Strength and Conditioning Program for BJJ (With Videos)

strength and conditioning program for bjj

As a competitor in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you must have incredible BJJ strength and conditioning to succeed in tough competitions. As a result, you should follow a proper strength and conditioning program and a nutritious diet. So, you’re probably wondering, what are the best strength and conditioning exercises?

The Turkish get-up, bench press, front squats, overhead press, and Romanian deadlifts are just a few of the best exercises for jiu-jitsu training. Despite this, the most spectacular BJJ exercises and routines are dependent on the needs of the players. Because of this, it may be a strength-only training routine using weights, a conditioning workout, or a combination of both.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu empowers its practitioners to do more in their everyday lives than they would have been able to otherwise. However, it is a challenging ground combat activity regarding fitness and strength.

As a result, jiu-jitsu practitioners noted an increase in their conditioning level after a period spent on the mat. However, to compete or advance your skills, you must have a well-defined strength and fitness training routine.

Without further delay, find below a complete list of the best strength and conditioning exercises for jiu-jitsu. It will help you perform your daily BJJ training routine well on becoming a tough grappling competitor.

Disclaimer: Before beginning any strength and conditioning training, it is crucial to properly warm up your muscles and joints.

Best Exercises for BJJ Strength and Conditioning

The following is an amazing list of exercises to improve your Brazilian jiu-jitsu strength and conditioning:

Let’s start with excellent hip hinge exercises to improve BJJ strength and conditioning.

  • Barbell Romanian Deadlifts

strength and conditioning for bjj

The Romanian deadlift is one of the top strength training exercises for BJJ athletes. It improves the posterior chain muscles, such as hamstrings, adductors, etc. So, how do you do the Romanian deadlift?

  1. Use an overhand grip to hold the barbell at a hip level.
  2. Move your shoulders back and maintain a straight back and spine.
  3. Reduce the tension in your hips as you progressively descend the bar toward your feet.
  4. Lift the barbell to reach the standing posture by bringing your hips forward and the barbell in front of your thighs.

Need more details! The following video gives you the entire process of doing the Romanian deadlift step by step.

Source: Jeff Nippard

Romanian deadlift Vs. Regular deadlift: The Romanian deadlift may be more beneficial to BJJ athletes than standard deadlifts since it also targets the glutes and forearm flexors. Indeed, it starts from a standing posture. However, the deadlift begins from the bottom position.

Otherwise, The Romanian deadlift targets the glutes and hamstrings muscles; however, the traditional deadlift targets more quadriceps and mid-back muscles.

Romanian Deadlift Vs. Stiff-legged deadlift: The Romanian deadlift and the stiff-legged deadlift are similar exercises targeting posterior chain muscles. Although in stiff-legged deadlift exercise, the performer’s knees stay practically straight. But, when performing the Romanian deadlift, the knees are more bent to provide greater hip activation and flexion.

N.B. You may get the same results by using a dumbbell or kettlebell to do the Romanian deadlift. But, those two deadlift exercises may be easier to master than the one using the barbell.

  • Single Arm Kettlebell Clean

strength training for bjj

The single-arm kettlebell clean is a fantastic strength workout that is particularly well-suited for athletes training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu or other combat sports. It works the glutes, hamstrings, lower back muscles, and other muscles, making it a great core strength exercise.

Indeed, the single-arm kettlebell clean is an excellent exercise for BJJ practitioners to strengthen their grips. So, how to perform the single-arm kettlebell clean exercise?

Take a look at the next video to perform the single-arm kettlebell clean exercise properly.

Source: Wodstar

  • Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch

The single-arm dumbbell snatch is among the most excellent strength and power development exercises, especially for BJJ combatants. This unilateral exercise targets the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, back, shoulders, and triceps. 

It may be a beneficial full-body core workout for any grappler. So, how to do the single-arm dumbbell snatch?

Source: Men’s Health

  • Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift

The kettlebell single-leg deadlift is another excellent hip strength and power exercise for BJJ athletes. Otherwise, this exercise will assist them in gaining better stability in the muscles of the hips and legs (glutes, hamstrings, lower back, etc.)

