Many BJJ practitioners focus their entire attention on the skills and techniques that they use on the mats. They do berimbolos, neckties, lasso guard variations, and other moves. This is not that bad of a deal, to be frank. You need to focus a large part of your attention to various BJJ moves and techniques – we’re not disputing this. However, if there is one often overlooked element that can dramatically influence your progress in BJJ, it would have to be your grip strength. Below you will find out some more information about how you can increase your grip strength and why you should do this.
The importance of grip strength for BJJ
If you practice the classic gi BJJ, then you have undoubtedly become aware of the importance of how you use your fingers. There are many different moves that you can execute with the help of the fingers. Depending on your preferences, you may center your entire BJJ game on grips. And this is exactly why it’s important for you to have a strong grip with your fingers.
You see, it’s not all about knowing the techniques and moves that you could do by gripping your opponent’s gi. It’s also very important for you to have strong grips as well. If you don’t have strong grips – then your opponent may easily wiggle away out of your grips and reverse the position. But if you have strong grips, then you will see that it will be very difficult for your opponent to try and break them. That being said, below you will find some of the best methods for training your gripping strength.
Training your grip strength
There are several methods that you could use in order to improve your grip strength. The first and most important one is to use them while you roll or drill. You’ll want to use them as much as possible for performing various moves – with a caveat. The caveat is that the fingers aren’t exactly the strongest parts of your body. They too have their limits – and if you’re not careful enough, you may break them. You’ll see that many of the BJJ practitioners wear tapes on their fingers so as to protect them from further damage. Use your fingers correctly and you won’t have this issue.
If you want to develop powerful grip strength, then you need to do some pull-ups. And mind you, we’re not talking about regular pull-ups. They are good for developing your overall grip strength – but when it comes to the specific strength of your fingers, they are lacking. What you want to do is grab your gi and put it over a pull-up bar. Then you should grab the ends of the gi with your fingers and do pull-ups in this way. You’ll be surprised to see that your pull-up strength will drop in half, at the least. You’ll be able to do very few pull-ups when compared to the pull-ups that you can do with a regular grip.
Again, be mindful not to overuse your fingers – they can be rather vulnerable. We recommend that you do these exercises once or twice per week, alongside your regular gripping while you train BJJ. These hanging grip exercises shouldn’t be that difficult to visualize, but if you want to see a demonstration, check out the video below:
Another powerful exercise that you can do if you wish to improve your grip strength is the so-called fingertip push-up. You do this exercise like you would do a regular push-up – only this time, you will do them on the pads of your fingers instead of on your entire palms. It may seem impossible for you to do a single push-up of this variation if you have weak fingers. If this is the case, then you can make the movement easier. You can do a knee-pushup or even a wall-pushup in order to go easy on your fingers.
Dont forget to worm up your fingers
One more thing – make sure to always warm your fingers up before working them out. A good thing to do would be to do a couple of wall fingertip push-ups before going on with your regular exercises. You could also hang for half a minute in order to activate the gripping muscles. You can do a “claw” – imagine that you’re clawing something with your fingers, only do it very slowly while focusing on the strength of your fingers. If you do all this, you will protect your fingers from any injuries.
Work on your grip strenght
The gripping strength in BJJ is one of the most important aspects of your overall strength when it comes to this sport. That being said, there are a number of exercises that you could do in order to improve your grip strength. In the end, you will be able to develop an unshakeable, strong grip that will serve you well in BJJ.
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