Is This the Only Exercise You Need?
If you train BJJ, you already know what kind of workout you are capable of getting. There are very few jiu jitsu classes that one can attend where they don't come away covered in sweat with their hearts pounding and their muscles exhausted. For many of us, BJJ training forms the core foundation of our fitness routines. As one gains technical skill over time and muscle memory becomes more automatic, the energy expedenditure of jiu jitsu can decrease. This is a good thing overall, as it means that your body is getting more efficient at performing the difficult task of training and executing jiu jitsu techniques.
There will probably come a day when you are looking for some additional stimuli with which to shock the body's muscular and respiratory systems to help increase overall stamina, build a better system of recovery and improve our strength. There are as many ways to work out as there are people who think jiu jitsu is karate. It's easy to get tired just searching for an activity that is both effective and not going to bore you to tears and keep you off the training mats.
Resistance training is arguably one of the best ways to maintain and improve strength, build a strong infrastructure in the bones and such, as well as help to encourage BJJ longevity. When coupled with a cardio style approach to the resistance training, one can begin to reap the benefits and straddle the two worlds, once seen as mutually exclusive.
One of the best ways to combine these two worlds is to explore the use of kettle bells for conditioning. Essentially, kettle bells look like cannon balls with large, thick handles. The exercises that employ a kettle bell are those that include explosive and fluid techniques that tend to utilize large chains of muscles groups, challenging and strengthening weak areas with the dynamic swings and presses that can be done.
If you need some specific examples of how kettlebell training can be used to make incredible strides in your BJJ strength and conditioning levels, check out our article here at BJJ Fanatics on the topic.
In the video below, the author shares a wide variety of ways in which the kettle bell swing can positively impact all of the muscle groups necessary for strong jiu jitsu performance, as well as many other areas you may not have thought of. WARNING: There is some strong language to be aware of in the video. The message will overwhelmingly make it worthwhile for you.
If you're looking for an effective training program, but like things ultra simplified or you have very little time to dedicate outside of your normal BJJ schedule, then the kettlebell swing is the answer. There are very few exercises that can have as much positive impact on your conditioning and the musculature of your body as simply and as powerfully as the swing. Short on time and want something bare bones, then spend 15-20 minutes a day performing short bursts of kettlebell swings and watch your hip movement, overall strength and stamina improve on the mats.
f you're ready to take a serious look at your conditioning levels and get on a program that will turn you into a monster on the mats and off, check out the 4 DVD instructional "The Diamond Protocol" featuring world-renowned strength and conditioning code Ethan Benda. It will be like hiring your own personal trainer at a fraction of the cost.