You should ad this deadlift exercise to your BJJ strength training routine. So, how to do the kettlebell single leg deadlift?

Source: Purple Patch Fitness

N.B. You may get the same results by doing the single-leg deadlift with a dumbbell, barbell, or resistance band.

  • Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is among the best exercises for developing a solid core for jiu-jitsu training. It’s both a conditioning and strength workout that targets several core muscles, including your hips, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, lats, etc.

This is another fantastic kettlebell exercise that you should add to your BJJ strength training routine. So, how can you perform the kettlebell swing movements properly?

Detailed guidance on how to do the kettlebell swing exercise is provided in the following video. Otherwise, it provides you with some fantastic advice on achieving maximum effect and avoiding frequent errors & injuries from occurring while performing the workout.

Source: Well+Good

Kettlebell swing vs. Deadlift: The kettlebell swing is an excellent hip hinge exercise to develop good cardio, strength, and explosivity. On the other hand, the deadlift can help you increase absolute power. But, you can use both the kettlebell and the deadlift to maximize performance and lift more weight.

Kettlebell swing vs. Squat: Kettlebell swing and back squat are among the best strength and conditioning exercises for athletes. Of course, heavy squat workouts are more compelling if you’re chasing maximum strength. On the other hand, Kettlebell swing workouts are amazingly effective in developing power generation, core stability, and conditioning.

Kettlebell swing vs. clean: The kettlebell swing and clean are two of the most effective strength and conditioning exercises available to athletes. However, the kettlebell swing is more popular than the kettlebell clean for core strength. Otherwise, the kettlebell swing is performed using both hands; however, the clean is performed using one hand.

Now, Let’s discuss some excellent squat exercises for jiu-jitsu strength and conditioning improvement.

  • Squat With Knee Drive

The squat with knee drive is superb conditioning and mobility exercise for BJJ practitioners to develop a solid core. It targets several core muscles, including quadriceps, glutes, etc.

This is a fantastic jumping exercise that You should add to your jiu-jitsu strength and conditioning workout. So, how can you perform the squat knee drive exercise accurately?

Source: Complete Athlete Spokane

  • Jump Squat

strength training for jiu-jitsu

The jump squat is one of the best conditioning exercises for strengthening your legs and increasing your cardiovascular endurance for training. Indeed, this exercise will work the glutes, quadriceps, hips, and hamstrings, among other muscle groups.

As a wise practitioner, you should add this exercise to your BJJ strength and conditioning program. So, how do you do the jump squat properly?

  1. Put your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and maintain a straight posture.
  2. In a squatting position, raise your thighs just above the level of your knees.
  3. Properly propel yourself upward such that your feet rise off of the floor.
  4. Land softly on your knees with your knees bent, and return to the squat posture.

Detailed instructions on how to do the jump squat exercise are provided in the following video. Otherwise, it provides you with some fantastic advice on avoiding frequent errors and injuries while performing the workout.

Source: Well+Good

Disclaimer: It’s essential to have healthy knees, hips, and ankles if you wish to perform jump squat.

  • Lateral Squat Walk With Band

lateral squat walk

The lateral squat walk is one of the best strength and conditioning exercises for strengthening your legs available for jiu-jitsu and MMA fighters. This exercise works glutes muscles among other muscle groups.

This is another excellent exercise that you should add to your strength and conditioning plan. Otherwise, here is how to perform the lateral squat walk exercise?

Source: Stroops

  • Basic Barbell Squat

The basic barbell squat is another leg workout for strength that jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts players may use. This exercise mainly targets your quadriceps, but it also works your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, etc.

This is a must-add exercise for BJJ fighters in your strength and conditioning program. So, how to do the basic barbell squat exercise without problems?

Jeff Nippard takes you through the process of doing the barbell squat exercise correctly in the video below. In addition, he offers some practical suggestions for preventing common mistakes when performing this weight-training exercise.

Source: Jeff Nippard

Barbell squat vs. deadlift: The Barbell squat and deadlift are two of the best exercises to develop brute strength and power. In the squat exercise, the performer maintains his chest upright and lowers his legs until parallel to the floor. However, in the deadlift exercise, the performer will bend his hips backward, fall himself to the ground, and pick up the weighted barbell or kettlebell off the floor.

