Extra Weight .
If you want to take it one step further and also combine breathing, stretching and strength training, you should seriously consider Yoga. 2x BJJ world champion Sebastian Brosche has a very good online resource Yoga for BJJ .
Recent research has proven that strength training done with a full range of motion, will actually increase flexibility.
In a study at the University of North Dakota, researchers attempted to determine how full-range of motion resistance training (RT) would affect flexibility and strength as compared to only static stretching (SS) of the same muscle-joint complexes in untrained adults. 25 volunteers were randomized to either an RT or SS group.
The result after five weeks: researchers found no significant difference between the static stretching and resistance training groups in all measures of flexibility (hip extension, hip flexion, shoulder extension, knee extension).
A further study by Castelo Branco University in Brazil actually showed that 8 weeks of resistance training improved flexibility better than static stretching in all but one measurement.
What is full range of motion?
The range of motion is defined as the distance that a lever can move while attached to a fixed point. Using full range of motion when you are training will give you the most benefit. This is very important especially for beginners. Although there are some cases in which it should not be used, most of the time training full range of motion can help you gain strength faster and give you better results.
Strength training with full range of motion will improve your flexibility because muscles, joints, and ligaments are all being moved in the right way and in full range of motion.
Exercises with great stretch benefit:
- Dumbbell Fly
- Romanian Deadlift
- Dumbbell Pullover
- Dumbbell Row
- Overhead Triceps Press.
So bear this in mind when strength training for BJJ. Always use full range of motion and you will get stronger and your flexibility will improve.
Rolling Strong combines scientific exercises and routines specifically geared towards grappling.
Phil Daru is a performance coach for over 200 Elite Level Fighters in all aspects of combat sports.
Learn a comprehensive approach that covers everything from proper warmups to exercises designed to improve your guard!