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Mastering Compound Lifts for Superior Jiujitsu Strength


The BJJ Performance Tip of the Week | #026

Mobility🧘🏽‍♂️ •Strength 💪🏽 •Nutrition 🥑 •Interesting🧐

Edition: Friday, July 28th, 2023

In last week's newsletter, I shared the blueprint for structuring an optimal BJJ training program, and we started that with compound exercises. The interest in this topic was awesome thank you to everyone who reached out with kind words!

So today, we're going to dive deeper into the compound lifts that will jack up your strength and power for jiujitsu so you start hearing “you’re so strong” from you’re training partners post-roll 😈(lol).

This list is not in any particular order and is by no means exhaustive, just a great place to start:

💀 1. Deadlifts

The deadlift works for almost every muscle group in your body, especially the posterior chain – the muscles at the back of your body. This will aid your pulling power and help prevent injuries. Plus, this movement pattern is seen FREQUENTLY in jiujitsu, don’t believe me? Every tried to pick someone up from inside their closed guard? Well... Now you can 😉

🍵 2. Goblet Squats

This variant of the squat is fantastic for improving your hip mobility, core strength, and lower body power. These aspects are crucial for a solid base, guard recovery, and efficient movement on the mats. A more advanced alternative to Goblet Squads is Zercher Squats (but more on Zercher variations coming soon).

🏋️ 3. Barbell Back Squat

The barbell back squat is a staple strength-building exercise. This lift enhances leg power, stability, and core strength, improving your takedown power and stand-up game. If you’re skipping leg day because Gordon Ryan said to… smh.

🪑 4. Dumbbell Bench Press

Unlike its barbell counterpart, the dumbbell bench press allows for a greater range of motion and engages the stabilizing muscles more. This exercise develops pushing strength, essential for framing and escaping from the bottom position.

But if you have problems with your shoulders and don’t want to / cannot bench press, swap this out for dumbbell floor press variations.

🚣 5. Barbell Bent Over Row

This compound exercise targets your back, providing pulling strength that can aid your grip and your ability to control your opponent. An alternative to this could be the box row.

🎈 6. Barbell Overhead Press

This press is an excellent upper-body push exercise and improves your pushing power (duh), critical for certain guard passes and creating space. An alternative to the barbell overhead press for more advanced lifters is the Z-Press (an overhead press from a wide-stance seated position on the floor).

Incorporating these exercises into your strength and conditioning routine is a surefire way to supercharge your performance in jiujitsu. Each of these exercises has a direct and positive impact on your strength and power on the mats.

Until next week, train hard, roll safe

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