Grips strength is essential for any BJJ fighter. It is indeed such an important part of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that it can make the difference between winning or losing a match. However most of us dedicate very little time to train the strength and endurance of our grips. Why? well, probably because it is boring and we prefer to keep rolling or learning technique than hanging on a rope :’)
But I’ve rolled with people who had such strong grips that from the moment they grab me, there was nothing I could do. And that annoyed me. A lot. And I decided time ago to work on my grips too.
And that is something that you can perfectly focus on when you are pregnant, in the first week recovery after delivery or from an injury (not related to the fingers/arm obviously)
There are many different ways to train the grip strength and do not forget it is not only about the strength of the fingers but also the forearm muscles that you have to exercise.
Some of those ways include:
- climbing (rope or rock climbing)
- holding and lifting (kettelbells, swing hammers)
- technical drills
Some of them you CAN’T do while being pregnant because of the risk of falling down (like climbing) or because it works on abdominal muscles or lifting too much weight (like kettelbells).
On the top of that, I prefer to use the gi for developing grip strength, since I believe it is the most effective, simulating the real grips you are ging to use when sparring.
In the short video below you can see my favorite one when my belly was so big that I could barely do anything else. This exercises also work your deltoid muscles and help to have a stronger back too.
Grip strength can take some time to build but it will definitely come, you just have to give it time, hold on practicing and of course, don’t neglect it when your baby is out and you can do full sparring again 😉
One advice more! Any BJJ practitioner who has spent a lot of time training with the gi has felt the ache in her hands and forearms from constant gripping. Two things here, try self-massages and second and most important, there are special exercises to work exactly on the opposite: the extensors. Push ups against a wall or just stretching you fingers to the back, it helps a lot to create balance in the hand and fingers muscles preventing injuries and unnecessary pain.