Yes, having great technique in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the most important skill you can have… However, it isn’t everything you need. Contrary to the popular opinion, you also need to be strong. You need to be able to exhibit and resist against force, as well as stay injury-free as much as possible.
Those are all good reasons to begin with strength training. Here are two special exercises that you should throw into your gym routine!
TWO SPECIAL, BJJ-SPECIFIC STRENGTH EXERCISES
The first exercise you’ll do is the Barbell Z Press. Position the barbell on pins or on a box; the point is that the bar should touch your chin when you sit down on the floor. From here, grip the barbell and pinch back your shoulder blades together. Drive your elbows forward (in front of the bar) and brace your core.
Then, push the barbell up. Make sure that your shoulders “clear” your ears (that they cover them or go behind them) in order to reach full range of motion. Also, to make the exercise more BJJ-specific, don’t keep your legs straightened out; rather, pull them back into a Butterfly Guard position.
The second exercise is the Dumbell Pull Over. It’s a classic bodybuilding exercise, which will not only make your lats more defined, but will also make you less susceptible to injury.
Grab a dumbell and lay to the side of a bench, positioning your back comfortably over it. Bring your hips up and position the dumbell over your chest, with your arms straightened out. Then simply bring the dumbell back over your head (with arms still straight); all the while you drop your hips. Get the dumbell back to its starting position and squeeze your hips back up to finish your first rep.
In order to make this exercise more BJJ-friendly, you can do it on the floor in a bridge-like position. Watch how to do this and the other special strength exercise below:
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!