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Is There A Best Body Type For BJJ?
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Is There A Best Body Type For BJJ?

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The perfect body doesn’t exist, we all know that, but is there an ideal physique for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Take a look at the top five or even top ten grapplers of all time and you are sure to find a huge variety of body types, frames and musculature. The key, according to John Danaher is not so much your natural body physique, but more so what you do with it. In order to perform the best Jiu Jitsu, you have to train and develop yourself to its highest capability.

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The first step of this process would be to determine what natural body type you have out of the three possible choices (Ectomorph, Endomorph, Mesomorph). From there you can train and fuel to fit your needs and desires to achieve the best outcome and highest functioning body possible. Each of these different somatotypes have characteristics that you can compare to yourself in order to determine which one you naturally fall under: 

Ectomorph: This body type is naturally long and lean. They tend to have a hard time building muscle mass and naturally carry less fat than other types. Some physical attributes are narrow shoulders and hips; these people also tend to be more introverted and observational. They excel at speed sports but are not known for their power and explosivity. Examples of well known ectomorphs are Michael Phelps, Manny Pacquiao and Bruce Lee. 

Endomorph: These individuals naturally carry more mass than others, which can be either muscle or fat. They generally have wide hips and short extremities, giving them a solid center of gravity. Endomorphs tend to be social and easy going, but are not great at speed and fast reactions. Konstantin Konstantinovs, Vince Wilfork and Lee Pierce are examples of this somatotype. 

Mesomorph: The classic bodybuilder physique, touting the ability to more easily shift their body weight and muscle mass than the other two types. They are known for their narrow hips, broad shoulders and muscular arms, as well as extroversion and the tendency to take risks. These are the “natural athletes” that we often hear about and often participate in multi faceted sports that require speed, agility and strength all at once. Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Anna Kournikova are examples of well known mesomorphs. 

No matter what your base frame is, if you are looking to build muscle then BJJ Fanatics has a program for you. They can guide you through their routine, provide sample recipes and offers motivation for those that are having a hard time.

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Don’t let your natural body type stop you from being the best grappler you can be! For example, you can follow Gordon Ryan’s program to help you build muscle, but remember to base your results off of where your body will naturally settle and perform. There are also options by Mike Perry, Travis Stevens and Scott Georgaklis that can lead you through kettlebell exercises as well as improve your flexibility and movement through body weight exercises.

Any of these instructional videos can be applied to all somatotypes, which in turn will allow you to improve your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and enhance your body’s natural ability to perform. Determine what type you are and build to your strengths to see your Jiu Jitsu improve dramatically! 

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