Before we start, have you ever wondered which muscle groups are most often used in BJJ?
Do you know which muscles in your body work when you defend
off your back or try to make a transition from the full guard to side control?
If your answer is no, you came to the right place!
Hold each exercise at least 30 seconds or more. Your muscles will become more flexible if and only if you maintain the maximum stretch position longer than 20 seconds.
The Most Used muscles in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Are:
Hip flexors (Sartorius, rectus femoris, iliopsoas) when you work from the top position.
Hip adductors (adductor magnus, longus and brevis)–almost every defense of your back activates those muscles.
Hip abductors (gluteus medius and minimus, tensor fasciae latae) when you try to pass spider or butterfly guard, you must show amazing amplitude.
Trapezius and shoulder muscles (when you turtle or try to prevent the choke attempt or work off the full guard, the mobility of your shoulder muscles and traps should be at least good, otherwise you’ll end up in a trouble).
Look at the stretching routine below, with technical analysis and description. We will look at the BJJ side of each exercise.
Hip Flexor Opener
Quadriceps and hip flexors are used in almost every dominant
position–side mount, full mount, a full guard or half guard. These muscles are
important to pass through the opponent’s guard.
“Fighting off the back” could be the monicker for this
exercise. You need flexible adductors to neutralize your partner from breaking
your spider, butterfly, X, or worm guard, and prevent him from ending up in the
V Hamstring Stretch
This exercise is critical when you want to make a sweep or a
This drill is vital for the situation when you counter an
opponent in the full mount and end up on the top of him. Also, it is useful for
some choking attempts, like leg scissor choke, require superb flexibility of your
adductors, especially if the opponent is not directly in front of you. Spider
guard experts love this exercise too.
This exercise helps every BJJ practitioner who has problems
with lasso guard or can’t successfully block the opponent who tries to walk his
way around X or spider guard.
Seated Hip Twist Stretch
This exercise is crucial for successful sweep attempts. When
you pass from a bad to a dominant position, you need to explode in the split of
a second. Successful hip escape also demands to rotate your opponent and get on
top, so very flexible spine muscles can only help you with that.
Seated Internal Rotation Stretch
Sometimes you’ll need an abnormal level of flexibility to
save yourself from an aggressive opponent who tries to isolate your limb over
and over. Good hip internal rotation positively affects your defensive skills.
This exercise is excellent for BJJ fighters who like to work
from the top position or prefer locking double underhooks. The flexible back is
a must for grapplers who want to fight well off the dominant position.
The best exercise for fighters who show the best
performances while on their back. This drill allows you to improve your defense
from X, spider, butterfly, and worm guard.
Lying Crossover Stretch
This exercise improves lower back mobility, which is
outstanding when you perform a sweep or transition off your back, especially
when your partner is in the full guard.