Barbell squat vs. goblet squat: The barbell squat is a brute strength exercise vital for athletes of all ability levels. Although the goblet squat is a terrific exercise for diversifying and improving your legs weight training, it is not suitable for everyone. Otherwise, the goblet squat may be overly heavy than ordinary squats performed with barbells or dumbells.

  • Double Kettlebell Front Squat

The double kettlebell front squat is one of the most excellent exercises for creating a solid core for Brazilian jiu-jitsu training. It’s brute strength training that works the quadriceps muscles, among others. So, you should ad this squat exercise to your strength training routine.

This is a must-add exercise in your strength and conditioning program for jiu-jitsu fighters. So, how to do the double kettlebell front squat exercise without difficulties?

The following video provides step-by-step instructions on doing the double kettlebell front squat exercise. Otherwise, it gives you some excellent suggestions on avoiding frequent mistakes and injuries while executing this exercise.

Source: Champion Physical Therapy and Performance

Double kettlebell front squat vs. barbell squat: The double kettlebell front squat and the barbell squat are two of the most effective squatting exercises for developing physical strength and power. The kettlebell squat exercise may be less weighted than a barbell squat, but it is still challenging.

Front squat vs. goblet squat: The front and goblet squat are two of the most effective squatting exercises accessible to BJJ students and competitors. Additionally, when executing them, you will hold the weight (kettlebell or dumbbell) with both hands at chest height, which will assist in developing your balance. Furthermore, front squats are the most effective for developing maximum strength, while goblet squats are the most effective for high-rep workouts that increase muscular mass.

  • Barbell Overhead Squat

bjj strength training program

The barbell overhead squat is an effective strength training exercise for jiu-jitsu martial artists who want to improve their overall strength. It strengthens the upper and lower body muscles, including triceps, deltoids, hamstrings, adductors, quadriceps, etc. 

Consequently, it will help you gain overall strength in preparation for jiu-jitsu rolling and competitions. Therefore, you should include this squat exercise in your BJJ strength training program. So, how to perform the barbell overhead squat?

The following video provides step-by-step instructions on doing the barbell overhead squat exercise. Otherwise, it gives you some excellent suggestions on avoiding common mistakes and injuries while executing this weight training.

Source: CrossFit®

Barbell overhead squat vs. front squat:  The overhead and front squats are practical exercises for increasing the hardcore and overall strength. The overhead squat is better for developing the anterior trunk muscles. However, the front squat develops the whole lower body and trunk muscles, and it’s more weighted than the overhead squat.

N.B.: The overhead squat may also be performed with similar benefits using a dumbbell or kettlebell.

  • Curtsy Squat

The curtsy squat with weight is an effective strength training exercise for BJJ martial artists who want to improve their overall lower body strength and stability. It will help you build more stability and strengthen your quadriceps, glutes, and other muscles. 

As a result, this exercise is great for practitioners who try to gain more stability to level up their BJJ overall performance. As a result, you should include this squat exercise in your Brazilian jiu-jitsu strength training program. So, how to do curtsy squat?

The next video provides step-by-step instructions for using a dumbbell for the curtsy squat exercise.

Source: Marcus Filly

  • Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat is among the best exercises for developing a solid core for jiu-jitsu training. In addition, it will help you to create an outstanding lower body balance and strength to master your BJJ guard techniques, etc.

Otherwise, the Bulgarian split squat targets several lower body muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. As a result, you should include this single-leg squat exercise in your strength training routine. So, how to do the Bulgarian split squat?

The Bulgarian split squat exercise is shown in the accompanying video, including step-by-step instructions. Otherwise, it provides you with some fantastic recommendations for avoiding typical blunders and injuries while carrying out this weight training plan.

Source: Colossus Fitness

Bulgarian split squat vs. lunge: The Bulgarian split squat and lunge are among the best exercises out there to strengthen your legs. However, the Bulgarian split squat may be more effective than lunges for strengthening your glutes.

  • Kettlebell Goblet Squat

The kettlebell goblet squat is one of the best exercises for strength available for BJJ competitors. Like other squat exercises, this one targets mainly the quads and glutes muscles, and it will help gain more upper body stability.

