5 best activities to supplement your Jiu Jitsu

Training jiu-jitsu is ultimately the best way to get better at jiu-jitsu. We all know that, but what about adding a couple of different activities or sports into the mix to change things up?

Even on rest days or times you’re away from the mats, it’s good to get some cross-training in to add diversity to your regime, and to get some fun out of some other sports besides jiu-jitsu.

Here are five different activities that can benefit your breathing, athletic ability, agility, and flexibility.

Basketball is a highly athletic sport that requires quick and precise body movements, advanced lateral coordination, and explosive jumping ability. One of the best examples of a combat athlete who also played basketball was one of boxing’s greatest of all time, Roy Jones Jr. In 1996, he even played a game of basketball for the Jacksonville Barracudas earlier in the afternoon before he was defending his super middleweight title. He had some of the fastest hands and foot speed in the game and basketball was always part of the champ’s training routine.

The explosive cardio workout and endurance of basketball is sure to carry over to the mat and will increase your recovery and rolling time. Basketball will also improve your concentration, not to mention hand-eye coordination and full-body motor skills.

If you’ve never tried a hot yoga class before, you’re missing out on something special for many reasons. Taking an hour to relax the mind and body after a strenuous day by practicing some yoga can have serious positive benefits. The flowing of movements through strength, balance, and flexibility combined with the awareness of your breathing, is exactly what we do in jiu-jitsu. The peace and quiet of yoga is the perfect platform to visualize.

I frequently think about BJJ moves while in deep focus. At the same time, I am mindful of my body position and balance. Also, in a hot yoga class, you must embrace the heat, humidity, and sweat of the room, similar to an awesome GI session.

The remaining reason to check out a hot yoga class is obvious.

There is something about the natural beauty and power of the ocean that many jiu-jitsu practitioners gravitate to. The beach, surf, and sun lifestyle is loved by most. Scuba diving and free diving are two adventurous sports that have benefited me greatly on the mat because I began to learn more about my body’s physiological and physical capabilities. Scuba diving requires you to control a relaxed state of constant breathing, which can be very soothing and even euphoric at greater depths. Free diving demands an unparalleled amount of breath control and relaxation. Learning the required apnea (breath holding) techniques made significant improvements in my overall lung and air intake capabilities

Both forms of diving require serious concentration and full-body, zero-impact movement that is awesome for blood circulation, flexibility, strength, and respiratory functionality.    

Strength and conditioning is sure to not be left off this list. By adding in a couple sessions a week with some kettle bells, dumbbells, barbells, rings, and other quality forms of fitness equipment, you can increase your muscular endurance while improving muscle strength, which in turn protects your joints from injury. If you are inexperienced to this form of training, it is important to work with a trainer or someone qualified to help you reach your strength and fitness goals. From weight management to increased stamina, resistance or body weight training should be a part of every BJJ practitioner’s supplementation.

The last one on the list is a bit more unique but has been proven to translate over to the mats effectively. Breakdancing is not only a beautiful, intricate art form in itself, but is also a super technical and powerful dance style that requires serious body control and strength.

The freedom of creativity expressed by a B-Boy in a battle is similar to that of a roll or a BJJ battle so to speak. Both art forms possess a heavy emphasis on flexibility and angles, and also require power movements complementing transitional flow and timing.

Breaking is an advanced form of body movement that takes years of practice to master, and most of the people reading this would rather spend those years on the mat, but if you come from a B-Boy background, the transition into jiu-jitsu could be easier. A perfect example of this is 10th planet jiu- jitsu’s Geo Martinez, who in only three years is one of the fastest black belt promotions in history.    



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