Best Weightlifting Exercises for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a fighting sport that requires a high level of training and physical strength. Consequently, it isn’t easy to enhance your BJJ if you don’t have a strong core.

Weight lifting for BJJ is a training that includes weights to build and develop muscles to become more solid and explosive in combat. Squats, bench presses, snatch and jerks, and deadlifts are among the most effective weightlifting exercises for Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

This article presents a great list of the most effective weight-lifting exercises for jiu-jitsu practitioners. It will assist you in improving your BJJ overall performance and becoming a formidable grappler in the long run.

Table of Contents Show

What Are the Best Weight Training Exercise for BJJ?

Practitioners should include clean and practical conditioning and strength-lifting exercises in their training routine in addition to their jiu-jitsu training on the mat.

The following are some of the top weightlifting exercises you consider to enhance your jiu-jitsu performance.

Source: Joshua Settlage – ‘The BJJ Strength Coach’

Bench Press

weight lifting for jiu jitsu

The bench press is a well-known upper-body weightlifting exercise primarily targeting the chest muscles. As a result, if your goal is to grow and strengthen your chest muscles, the bench press is one of the exercises that you should consider doing.

In addition, many BJJ and MMA athletes have benefited from this excellent exercise to enhance their overall performance.

Bench Press Benefits

The bench press is one of the most fundamental weight-lifting exercises for developing upper body strength and power.

This workout will build endurance while strengthening your pectoral, arm, and shoulder muscles.

Otherwise, it will prepare your upper body for certain explosive BJJ motions and techniques, such as side control escapes, guard retention techniques, etc.

How to Execute the Bench Press Exercise?

Jeff Nippard walks you through the complete bench press method step by step. Indeed, he points out some of the most typical errors you should avoid.

Source: Jeff Nippard

Variations of the Bench Press

The bench press may be performed using a weighted barbell or dumbells with similar benefits. In addition, there are several variants of the bench press exercise, such as the standard, incline, and decline bench presses, to name a few.

Bench Press vs. Push-up

The bench press and push-up exercises work the upper body muscles. Commonly, bench press weightlifting exercise helps build brute strength and power.

However, push up helps to build relative strength using body weight.


weight lifting exercises for bjj

The deadlift may be the king of all weightlifting exercises that exist out there. It correctly raises a barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell from the ground by bending your hips and then standing back up.

Therefore, the deadlift is appropriate for athletes who compete in BJJ, MMA, or other physically demanding sports to improve their overall performance.

Deadlift Benefits

The deadlift strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and other related muscles. According to research studies, deadlifting provides a variety of health and fitness advantages.

For example, it stimulates your hip while reducing lower back discomfort and strengthening your core, among other benefits.

How to Do the Deadlift Exercise?

Jeff Nippard teaches you the entire process of doing the deadlift technique step by step. In addition, he brings out some of the most common mistakes you should bypass.

Source: Jeff Nippard

Deadlift Variations

The deadlift is available in various forms, each providing unique advantages. The Romanian deadlift, the Sumo deadlift, the single-leg deadlift, and the stiff-legged deadlift are just a few of the incredible deadlift workouts available.

Moreover, switching up the deadlift variety might benefit long-term growth and progress toward your objectives.

Barbell Deadlift vs Dumbbell vs Kettlebell

The barbell deadlift is more effective than the dumbbell or kettlebell deadlift since it allows you to lift more significant weights than the other two.

As a result, most athletes place a high value on the barbell deadlift exercise to increase their strength and power.

On the other hand, the dumbbell or kettlebell deadlift may be an excellent exercise for strengthening core stability, especially after returning to the gym or recovering from an injury.

Related: 8 Best Kettlebell Exercises for BJJ (Explained Benefits!)


weight lifting training for bjj

The squat is a dynamic strength training exercise for BJJ men wanting to increase their physical performance.

Various athletes consider squatting exercises essential training activities since they activate several upper and lower body muscles.

Furthermore, the squatting exercises may be done with a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, or even without weights. So, you can vary your workouts by including several squat variations to ensure you never get bored training.

Squat Benefits

The squat is one of the few exercises that can simultaneously activate the majority of the muscles in your body effectively.

It’s a unique exercise that works the majority of the lower body muscles, including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, and hip flexors, to name a few.

Otherwise, squatting exercises will increase your athletic skill and strength, lower your chance of injury, and burn calories, among other benefits.

How to Do the Back Squat Exercise?

Jeff Nippard takes you through the whole squat procedure step by step. Indeed, he brings out some of the most common errors you should avoid.

Source: Jeff Nippard

Squat Variations

The squat comes in many variations, offering your workouts a distinct set of values. For example, the barbell front squat, jump squat, goblet squat, pistol squat, and Bulgarian split squat are variations of the barbell front squat.

Furthermore, including various squat exercises in your workout routine may benefit long-term growth and progress toward your goals.

Barbell Squat vs. Goblet Squat

The barbell and goblet squats are excellent for strengthening your core and improving physical performance. The barbell squat is a brute strength exercise essential for athletes of all kinds.