As a result, you should include this squatting exercise in your jiu-jitsu strength training routine. So, how to perform the kettlebell goblet squat?

Instructions on doing the kettlebell goblet squat exercise are provided in the accompanying video. It also includes some helpful recommendations for avoiding frequent errors and injuries during this weight training program.

Source: Colossus Fitness

Now, Let’s discuss some excellent upper body workouts for jiu-jitsu strength and conditioning development.

  • Kettlebell Single-Arm Shoulder Press

The single-arm kettlebell shoulder press is one of the most effective workouts for developing upper body strength known to BJJ athletes. This exercise primarily targets the shoulder muscles and engages the pectorals, triceps, and trapezius muscles.

This exercise is ideal for jiu-jitsu practitioners who wish to increase their upper-body strength to improve their overall performance. You should thus include this shoulder press into your strength training plan.

The next video will show you correctly doing the single-arm kettlebell shoulder press exercise.

Source: My P.T. Hub

  • Barbell Overhead Press

The overhead barbell press is among the best strength exercises for jiu-jitsu players to build incredible upper-body strength and endurance. This exercise mainly targets the shoulder muscles like the single-arm kettlebell shoulder press. Still, it also stimulates the pectorals, triceps, and trapezius muscles.

This is another ideal exercise for BJJ practitioners who wish to increase their upper-body strength to improve overall performance. You should thus include this shoulder press into your strength training routine.

Instructions on doing the overhead press exercise are provided in the following video. He also gives you some helpful recommendations for avoiding frequent errors and injuries when doing this weight training program.

Source: Jeff Nippard

Overhead press vs. military press: The overhead and military presses are comparable body strength and power workouts. They work the majority of the muscles in your upper body.

  • Behind The Neck Push Jerks

Behind the neck push jerk is another fantastic upper body strength exercise for BJJ players. This exercise mainly targets the shoulder muscles and stimulates the triceps and trapezius muscles. Otherwise, Behind the neck push jerk will help you develop excellent power explosivity compared to the overhead press, etc. 

This is another ideal exercise to build strength and explosive power, and therefore, you’ll improve your overall performance on the mat. Thus, You should include this shoulder press into your strength training routine for BJJ.

In the following video, you will learn some amazing details about the process of doing the behind-the-neck push jerk exercise.

Source: Wodstar

  • Bench Press

The bench press is another great upper body strength exercise for BJJ athletes. This exercise mainly targets the chest muscles (pectoralis major), stimulating the anterior deltoids and triceps brachii. Otherwise, the bench press will help you improve your endurance.

As a wise Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, you should include this shoulder press into your strength training routine. But, how do you do the bench press properly?

In the following video, Jeff Nippard walks you in-depth through the process of doing the bench press exercise. Otherwise, he also gives helpful recommendations for avoiding frequent errors and injuries when doing this weight training exercise.

Source: Jeff Nippard

  • Bent-Over Barbell Row

The bent-over barbell row is another great upper back strength exercise for Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes. This exercise mainly targets lats muscles, but it also works some of the upper and middle back muscles, including the trapezius, rhomboid glutes, etc.

As a wise competitor, you should combine this upper back weight workout into your strength training routine. But, how do you do the bent-over barbell row properly?

Jeremy Ethier takes you step-by-step through the process of doing the bent-over barbell exercise in the following video. Aside from that, it also provides some valuable tips for preventing common mistakes and injuries when using this weight training movement.

Source: Jeremy Ethier

N.B: You can also do the bent-over row using a dumbbell or kettlebell with similar benefits.

  • TRX Row

The TRX row is one of the best strength and conditioning for grapplers to develop strength, body stability, grips, etc. It is a brute bodyweight exercise that workouts some upper body muscles, including back muscles (lats, rhomboid, traps) and the shoulder and abdominal muscles.

As a wise fighter, you should add this core workout into your training routine. But, how do you do the bent-over barbell row properly?

The following video guides you step-by-step through getting an excellent TRX row workout. Aside from that, it also provides some valuable tips for preventing typical mistakes.

