Let’s face it – you might love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but you still want to have strong and well-built legs. And why not! Having strong, explosive, and endurable legs is a MUST for any BJJ athlete that wants to reach his or her peak.
With that in mind, here are a couple of fantastic leg training exercises that you can start doing in the gym right now. Chad Wesley Smith, creator of the JuggernautBJJ app, explains why they’re so great.
LEG TRAINING EXERCISES FOR BJJ
First of all, you have to develop explosive power. This is incredibly important for your ability to shoot for takedowns and for scrambling your way to the win.
For this aspect of your leg training routine, you should focus on:
- Weighted Squat Jumps: you don’t have to squat too low for them nor go too heavy. Just grab a dumbell or a kettlebell in front of you and jump as high as you can.
- Kneeling Jumps: these will help you develop explosive power from the hip… Which is, as you may have known, extremely useful for BJJ; as it’ll enable you to succeed in scrambles, takedowns, and some of guard passing (such as the Knee Cut).
But then again, you’ll also have to develop maximum strength; it will drive both your explosiveness and strength endurance to the new limits.
Here are the two exercises you need to do:
- Squats: any squat variation is fantastic, but doing Safety Bar Squats is perhaps the best option for BJJ athletes – mainly because it will keep your shoulders intact. Focus on hitting proper depth (at least 90 degrees) and on having an upright posture.
- Deadlifts: all deadlifts are great, but the Trap Bar Deadlift will put less stress on your lower back than the Conventional Deadlift will. When you do it, make sure that you’re lowering the weights slowly and under control.
The next aspect of your leg training routine needs to be strength endurance. It’s vital that you develop it, simply because at the end of that 5, 6, 8, or 10-minute match… You’ll still want to be able to move with relative ease and with high quality.
- Belt Squat: it’s going to be a great option for you, because you can really put the emphasis on your legs without putting stress on your lower back. Do sets of 10, 20, even 50… Experiment with it and “chase the pump”, as Arnold would say it.
And finally, you’ll have to take care of your mobility if you want to prevent injuries and move well. Generally speaking, you can work on your mobility through every single exercise you do, by making sure that you move through the full range of motion.
But, other than that, there’s one other fantastic exercise that you ought to be doing:
- Cossack Squat (Lateral Lunge): try to get your stance as wide as possible without sacrificing technique. Watch the video below to take a look at how to do it properly, as well as for details on executing other exercises: