Best Kettlebell Workout For Jiu Jitsu

Ellen Grant
• Tuesday, 20 October, 2020
• 7 min read

Guest post by Will Afford, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach who trains under Andre Galeão in San Diego, CA. It’s versatility and construction make it extremely useful for developing functional strength, power, and endurance that will carry over to the mat.

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(Source: bjj-world.com)


It will tax your legs and shoulders while requiring you to keep a tight core to balance the offset load. This exercise puts a twist on the Single Arm Bent Over Row and assumes a low takedown stance as if starting a match.

Do not rest the non-working hand or arm on your knee, but use the core to maintain the position with a flat lower back. The Cossack Squat is an excellent move for grapples and fighters because it works single leg strength and mobility.

If you’re new to the Cossack Squat, chances are you won't have the adequate mobility to get full range of motion for the movement. This exercise works the small muscles around your hips and upper leg that get exhausted from playing guard and forceful passing from the feet.

A staple in the kettle bell tool set, the swing delivers explosive hips, enduring grip, and lungs that won’t quit. The one arm variation will tax your grip even more and require your core to work overtime to prevent the torso from collapsing.

The goal is to maintain a symmetrical position with the body while managing an offset load, similar to the One Arm KB Thruster. Again, we rarely find ourselves pushing evenly though our muscles when grappling so this movement will develop unique strength and endurance that translates perfectly to the mat.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

Kettle bells are a great tool for improving strength and conditioning for Brazilian Jujitsu. They can be used for a variety of goals including strength, aerobic endurance, mobility and explosive power.

A couple kettle bells also take up little space and can be a great start to building a home gym. If you are strapped for time, don’t have a gym membership, or want to improve your arsenal of solo training techniques, kettle bells are a top choice for BJJ strength and conditioning.

We’ve picked the top three beginner kettle bell exercises you should add to your training for improved performance on and off the mats. The kettle bell swing is a form of explosive hip-extension training and transfers well to a variety of movements used in BJJ.

It can be used to strengthen the hips, core, and lower back and improves both strength and aerobic conditioning depending on the number of repetitions. Bend forward with a neutral spine position, tighten your abs, and grab the handle with a loose but secure grip.

At the top of the swing, hike the kettle bell backward just like you did on the first repetition and repeat for the number of reps in the set. The kettle bell goblet squat is another foundational movement that can build strength in the hips, legs and core.

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Mechanics Of The Kettle bell Goblet Squat To perform a goblet squat, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and hold your kettle bell at chest-level by the handle either “bottoms up” or “bottoms down.” Your feet should be slightly turned outward between five and 12 degrees. Once you’ve reached the bottom, drive evenly through both feet to return to the top position.

As with the kettle bell swing, starting with five sets of 10 repetitions should give you a good workout as you learn to master the movement. The Turkish Get-Up is an amazing exercise for building isometric strength, improving mobility and reducing injury risk in the shoulders and hips.

Once your arm is extended straight above your chest, shift your weight to the opposite hip and lift the kettle bell -side shoulder off the ground. At this point, lift your hips by pushing through your foot and opposite hand while keeping the kettle bell extended above you.

Ultimately, Turkish Get-Ups are a great warm-up and mobility tool before more advanced kettle bell work. Swings, snatches and cleans are about the only exercises I see so called kettle bell experts doing.

I have dedicated the last 6 years of my life to kettle bells and body weight training specifically for BJJ/MMA conditioning. Over this period of time, I have developed new kettle bell movements, released 3 DVDs on the subject and administered certifications all over the world with my Kettle- Jitsi system.

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(Source: www.bjjee.com)

I am a Brazilian Jujitsu Black belt and over the last 2 years I've competed in 18 BJJ tournaments. After reading numerous articles on core strength for MMA/BJJ, I decided to take a stab at it.

I guess you can call this 7 unconventional BJJ/MMA specific Kettle bell exercises for core strength. I use the word unconventional, because these aren’t the typical KB exercises you see people doing.

I teach large classes, so using a kettle bell allows me to utilize minimal space and still deliver an amazing workout. Snake move is an essential movement that you have to master if you want to fight off of your back effectively.

I like to add a press to this exercise to hit more muscle groups simultaneously. UPA is typically used for escaping the mount and as a way to offset your opponents balance.

But this is a partial movement of an exercise commonly called “standing up in base” in BJJ. Hopping back and forth builds momentum, so your core works harder to stabilize your body.

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Bridge and sprawl: In this one, I'm combining 2 of common movements used in ground fighting. This exercise also requires coordination, agility and focus into one flowing movement.

We were using these exercises combined into a circuit and afterwards he said, “Man, I felt like I was in a fight the whole time!” To make a routine like this you will typically need various different training devices. As kettle bells gained popularity in the fitness world, training with them become more complicated.

Plus, the one thing you’re surely not factoring in is the time you spend looking at DVDs or YouTube videos related to BJJ. Given that most people out there do have a few other things to do, like jobs, family etc, this leaves really little time for additional training.

This again demands preparation, commuting, training at a facility, monthly fees etc. While the Turkish get-ups are definitely a good choice, there’s a surprise contender that offers even more benefits.

People rarely see kettle bell windmills as a strength building exercise. The abdominal and lumbar muscles to make a large chunk of the core.

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Other key components are the muscles of the upper back and the shoulders on one end. As you can see, the core requires most of your torso musculature to put in some work.

As such, training the core to be able to move in a full range of motion in each possible direction is crucial for grapples. Doing that requires either a very complicated program or just one carefully picked kettle bell exercise.

You’ll get stronger without a doubt since you’re using an external resistance that you can increase at all times. What you get from windmills is direct dynamic work of your oblique and side abdominal.

During this, the front abdominal and the muscles on your back work hard to stabilize. Since the weight remains over your head, you also get a lot of shoulder mobility and stability work.

And, your hip flexors and hamstrings, in particular, get to work a lot both concentrically and eccentrically. From a conditioning perspective, try going for time with just one kettle bell and tell us how you feel after 20 minutes non-stop.

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(Source: bjjfanatics.com)

Since he is also a solid grapple, he’d be my choice for a strength and conditioning trainer. Since I can’t get to him, I use his “KB Essentials Instructional Guide” DVD set to great success.

Or, pick up a good instructional DVD, like Mike Perry’s. The starting position of the windmill is with a kettle bell held over your head with one arm.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: 15 Must Do Kettlebell Exercises
02: 15 Pound Kettlebell
03: 15 Pound Kettlebell Workouts
04: Nicknames For Kettlebell
05: Creative Names For Kettlebell Classes
06: Crossfit Kettlebell Weight For Men
1 www.mensjournal.com - https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/how-to-choose-the-right-kettlebell-weight-w447908/
2 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/what-is-the-best-kettlebell-weight-to-start-with/
3 www.marathon-crossfit.com - http://www.marathon-crossfit.com/blog/which-kettlebell-set-should-i-buy
4 www.boxrox.com - https://www.boxrox.com/strength-building-kettlebell-workouts-for-crossfit-athletes-rx-scaled-and-beginner-2/
5 board.crossfit.com - https://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php
6 revival-strength.com - https://revival-strength.com/crossfit-kettlebell-workouts/