Strength Training for jiu jitsu: The Most important lifts

Jiu jitu is sport where technique is the most important . There is a saying: “to be good at jiu jitsu you must do jiu jitsu”  and all can agree this is true. However on most earlier beginner level and high competitive level strength and conditioning can be determining factor in who wins the fight.

As athletes we must strive to be as the best we can be and that’s why its crucial to use any competitive edge we can get. Competition on side, there are certain lifts often called functional lifts which are good not only for BJJ but also for overall health, posture and hormonal balance.

The best strength exercises for BJJ

As mentioned above training jiu jitsu is the thing you should focus on, and with life commitments, work and family we barely have time to focus on other things. With this in mind your strength training should be most time efficient as it can be, So all exercises included should matter. You can see that in this program there are no simple isolation exercises. We focus on exercises that activate more muscle in same time. This are lifts exercises you should do:


Most essential functional move is to pick up something from the floor and put it back to the floor. Being functional compound exercise deadlift activated large number of muscles like: finger flexors(grip), lower back, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors, core and Meany more. Now you can see why is deadlift considered to be a king of the weight lifting exercises. Important thing for deadlift and for any other exercise from the list is to execute exercise properly! Check out most common deadlift mistakes in video below:


Having stronger legs is very beneficial in jiu jitsu and the way to do it is to squat heavy. The Squat is one of the most effective strength-building, lower-body exercise used regularly by athletes. Squats is compound movement and it actives your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core and more. Dont use machine to do squats ALWAYS do free weight squat.

Pull ups

In jiu jitsu we often use pull movement. Holding grips, pulling your opponent arm, grabbing collar, breaking posture and so on are all examples of pulling in jiu jitsu . Great exercise to increase your pull strength are pull ups. Good thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere: the gym, the park, or even at home.

pull ups bjj

Bench press

The Bench press is the most famous pushing exercise and its considered by many to be “ego“ lift, also Meany beginners are often seen using infamous bench press side escape. This exercise is important for overall strength . The most effected muscles by bench press are: packs, triceps and anterior deltoids.