How To Improve Cardio For Jiu-Jitsu? 5 Tips From The Pros

How To Improve Cardio For Jiu-Jitsu? 5 Tips From The Pros

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How To Improve Cardio For Jiu-Jitsu – 5 Tips From The Pros

If you’ve ever trained in Jiu-Jitsu, you’re probably aware of how physically demanding and exhausting it is to grapple at your maximum intensity. The competitive nature of BJJ favors the competitor who can push the pace and maximize the intensity while keeping their composure and using the right technique.

Although many martial artists used to run longer distances to increase their cardio, this type of training is not the most efficient. Do not misunderstand me; cardio for martial arts has a place for long-slow-distance training, as it is known in the strength and conditioning community.

How To Improve Cardio For Jiu-Jitsu?

Building up a strong aerobic foundation is a good way to get ready for more intense cardio, and it always beats lying on the couch.

You should increase your grappling stamina. Long-term cardio is not a good indicator of BJJ intensity, though. To put it simply, grappling exchanges frequently involve aerobic intensities that are higher than what you can maintain for more than a few minutes, if not a few seconds.

You must now choose which training technique, or modality, you intend to use in order to achieve your cardio goals now that you are aware of the general framework and goals of cardio training. Generally speaking, any repetitive cardio exercise can be used.

Check out: How can I make my strength training more effective?

How Much Cardio Do You Need For BJJ?

BJJ beginners should not do more than 30 minutes of cardio. Many people injure themselves by beginning with intense workouts, but overtraining can strain the muscles. Instead, begin with 30 minutes of steady cardio three times per week.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu athletes can incorporate a variety of different cardio exercises into their workout routines. This is also true for students who get hurt and return to BJJ after a long break; in this case, it is important for them to begin with cardio exercises because they can help them quickly get back into the swing of things.

Some BJJ competitors also compete and train in mixed martial arts, so they are well-versed in demanding cardio exercises.

Is Cardio Important For BJJ?

Jiu-Jitsu requires a cardio workout. It increases and improves the efficiency of the heart and lungs, allowing the BJJ player to perform consistently for a longer period of time.

Students can maximize their cardio strength by engaging in real-world sparring or timed rounds of punching a bag. Boxing is a great cardio workout. Punching a heavy bag for three minutes straight without stopping is exhausting, but it can be very beneficial for a BJJ competitor.

 Here are some ways to carry out cardio for Jiu-Jitsu:

1. Swimming

Swimming is possibly the most low-impact cardio activity available. You not only avoid many of the issues associated with running’s impact, but you also use more coordinated, full-body movement patterns

The main disadvantage of swimming is that you must be a competent swimmer to use this training method. Rotator cuff problems can develop if you have shoulder problems or poor swimming form. As with running, start slowly and consider taking swimming lessons if you have never learned to swim.

2. Climbing rocks

It would be best to incorporate some cross-training into your workout routines if you want to improve your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu performance.

If you are familiar with how rock climbing operates, you may have noticed that it is the best exercise for working every muscle group simultaneously. Additionally, it teaches you to balance and strengthens your core while making your grip insanely strong.

3. Running

The most commonly used modality for cardiovascular fitness is running. You can sprint for high intensity and jog for low intensity if you have a pair of running shoes and a place to run.

Running has a high impact on your joints, which is their main drawback. Running, especially on harder surfaces, can make any underlying knee or ankle problems worse. Before progressing to more intense sprinting or any longer runs, start with a few 15-20 minute jogs each week if you intend to use running as your cardio exercise.

4. Rope Jumping

A traditional martial arts cardio exercise that can be very effective, takes up little room, allows for a wide range of intensities, and has a relatively low impact is iRopeJumping or skipping rope. If you are new to skipping rope, start with just a few minutes per day to give your joints time to adjust to the impact, as with any method.

Jumping rope is an essential skill for any martial artist and serves as a cardio and footwork exercise. Jump ropes allow a wide progression of skills including double-unders, crossovers, and high-knee variations to increase intensity. They are also relatively inexpensive compared to other cardio equipment.

5. Biking

Cycling is yet another low-impact cardio training option. Personally, I do not believe cycling is as efficient as other methods, and it requires a good bike that is properly fitted to your frame. However, if you enjoy cycling and have the proper equipment, it can be a viable cardio method.

Training Methods For Cardio Exercises for Jiu-Jitsu

How To Improve Cardio For Jiu-Jitsu – 5 Tips From The Pros

Here are the two ways you should train when it comes to cardio for Jiu-Jitsu


High-intensity interval training is the primary method used to improve the glycolytic system (HIIT). HIIT is typically performed with ‘duty cycles’ of 20-30 seconds and active rest periods of the same length – though this varies depending on the program.

When doing HIIT, you can use a variety of exercises as long as you use proper form. Jumping rope, aerodyne biking, and kettlebell exercises are among them. Even live BJJ drilling and rolling can be used for HIIT if done correctly. Shark tank training is an excellent way to fine-tune your conditioning for the BJJ competition.

In general, your HIIT intervals should mimic the typical intensity of the sport. Because BJJ frequently consists of bursts of activity followed by brief periods of rest.

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LESS training is an abbreviation for low-intensity steady-state exercise. Longer distance runs and swimming are examples of this type of training. Longer runs are frequently associated with martial arts training. However, if you focus too much on LESS and do not do enough intense interval training, you will not adequately stress the glycolytic system.

Longer-duration cardio, on the other hand, is a good way to improve the aerobic system. It is much easier on the body and joints than HIIT and can be done more frequently with less risk of injury.

The Verdict

These are just a few suggestions to help you fill up your Jiu-Jitsu gas tank. Even if you only try a couple of these, you’ll be much more likely to improve your resistance to opponents.

Jiu-Jitsu is a unique sport, so there is no exact substitute for practice, but combining these tips will almost certainly help with your cardio training for Jiu-Jitsu. There are numerous training methods available, so feel free to experiment. Remember, everyone is different, and there is no perfect match, but chances are you’ll stick with it if you enjoy it. Often, the small changes we make add up to produce bigger results.

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