Top 4 Functional Conditioning Tools For BJJ


If you want to get better at Jiu-Jitsu you should do more Jiu-Jitsu. As Caio Terra said, technique is the most important. The mistake that a lot of people do when doing strength and Conditioning is to train like a bodybuilder (barbell curls, bench press etc). These exercises make your muscles stronger and bigger. However, most likely they will make your body tight and teach you how to isolate muscles instead of using your body as one unit. This is disastrous in a BJJ match. Others will focus on doing basic strength exercises like squats or deadlifts. Those exercises will make you stronger but can also gravely injure you if you don’t have perfect form. My instructor Jovan Zerjal herniated his discs from doing deadlifts. He went on to have two back operations and that affected him for the rest of BJJ career.In my opinion, when you train conditioning, you should try to replicate BJJ movements. For this reason, here are the top 3 functional conditioning tools for BJJ so that you can replicate the BJJ moves that you do and work on those specific muscles.

1. A Human body (your training partners)

BJJ is a 1 on 1 sport and what better to improve your conditionning than to have access to a willing partner. The options are endless: Drilling, lifting, pull ups, rolling, etc..The hard part of to find a partner that is always willing to train. In that case you have these tools:

2. The Kettlebell



Kettlebells make you use your whole body and really strengthen back muscles, grip, forearms, improve posture, and make you gain strength. They are extremely functional and can be used in a wide range of movements that replicate all aspects of BJJ. This video demonstrates my pont.

3. Sandbag

Sand Bag medium tot 20 kg

Outside of your own body and the body of a resisting training partner, sandbags are the next best thing. Sandbags develop great grip and isometric strength. They’re excellent for performing loaded carries and walks and they’re generally very tough and hard to destroy.

4. Suspension Trainer

GymStick Suspension Trainer

This includes all types of suspension trainers such as gymnastic rings, or a TRX.  The advantages of using this type of tool is in the versatility and the fact that you are using your own body weight. Also since the weight that you are pushing or pulling is unstable, you will be using all your balancing muscles and core.