Jiu Jitsu Toys: How To Optimize BJJ Training With New Age Equipment


Jiu Jitsu and Judo training has come a long way since the medieval times to encompass new age training equipments other than improvised tools or bodyweight exercises to improve the strength and conditioning of fighters. With these tools, you can stay at the cutting edge of your skills and target specific weak areas in your overall game to improve rapidly. The entire world is catching up to it, why should you be left behind.

TRX Suspension Trainers

TRX stands for Total Resistance eXercise and the equipment and accompanying training programs were developed by Randy Hetrick, a former Navy SEAL. It improves upon traditional rope exercises by allowing you to develop strength through multiple planes and ranges of motion. It is perfect for developing isometric and isotonic strength, both key forms of strength needed for BJJ and grappling. From Wikipedia, “Suspension training develops physical strength while using functional movements and dynamic positions”.

TRX for BJJ – Alliance Academy Pennsylvania

TRX is an intuitive equipment to use for Jiu Jitsu practitioners. You can suspend either your hands or feet on the equipment and make the rest of the body move through different planes to challenge those muscles that are essential to sweeps, scrambles and quickly gaining advantage on the ground. We are sharing workouts by athletes who also train Jiu Jitsu to keep the training relevant. We are hard pressed for time as it is, and it is a lot of effort to go through standard exercises, improvise upon them and then suit it to your training schedule. The above video shows how real athletes use TRX for their strength and conditioning.


This is a great collection of exercises that you can start off right away with a circuit like the Tabata protocol. It has TRX rows, hip circles and many other workouts that will benefit all weak links in your body.

TRX for Strong Jiu Jitsu Hips

On the ground, your hips and core muscles are your biggest asset. But they need to be strong enough to work against gravity and also the weight of your opponent. This exercise works on building that strength in the core and the hips through a good range of flexion and extension of the spine.

Battle Ropes

Battle Ropes were developed by John Brookfield. They challenge your body in a unique way because you have to generate a wavy kind of force instead of just linear force in one plane that is common with rigid equipments like barbells and dumbbells. Interestingly, this is the same principle a lot of internal Chinese martial arts like Taijiquan and Xing Yi are built on: the wavy, serpentine power.

How does it help you in BJJ? Think of the times you have had to stand up from someone’s guard. If you whip yourself up instead of just plainly trying to power through, you will escape the tight grip of the hips. Or the times you have to break a grip. Sometimes grip to grip fighting is not enough, you have to put the whole body’s whip behind the grip release for it to be effective.

Corey Beasly has written an extremely detailed article on battle ropes concepts and exercises and we feel it is perhaps the one must-read piece that you should go through. Here are some of the exercises from the article that you should definitely incorporate right away.

Battle Ropes Wave Training

Battle Rope Pulls

Battle Rope Partner Drills

Advanced Rope Training Exercises

Stability Balls

Stability balls have been a staple of BJJ training for quite a while now. Even with modern equipments, you can be assured every top athlete heavily uses BJJ in his or her training program. It gives you excellent proprioception and the ability to ‘float’ i.e. balance even as the person is trying to sweep, throw your over or mount. Your scrambling ability immediately improves from working out with a stability ball. It can be said it specifically helps improve your top game and sweeps.

Jeff Glover did a shoot for Jiu-Jitsu magazine where he goes through stability ball workouts for both bottom and top game. Check them out, they are insanely helpful and will help you going right away even if you haven’t used a stability ball ever.

Jeff Glover Stability Ball Work – Tops

Jeff Glover Stability Ball Work – Bottom

Watch Andre Galvao and Leo Vieira do some crazy workouts on the ball

Grappling Dummy

A grappling dummy is an excellent tool to have around if you don’t have a training partner or if you are crazy enough to drill a hundred more reps even after a day of training. Jokes apart, it specially allows you to train in suplexes and throws repeatedly which no one else would be willing to go through with you after a certain point. There might be times when you can’t visit the gym, it’s better to go over the drills than completely miss out on the training. The shape and size of the dummy ensures your solo drills are still suited to live scenarios and effective not only in your imagination.

Daniel Faggella – BJJ Sweep drills with a grappling dummy

Daniel Faggella – Armbar drills on a grappling dummy

Combat X Trainer(CXT) is a new form of grappling dummy which its inventor claims is specifically suited for BJJ. It doesn’t have a usual long torso and extended arms and legs. Instead the inflated center assumes the pivoting point around which you perform your drills. The following is a detailed episode on the CXT featuring Jeff Glover and its inventor, on Budovideos

As you might have noticed, the training methods in BJJ have exploded over the past 10 years or so. And you can be sure that even an occasional competitor uses these tools. If you want your training in BJJ to progress smoothly and meaningfully, you have to start catching up with the rest of the world and push through your imagined limits. Take home all the information from this article, and make up a plan with at least one of these tools that’s readily available to you. Stick through with it for 6 months to a year and you’ll see dramatic improvements in your strength, balance, recovery from injuries and overall ability to move better. All the best for your training and journey. OSSS!

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