BJJ Cross Training – Benefits and Types

As with everything practice makes perfect, it is no different from BJJ. So, if you want to improve your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game the best way to do this is to just keep drilling and rolling. However, this does not mean, that we should be limited only to practicing jiu jitsu. BJJ cross training has many benefits. In the below article you will see what other sports are worth trying so that they help improve our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game.


Why you should try BJJ cross training? 

Cross training is a situation when you are practicing some other sports to improve your performance in your main discipline. This approach has many advantages and allows you to become more versatile. Trying other sports is just a way of supplementing your BJJ training. For example, it will help to grow the number of moves in your arsenal. BJJ cross training helps in learning the traits of different fighting styles. For example, practicing Judo or wrestling will improve significantly your takedown game.

Such trying different disciplines can also give you a fresh perspective on things and broaden your horizons. Cross training is just a great way of avoiding being close-minded and a great way of constantly learning something new. Remember, cross training is not only limited to other martial arts/combat sports and improving your arsenal of techniques. It is also great for developing greater strength or speed. Practicing things like yoga or running outside BJJ will, for example, have a positive effect on your flexibility or condition.

If you want to succeed in the BJJ, it is important to keep an open mind. Staying away from new ideas will only hurt your game and hinder your knowledge. Being able to take ideas, techniques, and knowledge from other martial arts/combat sports and other activities will make you a more well-rounded fighter. BJJ cross training is just a way of learning as much as you can to make your game better.


Best sports to cross train with BJJ

The BJJ practitioners who want to improve their game and turn to cross training are mostly choosing sports such as Cross FitYoga, Rock Climbing, Running and Swimming. And when it comes to other martial arts/combat sports they choose, those are mostly JudoWrestling, and Sambo. Below you’ll see why these disciplines are good for BJJ cross training.


Martial arts/combat sports Cross



Judo makes a great supplement of BJJ due to its different throwing techniques. There are really many of them and they can be used both in gi and no-gi. It is also a good discipline to train for the jiu jitsu practitioner because it incorporates the gi too. Thanks to that Judo will help to develop your grip strength and knowledge. They put a lot of emphasis on grip strength and explosiveness, so it is really worth learning grip game from them. Judo grips are considered to be some of the most serious grips in the entire world.


If you are interested in Judo for BJJ check also: 

The Best No Gi Judo Throws for BJJ


Uchi Mata for BJJ – Key Details


Wrestling is another discipline worth considering practicing next to BJJ due to its takedown techniques. Double or single leg takedowns are one of the most popular takedowns techniques with wrestling origin that been perfectly incorporated into BJJ. However, wrestling will not just give you a technical advantage when it comes to your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As a more cardio intensive than jiu jitsu it can also help to improve your conditioning by leaps and bounds


If you are interested in wrestling for BJJ check also: 

Russian Tie in BJJ: what is it and how to use it?

Ankle Pick: How to set up and Finish this Takedown


Sambo is often overlooked amongst others in the grappling world. But make no mistake; sambo is a killer supplement for any BJJ fighter. Sambo is a clear blend of ethnic wrestling style and judo, but it has its own unique identity that will make your game different. Sambo has a bit more intensity and is also known for the killer leg locks. There are several leg locks in this style, including ankle locks, toe holding, kneebars, and calf slicers. Your knowledge about them will significantly improve your BJJ. Sambo can only strengthen your game and give you some unconventional ways to tap out your opponent.


Other sports/activities



Yoga is an activity that is amazingly supplementing your BJJ practice. It is great for gaining more flexibility, which later translates for executing techniques easier (rubber guard etc.). BJJ students will also find yoga really helpful for their posture and pain problems. In many cases, it can help rejuvenate and restore damaged joints and muscles and undo any damage that could be caused through hard grappling sessions too. Moreover, yoga is also great for learning body awareness and breath control.


If you are interested in yoga for BJJ check also: 

Hip Mobility for BJJ – Best Exercises and Stretches



BJJ is a sport in which you are using your entire body, all your muscles are working. Your arms, legs, and torso will have to work tirelessly and in unison in order for you to be able to just survive. Even your neck muscles will have to work to resist the clinch and the various chokes. CrossFit is great to train next to BJJ because of the fact that it consists of many types of workouts that will also target all the muscles of your body. Practicing it is just a good way of preparing your body for rolling.


If you are interested in strenght and conditioning  for BJJ check also: 

Back to basics – 5×5 Strength Program for BJJ & MMA

Bodyweight Workout for BJJ Practicioners

Joe Rogan Kettlebell Workout for MMA and BJJ


Rock climbing

Climbing is above all just a fun and challenging activity. It can be an outdoor sport, practiced in some national parks, etc., but also indoor in gyms. It is a good whole-body workout as you are using your arms, core, and legs to maneuver up the wall or facade. The greatest benefit of climbing for improving your BJJ game is better strength and conditioning. This sport will help you with stamina, core, and leg strength. It will also make your grips almost impossible to break.


Running and swimming  

During a BJJ match or a roll, you are in almost constant motion. And to do that you should be in really good shape. So, if you want to improve your conditioning to be better at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, both swimming and running are great here. Both of these activities are widely available and relatively easy. They are also simultaneously very beneficial for BJJ. Practicing them will increase your stamina and translates into the ability to roll more, without getting tired.


In conclusion 

BJJ cross training has really many advantages and the selection of sports to train next to jiu jitsu is really huge. Depending on what you want to improve in your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game, you can choose a discipline best suited for that. For example, if you need to work on takedowns you can try Judo or wrestling if you want to be more flexible choose yoga. No matter what you choose, not just limiting yourself to BJJ will have a very positive effect on you. However, if you think Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the main sport for you, you cannot skip it to practice other disciplines. Then it misses the point. These other activities are supposed to be a supplement for your jiu jitsu, not a replacement.