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Swimming Can Help Your Jiu Jitsu

Swimming Can Help Your Jiu Jitsu

Can Swimming Help The Ground Be Your Ocean

 

There is much controversy regarding strength training outside of Jiu Jitsu. Some claim that it hampers our grappling skills while some claim benefits to it. Some of the greatest grapplers ever do not lift weights while others do, so who is right? I think its personal preference. In examining some options for exercise outside of Jiu Jitsu, I am always brought back to the benefits of swimming. Swimming improves strength and endurance without posing injury risk to the knees, shoulders, or ankles.

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Jiu Jitsu is partly aerobic and anaerobic, and it would prove beneficial to improve both aspects. Swimming improves aerobic ability because it elevates heart rate which is at the center of cardiovascular exercise. By improving our aerobic exercise, we will see the benefits of being able to go harder while getting less tired and do more matches or rolling sessions that would in turn also improve our grappling abilities.

 

Although people don’t primarily use swimming as a tool for building muscle, it is a great exercise for increasing strength. Just like in Jiu Jitsu, we must use multiple big muscle groups at any given moment while swimming. By improving our swimming strength, we will stimulate the strength needed in Jiu Jitsu matches much more equivocally than just lifting weights.

 

Finally, one of the best benefits of swimming is improved breath control. Adequate breath control is necessary if a grappler wishes to become a successful competitor. No sport or exercise both improves breath and stimulates the breath control needed for Jiu Jitsu other than swimming.

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Swimming is also a minimal risk exercise when compared to lifting weights, doing cross-fit, or running long distances. The few injuries that one could incur from swimming are only cramping and, well, drowning. In swimming, we can work our bodies extremely hard without hurting our knees, backs, or hips, which are common complaints of Jiu Jitsu practitioners. In fact, swimming is commonly used as a tool for strength improvement after surgery or injury and is a mainstay in physiotherapy.

 

Swimming as an exercise does not mean hopping in the pool and messing around and taking lots of breaks. To use swimming as exercise, you should focus on doing laps using various swimming techniques. If you have not previously done this, it will be difficult to do, but start at a few laps and build yourself up to 20 or even 50 laps for huge improvements. 

Another simple, yet very effective conditioning exercise that can impact your BJJ in many positive ways is a solid kettlebell routine.  Take the guesswork out of what to do with Mike Perry's KB Essentials.  You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!

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