However, the goblet squat is excellent BJJ weight training to strengthen your legs and improve your core balance.


Lunges are one of the most effective training routines that can be done with or without weights. Furthermore, BJJ men and women may benefit from this dynamic strength and conditioning training to improve their physical performance.

Lunges Benefits

Lunges are a fantastic way to train the muscles in your legs and buttocks, including the glutes, adductors, and other muscles. As a result, including some lunge exercises in your routine can assist you in effectively strengthening many muscle groups in your lower body.

Additionally, it increases your metabolism, allowing you to improve your physical strength and lose weight much more quickly.

How to Do a Lunge Exercise?

Scott Herman walks you through the whole process of doing the lunge movements from beginning to end, step by step. Otherwise, he reveals some most idiotic common mistakes that you should avoid.

Source: ScottHermanFitness

Lunges Variations

Lunges can be among the best weightlifting exercises performed with several variations using a barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell.

As a result, several lunge exercises are accessible for you, such as the barbell/dumbbell/kettlebell walking lunges, reverse/forward lunges, lateral lunges, curtsey lunges, and so on.

Reverse Lunge vs Forward Lunge

The forward and reverse lunges movements train the glutes, but each exercise targets a distinct set of leg muscles. For example, the forward lunges target the quadriceps more.

In contrast, the reverse lunges target the hamstrings and the largest glute muscles.

Lunge vs. Squat

Squats and lunges are popular lower-body weight training exercises meant to increase physical strength and explosiveness while increasing overall fitness.

Aside from that, the two workouts effectively increase strength and conditioning. But, if you aim to gain muscle and power, the squat is likely more successful than the lunge.

Shoulder Press

weight lifting gym for jiu-jitsu

The overhead shoulder press is a great weightlifting exercise to keep your upper body’s muscles in good shape. Furthermore, it is suitable weight lifting for Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners to improve their strength, conditioning, core mobility & explosivity.

Adding this training practice to your shoulder training routine is thus worthwhile.

Shoulder Press Benefits

The shoulder press exercises primarily target the deltoids and the pectoral, triceps, and trapezius muscles, among others.

As a result, it will help strengthen your upper-body core while increasing the size and endurance of your shoulders, triceps, and trapezius muscles.

How to Do the Overhead Barbell Press Exercise?

Jeff Nippard takes you through the whole process of doing the overhead barbell press step by step, complete with more explanations.

Otherwise, he exposes the scientific truths used to do this exercise efficiently and avoids making typical missteps.

Source: Jeff Nippard

Shoulder Press Variations

You can get fantastic shoulder press weight workouts using a barbell, dumbbells, or a Kettlebell.

Consequently, many different shoulder press variations are available, including the barbell/dumbbell military press, barbell push press, double kettlebell overhead press, single-arm landmine press, etc.

Overhead Shoulder Press vs Military Press

The overhead and military presses are excellent exercises that strengthen your shoulders and upper-body muscles.

Moreover, The military press stimulates the deltoid shoulder muscles and triceps.

On the other hand, the overhead press engages most of the upper body muscles, including the deltoids, triceps, and pectorals.

Bent-Over Row

The bent-over row is a beautiful weight training exercise for jiu-jitsu competitors since it helps develop the back muscles. Furthermore, it will aid them in developing their strength, physical fitness, and core explosivity.

As a result, using this exercise in your workout training program is beneficial.

Bent-Over Row Benefits

The bent-over row exercise works and strengthens several back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and trapezius.

Consequently, this exercise increases the general strength of the upper and lower back muscles, glutes, hamstrings, lats, and shoulders.

How to Do the Bent-Over Row Exercise?

Jeff Nippard walks you through the process of doing the barbell bent-over row, step by step, with great explanations. Otherwise, he reveals some common mistakes that you should evade.

Source: Jeff Nippard

Variations of the Bent-Over Row

You can perform the bent-over row exercise with a barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell.

As a result, numerous various bent-over row variants are available, including Pendlay rows, dumbbell rows, Yates rows, and the t-bar bent-over row, to mention a few.

Bent Over Row vs. Deadlift

The bent-over row and deadlift are two exercises that may help to strengthen the back muscles and enhance overall physical performance.

Although the bent-over barbell rows work various muscles in your back, the deadlifts only stimulate the lower back.

Hip Thrust

best weight training for bjj

The hip thrust is another fantastic workout that benefits Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters since it helps develop solid hip muscles. As a result, it will aid them in strengthening their core while also increasing their mobility and explosiveness.

As a wise BJJ competitor, you should include this weight-lifting exercise in your fitness training plan to improve your grappling performance.

Hip Thrust Benefits

The hip thrust is a fantastic exercise for strengthening the glute muscles. Otherwise, it improves core stability and mobility, which benefits BJJ and other martial arts disciplines.

How to Do the Hip Thrust Exercise?

Jeff Nippard takes you through the whole process of doing the barbell hip thrust. Otherwise, he discloses several frequent mistakes you should avoid building solid, flexible glutes.

