Strength Training For Jiu Jitsu

Do you want to have an edge on the mats?  Strength training is your best bet for gaining that edge.  Sure everyone tells you to do jiu-jitsu more, but that just leaves you beat up and tired.  With simple strength training strategies, Victor will teach you how to be smarter off the mat so you can be better on the mat. Victor highlights his favorite exercises and the programming he uses to help athletes peak for a tournament.

In this podcast, Strength Training For Jiu Jitsu, Victor explains how you can up your game without beating up your body.  Victor highlights the strength training he did to get ready for Pan-Ams and what you can apply when you train for your next tournament or just to get stronger on the mat to gain an edge over your opponents.  With a few key pieces of equipment, you can integrate these movements into your weekly routine and get the incredible benefits of strength training.


Seems like every week someone is posting an article on the best exercises for Jiu Jitsu.

"Developing sport specific strength requires dedication, execution, and a plan." 

First, you need to just focus on getting stronger.  If you are an elite athlete looking for an advantage then maybe getting more creative with your training will help, but the vast majority of people practicing are noncompetitors and need to work on first improving their overall basic fitness.  

Besides improving cardiovascular fitness, a general rule of thumb for adequate strength would include benching your body weight and being able to deadlift twice your body weight.  

Incorporate these exercises into your training regime to get you an advantage on the mat and keep you training for decades to come.

Rear Delt Pulls

Remember those old spring loaded chest expanders your uncle use to use?   They were on to something back then.  Strength in the back of the shoulder and mid-upper back not only improved your grappling ability but also keeps your shoulders healthy and pain-free.  A forward or rolled in shoulder is a weak shoulder.  Most grapplers have bad posture, which predisposes them to shoulder and neck problems.  I have all of my clients who grapple do this exercise to maintain integrity in the rotator cuff and build a strong back.

Neutral Grip Pull Ups

Since most grapplers have tight shoulders, this variation of pull ups puts less stress on the shoulder joint and is still effective in building strong pulling muscles.   Do these with a full range of motion.  If it hurts your shoulders to go all the way down, warm up with poor man's traction first to loosen up the shoulder muscles.


Ab Wheel

This exercise builds a solid base of strength through your core and protects your back.  Weak abs and tightness in the hips and hamstrings lead to injury in the low back.  The ab wheel teaches you to use the deeper layers of your core for better functional strength that give you the ability on the mat to push and pull.  Remember: Extend only as far as you can keep your back in neutral.

Heels Elevated Back Squats

This variation allows for greater range of motion.  Place ten-pound plates under your heels while you squat to help you get deep into your squat.  Front squats and lunges are great, but this variation of squat gets you handling greater loads without the limitations of a front squat.  

Fighting starts on your feet and developing powerful legs will give you an edge on the attack.

Bench Press

I know, sounds too old school, but it's a great overall builder of the chest, shoulders, triceps, and stabilizers of the shoulders.  It's a very easy way to measure your strength improvement.  Also in a narrow grip variation, it very closely mirrors a hip escape.  


Try these tips for improving your jiu jitsu game and if you need more help, contact me.

Robyn RobledoComment