Build Your Guard & Takedown Power: 6 Great Squat Variations

Build Your Guard & Takedown Power: 6 Great Squat Variations


Many athletes focus more on strengthening their upper body instead of focusing on their lower body. While strong shoulders, arms, chest and core are very important in Jiu-Jitsu, a strong base which starts from the legs may be the most important part. “Power comes from the legs” is not just a cliche, it’s really true. Without strong legs you will not be able to generate a strong throw or takedown in a stand up phase. Without strong legs, your guard might be tricky and flexible, but it will lack the necessary power to battle a powerful opponent.

We don’t have to convince of the fact the squat is arguably the single most effective exercise you can do in the gym. Squatting is quite simply, a fantastic full body exercise. The best, along with deadlifts.

Here are some great squatting variations:

1) Front Squats

This is harder than the conventional squat and hit your quadriceps much more directly than back squats.

Andre Galvao doing front squats:

2) Zercher Squats

Similar to front squats, the story goes that Strongman Ed Zercher created this version of the squat whilst in prison! They are are brutal!


3) Box Squats

These are great for teaching the perfect form.

4) Goblet Squats

You can do these at home. Great for hitting thighs and core.

5) Lunge and Split Squats

This is great for functional training the double leg takedown.

6) Bulgarian Split Squat

Great for building a lot of power since you are focusing on one leg at a time.


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