Yoga for BJJ sounds weird to many of you, right? Well, it is one of the greatest ways to boost your
flexibility and develop into a superb grappling phenom.
While some positions demand no flexibility at all, just remind yourself of triangle chokes or Gogoplatas which are impossible to hit if your muscles are stiff. So it’s time to get to know how yoga for BJJ affects your grappling performance.
What Are The Benefits Of Yoga For BJJ?
BJJ is a martial art that demands superb levels of flexibility and an amazing ability to quickly transition
off your back to side mount or any other position. Submission switches play a vital role in your game,
especially if you’re a defensive-minded grappler. So here is the list of the most important benefits of
yoga for BJJ performance:
- It boosts your flexibility, the most important part of BJJ. Have you ever seen a world champion
with stiff hips or shoulders? An offensive-minded grappler doesn’t have to be made of rubber,
but an all-around fighter is a different story. Even when you fight off the top, sometimes you
might have a hard time finishing the submission if you lack flexibility.
- Breathing. You must learn to breathe properly because it decreases your pulse and fatigue
levels during the fight. Yoga is your perfect ally here. Each roll demands careful breathe control.
Look at this BJJ video.
- Special moves plus intelligence. Here is an example – Gogoplata is a trademark of many
defensive-minded grapplers. But wrapping your legs around the opponent’s arms and shoulders
is very tough. Yes, you need flexibility for this, but yoga also boosts your fighting intelligence and
unlocks new moves.
- It increases strength and balance levels. Some yoga drills are designed to make your muscles
stronger and decrease the difference between the left and right side of your body, which is
awesome because it turns you into an all-around grappler.
- Yoga corrects posture. BJJ mostly leads to poor posture, especially if you’re offensive-minded.
Some yoga exercises strengthen your spine muscles, which leads to keeping your vertebrae
straight like an arrow.
- It boosts mental strength. The last benefit refers to Bikram Yoga, which is practiced in a heated
room. Increased humidity and heat might push your mind to the limits.
5 Yoga for BJJ Poses That Every BJJ Practitioner Should Do Every Day
Yoga poses are the direct connection between strength and conditioning drills and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Weight training is fair too but these lovely drills boost your BJJ performance with style.
Maybe this is not 100% BJJ drill, but it will improve the flexibility of your spine and affect positively on
fighting from the top position for sure. It is one of the greatest drills to neutralize hunched back and
make your shoulders more flexible. Here is an instructional video.
In BJJ, it is good to defend some chokes (for example, guillotine or triangle). Note: the exercise is ok as long your hips maintain the contact with the floor, otherwise, the technique is wrong.
It is an advanced drill that significantly increases the flexibility of your spine. It doesn’t directly affect your BJJ skills, but it stretches your stomach, shoulders, hips, and quads; which might be beneficial during advanced rolls. Try to bend as much as possible. Here is the exercise video below.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
It is probably the best yoga for BJJ pose if you are an offensive-minded fighter. Also, this is superb for
MMA, because it gives you the ability to punish the opponent with a barrage of punches and elbows and
control him from the top.
The drill is an awesome choice for shoulder, hamstrings, and back stretching. Watch the instructional
If you want to increase the difficulty, just put your arms away from your head as much as possible.
Plough pose sounds a fabulous choice for someone who works from open guard all the time, keeping his
hips high and not letting the foe pass his legs. It is a must for any advanced technique. The exercise is a
great choice to stretch your lower back and neutralize the spine pain, but it also improves the flexibility of shoulders and upper back. The video tutorial below shows you how to perform it.
If you want to make the drill harder, just push your toes further away from your head.
Pigeon pose is an excellent pick for fighters who like to defend off their backs. Avid fans of Bellator MMA
have seen Haim “The Israeli Batman” Gozali demonstrating the superpower of flexible hips many times.
Out of MMA, pigeon pose is fantastic for the fans of open guard, rubber guard or even a high guard (this
is applicable when you transition to Omoplata, Gogoplata or some other submission). You can take a
look at the instructional video below.
This exercise improves the flexibility of your hip abductors and adductors. You can stretch your back leg
further or drop your elbows to the floor to increase the drill difficulty.
Yoga for BJJ is required because elite grapplers must be flexible and creative. A tougher fighter always
has more options to finish the fight and escape the submission attempt under his belt.
Don’t underestimate the power of yoga, it boosts flexibility and teaches the fighter to think quickly,
unlocking more options and potential ways to win the fight.