Source: Jeff Nippard

Variations of the Hip Thrust

The hip thrust is available in many variations, including the barbell hip thrust, chaotic hip thrust, and frog pump hip thrust, to name a few.

Hip Thrust vs Glute Bridge

The hip and glute bridges are the most effective exercises for developing solid glutes and hamstring muscles. The Hip thrust exercise includes exercises for the gluteus medius and quadriceps.

On the other hand, the glute bridge exercise is most effective on the muscles of the thighs, hips, and hamstrings.

Turkish Get-up

The Turkish get-up is one of the best weightlifting exercises for Brazilian jiu-jitsu that you can do to increase your overall performance.

While executing this exercise, you will go from the floor to standing through many movements that will help you achieve overhead stability from various angles and postures.

As a result, several intelligent BJJ men and women have benefited from this dynamic practice to increase their total physical performance.

Turkish Get-up Benefits

The Turkish get-up is a superb weight exercise that works practically every muscle in your body, including the deltoids, glutes, hamstrings, triceps, calves, etc.

Otherwise, it helps develop your posture and upper body muscles. Indeed, the Turkish get-up enhances the overall core stability and mobility.

How to Do the Kettlebell Turkish Get-up?

Eric Leija walks you through the process of doing the kettlebell Turkish get-up exercise step-by-step in the following video. Aside from that, he gives some precious advice and tips for avoiding common errors.

Source: Eric Leija

Variations of the Turkish Get-up

One of the most excellent weightlifting exercises available is the Turkish get-up. This beautiful exercise can be done using a kettlebell or a dumbbell.

Consequently, you can access many Turkish get-up exercises, including the side-lying, overhead squat, and no-hands get-up.

Turkish Get-up Dumbbell vs. Kettlebell

The Turkish get-up dumbbell and the kettlebell Turkish get-up are two workouts comparable in enhancing core stability and strength.

However, the kettlebell Turkish get-up may more effectively recruit your stabilizer muscles than the dumbbell version. Furthermore, a Turkish get-up dumbbell may be more manageable for novices than a kettlebell version.

Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is one of the best weightlifting exercises for BJJ to build solid core stability and mobility. In addition, it’s a great conditioning and strength exercise that you should include in your BJJ weight training routine.

Kettlebell Swing Benefits

The kettlebell swing engages various core muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, lats, and other related muscles. It is a highly effective full-body training activity that improves cardio, explosiveness, flexibility, and balance while increasing strength.

How to Do the Kettlebell Swing?

The next video provides step-by-step instructions on doing the kettlebell swing exercise correctly. Otherwise, it gives you fantastic suggestions on getting the most out of your training while avoiding common mistakes and injuries.

Source: Well+Good

Deadlift vs. Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is an ideal hip hinge exercise to improve cardio, strength, and explosiveness. On the other hand, the deadlift may assist you in increasing your absolute power.

Kettlebell Swing vs. Squat

The kettlebell swing and the back squat are two of the most effective strength and conditioning workouts for athletes of all levels.

On the other hand, heavy squat exercises are more appealing if you’re aiming for maximal strength.

Indeed, Kettlebell swing exercises greatly increase power production, core stability, and fitness.

Related: Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of stretching! Including them in a long-term, well-balanced training plan will help you improve your performance and general health. We’ve developed a list of the most incredible stretches you should perform daily for optimal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu performance on the mat. Click to Learn more!

What Exactly Is BJJ Weight Training, and Why Is It Necessary?

BJJ weight training is a training for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners focusing on increasing muscle mass and strength. BJJ is a physical sport that needs stability, endurance, and flexibility.

As a result, weight training is an essential aspect of a BJJ athlete’s training program. This activity helps enhance power, explosiveness, and general physical strength, all required to compete successfully in BJJ.

Moreover, weight training helps to avoid injuries by strengthening the muscles and joints utilized in BJJ motions.

How Frequently Should BJJ Athletes Work Out with Weights?

Doing two weight training sessions per week is the most among BJJ athletes. Although, the frequency of BJJ weightlifting workouts will be determined by numerous criteria, including the athlete’s fitness level, training objectives, and overall training program.

To avoid injury and stimulate muscular development, allowing for appropriate rest and recovery time between weight training sessions is critical. Moreover, it is advised that weight training activities be varied to target various muscle groups and avoid overuse issues.

Final Thoughts

Weight training might benefit BJJ martial artists who want to increase their sports performance.

Squats, bench presses, deadlifts, shoulder presses, and lunges are just a few of the weightlifting exercises that are particularly beneficial for Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

I hope that this article will assist you in improving your overall performance on the mat by including some excellent weight lifting into your exercise routine.

Thus, you’ll be able to make the most of your favorite techniques and submissions, especially in the most competitive tournaments.

Related: Don’t put it off any longer; check out the list of the finest jiu-jitsu strength and conditioning workouts. Regularly integrating these workouts into your BJJ training program can help you become a stronger and more competitive grappler. Click here for further information! 

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