- Why is cardio exercise necessary for BJJ fighters?
- What is Cardio Workout And Its Types
- Low Impact
- High impact
- 7 Best Cardio Exercises For BJJ
- 1. Battle Rope training
- 2. Running Uphill
- 3. Rock Climbing
- 4. Punching a bag
- 5. Cycling
- 6. Skipping
- 7. Swimming
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Why is cardio exercise necessary for BJJ fighters?
Cardio is the king to enhance speed, balance, and endurance. You may have enough strength, balance, and stamina, but if you are tired, and it is hard to catch your breath during the fight, you will lose all. The more cardio you do, the smarter you will become in the game.
There are different forms of cardio, every coach has his recommendation for his pupil.
When you are doing cardio, you must take care of your diet because when you are overweight, you will not have speed. However, only the cardio will not help you to get the maximum results as you have to cut out all unhealthy snacks from your diet.
If you are eating a clean diet and doing regular training, and still, you are not improving your performance in the BJJ, it means you are not doing the cardio or are somehow totally neglected.
Before we dive into the best cardio exercises for BJJ, it is important to understand the different types of cardio exercises and how they are helpful to fighters.
What is Cardio Workout And Its Types
Cardiovascular exercises are the most common type of exercise. This type of workout primarily strengthens the heart and lungs and improves circulation.
A cardio workout is any activity that raises the heart rate, tells the body to expend energy to make up for the expenditure of energy.
The goal of a cardio workout is to increase the frequency and depth of breathing. The benefits of doing cardio workout include weight loss, increased stamina, and improved cardiovascular health.
Cardio workouts can be as intense or light as you want them to be, they are just as effective in different ways depending on your needs. There are many types of cardio workouts, including cycling or running outside (to name a few).
If you want to maintain good health and improve speed and stamina, then it would make sense to incorporate aerobic activity into your daily routine.
There are many different cardio exercises that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athletes can do.
- Low impact
- High impact
In low-impact cardiovascular training, you continue pushing yourself for a definite period, and you burn more calories from stored fat as well, if you are looking for weight loss exercises.
There are several exercises that you can do in low-intensity exercises which are jumping, jogging, treadmill, running and cycling, etc. From these exercises, you do any exercise for 10-15 min. These excesses are ideal when you are just starting BJJ training.
High-intense cardiovascular training is also best for the BJJ fighter to build stamina and endurance. High-intensity interval HIIT workout includes yoga, weight lifting, and circuit training; these exercises are also the best exercises to build strength level.
There are different kinds of exercises that every Bjj fighter should do at least once a week.
7 Best Cardio Exercises For BJJ
1. Battle Rope training
When you are looking for the best cardio workout for BJJ, that attacks all muscles, then rope battling is the most effective exercise to do. It is a recommended exercise for BJJ Fighters. It is the best exercise to strengthen your grip.
Battle rope training is the perfect form of High-Intensity interval training HIIT, to make your muscles stronger and build better cardio stamina. Furthermore, rope battling is the appropriate exercise that is best fit for grappling.
One thing you need to remember is that, do not only work out with a single move (just making circles you should move and change your position after fewer repetitions, it will help to target the core muscles as well.
2. Running Uphill
Running uphill is a much more challenging task as compared to the usual running because you put in more effort which demands more oxygen intake.
When you try to run on the incline forces, you are giving tough times to your leg muscles.
In a 2015 study, by the International Journal of sports physiology, one group of runners who had been doing uphill running, were more efficient and fast in their performance as compared to those days when they were running on plain jogging tracks.
Similarly, it is also recommended to runners to run the down hit. Running on the ascent may seem an easy task, you might be thinking that you will roll like a ball without any struggle but that is untrue. Instead, it involves different muscles to balance your body.
For instance, you feel a contraction in your lower calf and quads. All these exercises may help you to get better in BJJ, the fighter with the stronger legs might be the more dangerous one in grappling.
3. Rock Climbing
If you want to improve your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu performance, then it would be better to add a bit of cross-training to your workout plans.
If you know how rock climbing works, then you might have noticed that rock climbing is the best exercise to engage all muscles in one move. Plus, it also makes your grip insanely strong, learning to balance and work on your core.
Another side benefit might be to strengthen your grip. For instance, when you climb on the hill, you would have a dead focus on your grip because once you lose the grip, you’re gonna die, and similarly, once you lose the grip, the opponent might have a chance to play another trick.
4. Punching a bag
Punching a bag is the best form of cardiovascular training. It is the best exercise to build physical strength and train the whole body in one pack.
The punching bag is a widely famous exercise not only for boxers but people of all ages who are more likely to perform this sort of exercise. It is the best-recommended exercise for new BJJ fighters to speed up their moments.
Further, punching a bag is not a boring exercise as compared to running or sprinting.
It also falls into the category of resistance training as well as cardiovascular training.
It involves the chest muscles, leg muscles, shoulders, and a lot of energy, the more you hit harder, the more you will get the heartbeat will increase. Therefore, punching bags can be beneficial if you want to improve your BJJ game.
Cycling is another great low-impact method for improving cardio.
Riding a bike long distance can be a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness while having fun in the sun at the same time.
Sometimes, you might not want to push yourself for the entire ride. You might want to try interval training instead. This means that you will push as hard as you can, for a set period. It might be a period, like a minute.
Skipping is one of the best forms of exercise for BJJ, as jumping over a rope for an extended period of time is much more taxing than other exercises. Although continuous jumping can put some pressure on the knee joints, it is a relatively low-impact form of cardio.
It helps athletes become very good at moving their feet. It’s important for a BJJ athlete to use good feet in order to achieve dominant control and execute takedowns, as all fights start on the feet.
Swimming is the best exercise to strengthen all muscles at one time. It is an all-rounder exercise for every martial artist and is recommended for everyone who wants to get ideal physics.
There is no harm to joints as compared to other exercises as this is gentle to your joints. This is also the best exercise for new BJJ fighters, especially for those who are overweight and want to cut some extra pounds.
Swimming is good to improve your breathing as you swim in the water, your breathing pattern changes, and sometimes you have to hold your breath underwater which ultimately pushes the stomach to catch more breath in the lungs.
There are lots of variations in cardio workouts that you can do each week but when you start as a new fighter, you would better use the cardio workouts recommended by your coach, just as not every exercise is not suitable for everyone. Somehow, the exercise may change with time.
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Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.