Five Reasons Strength Training Helps Your BJJ
You've probably heard it before: "The only way to improve your jiu jitsu is by training jiu jitsu." Well, yes, that's true. You can't expect to get better at jiu jitsu by NOT training jiu jitsu. However, adding strength training to your regime provides a multitude of benefits, even if you're not a serious competitor.
Here are five reasons strength training can help your BJJ:
Muscle Endurance - We've all been there. After a couple hard rolls... or your first match at a major competition... your knees feel like jello and your grips are non-existent. Jiu jitsu can only go so far in developing your muscle endurance, and odds are, you're working only a select few muscle groups (those that you use with your particular game). A varied strength training program can take your muscle endurance to the next level and gives you control over your progress through increased weight and resistance.
Explosive Power - Whether you're a guard player or a top gamer, there are moments in which you need fast, explosive power behind your techniques in order to catch your opponent off guard and secure a more dominant position, or even a submission. Just as with muscle endurance, it's hard to consistently develop this just through jiu jitsu. Strength training enables you to develop your explosive power on a regular basis and in a controlled scenario, so that you can see and measure your progress.
Injury Prevention - Jiu jitsu puts you in some really strange positions - either by your own volition or because your opponent put you there. On top of that, regular training puts a lot of stress on your body, especially your joints. Strength training prevents injuries by strengthening the stabilizing muscles around your joints, providing added protection when you find yourself in compromising situations. Additionally, the stronger you are, the more you are able to control your opponent's movements, including any overly-aggressive and uncontrolled movements that could cause you harm.
Injury Rehabilitation - So the worst has happened: you're injured. Whether it's a serious injury or a minor one, strength training assists in injury recovery in a number of ways. In the case of a serious injury, the muscles around the affected area weaken due to lack of use, while other muscles have become disproportionately stronger due to compensation. Strength training helps to correct this imbalance. Strength training also allows you to keep training - certain uninjured areas of the body, of course - and maintain a moderate level of fitness while you're recovering. Additionally, the stronger muscles you've developed prior to an injury also aid in injury recovery by providing added protection against further injury while you're healing.
Expanded Range of Training Partners - Finally, simply being stronger will increase your range of potential training partners, as you will be able to train more effectively - and safely - with people who would ordinarily be much stronger than you. Yes, without strength training you are free to train with whomever you want, but the operative words here are "effectively" and "safely". If you're constantly being smashed because of your lack of strength, that training partner is doing nothing for your personal growth within jiu jitsu, and indeed may even injure you and set your training back.
We hope you've been convinced that a supplemental strength training program will aid in your jiu jitsu growth and development.
Train on. Oss.