Source: Fit Father Project – Fitness For Busy Fathers

  • Kettlebell Turkish Get Up

The kettlebell Turkish get-up is among the best strength and power exercises for BJJ performance enhancement. It is a fantastic weight exercise that workouts almost your entire body, including your glutes, rhomboid, levator scapulae, hamstrings, triceps, and latissimus dorsi, as well as calves.

As an intelligent ju-jitsu fighter, you should add this core workout into your training routine. But, how do you do the kettlebell Turkish get-up accurately?

In the following video, Eric Leija leads you step-by-step through the process of doing the kettlebell Turkish get-up exercise. Aside from that, it also provides some valuable tips for preventing typical mistakes.

Source: Eric Leija

N.B: You can also do the Turkish get-up exercise using dumbbells with similar benefits.

Final Thoughts

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a physically demanding ground-fighting sport that needs a high degree of strength and fitness. While learning this fantastic martial art, you will encounter different postures and techniques that will require a solid core to be successful at all times.

Therefore, it is necessary to adopt an adequate strength and conditioning program to maximize your training results, particularly for a high-level athlete.

We hope that this BJJ post will help to find your top strength and conditioning programs to boost your overall performance on the mat. As a result, you’ll be able to get the most of your favorite techniques and submissions and thus level up your jiu-jitsu game.

Speak your mind; What is your superior strength and conditioning routine?

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Distinction Between Conditioning And Strength Training?

Cardio and conditioning workout entails raising the heart rate, doing more repetitions, and encountering less resistance. On the other hand, strength training is performed with stronger resistance and fewer repetitions, resulting in a lower heart rate in most cases.

Because BJJ matches usually are between 5 and 10 minutes in length, your conditioning and strength training should be designed to let you compete for at least 10 minutes without becoming fatigued.

Conditioning training for BJJ comprises multiple rounds that last between 4 and 8 minutes and consist of high repetition workouts, which should be performed without weights in most cases. Additionally, it should contain periods spent at greater and lower intensities throughout the whole exercise.

The strength required for BJJ, on the other hand, should improve the fighter’s maximal strength, with an emphasis on generating explosive power and speed as a final goal.

What Is the Best Full-Body Resistance Band Warm-up Routine For BJJ?

If you’re searching for excellent resistance band exercises to boost your fitness for jiu-jitsu, look no further. Lucas Lepri has put out an excellent training that you should consider.

  1. Biceps Curl (30s, 4 sets)
  2. Biceps with Clean (30s, 4 sets)
  3. Clean Push (30s, 4 sets)
  4. Collar Drag each side with torso rotation (30s, 4 sets)
  5. Punch with torso rotation (30s, 4 sets)
  6. Single-Leg Press (30s, 4 sets)
  7. Pushup position punch to the side (30s, 4 sets)
  8. Pushup position foot to elbow (30s, 4 sets)
  9. Snap from left to right (30s, 4 sets)
  10. Snap between legs (30s, 4 sets)
  11. Triceps push (30s, 4 sets)

Source: Lucas Lepri

What Are The Best Core Exercises for Jiu-Jitsu?

The best core exercises for jiu-jitsu focus on stability, balance, and coordination. These are essential skills to learn to avoid injury and perform better. Here are some of the best BJJ core exercises you should try.

  • Jumping jack
  • Burpees
  • Bridge
  • Mountain climber
  • Single-leg jumps
  • Reverse crunch
  • Bird dog crunch
  • Bicycle crunch
  • stability ball v-up
  • Lateral v-up
  • Stir the pot
  • Plank
  • Frog squats

What Are the Top Grip Strength Exercises for Brazilia Jiu-Jitsu?

You can attempt several exercises to strengthen your grip. The video below explains and demonstrates Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s top grip strength exercises.

Source: Garage Strength


Flexibility and stretching are essential to improving your jiu-jitsu and staying injury-free. In addition, stretching is a crucial part of a long-term, balanced BJJ training plan. Therefore, I wrote a long piece on the greatest BJJ stretching exercises, which you can read here.

Otherwise, if you’re thinking about starting Brazilian jiu-jitsu or have already begun, go here to read a lengthy guide to get started without problems.