Jiu Jitsu Fitness
Jiu Jitsu is a grappling sport that has boomed in popularity over the past 20 years. Almost everyone has that friend who won’t shut up about his BJJ classes; and for good reason! Anyone can practice this martial art for self defense, self confidence, and real fitness benefits.
As a fitness exercise, jiu jitsu in an intense anaerobic conditioning activity. You’ll gain muscle endurance, strength, and the ability to push through hard moments.
To train FOR BJJ, I start at the core; just like I do when training for anything else. Core strength in jiu jitsu is king because:
- Job # 1 of your core in any sport is to protect your spine. When grappling and contorting your body in BJJ’s many position, this should be your top priority.
- The stiffer and stronger your core, the harder it will be for an opponent to move you against your will. You’ll be able to move them, instead.
- Building a strong trunk first provides the foundation for the rest of my training. Only THEN can I squat heavy weight for strong legs, press overhead for upper body strength, etc.
- Posture. Correct spinal alignment will 100% make you faster, stronger, and less prone to injury. You’ll experience less chronic back pain. Plus, you’ll stand up straight and look way cooler.
Crawling is one of my favorite ways to develop functional core strength. “Baby Crawls” are basically how humans get strong enough to stand up. Working our upper and lower body together through an activated core– in exercises like crawling– builds coordination. It builds power and increases neural drive. For Jiu Jitsu, crawls are even more important, because they mimic so much of the movement we do in grappling.
Here are my 5 favorite crawls for BJJ:
I’m lucky enough to have a world class BJJ gym in my backyard. Egley Train Boise is where I filmed all of the videos for this article. Professor Mike Egley is a Keenan Cornelius Black Belt, and has placed at the most prestigious tournaments in the world. You can check out his first guest post on my blog here: https://joetoproathlete.com/guest-post-michael-egley-bjj-training or go to https://egleytrainboise.com/blog/ for more.