What Are The Best Jiu-Jitsu Exercises For Holiday Damage Control

Jiu-Jitsu Exercises For Holiday Damage Control

This period of the yea is never easy.  November and December, in other words, are a period of the year where eating is a major activity during anyone’s days. Of course, this is why people later resort to New Year’s resolutions, which somehow, always get stretched to at least past the halfway point of January. Since we’re entering that stage of the year, where some will have resolutions and others will look to get (back) into fighting shape, there is a smart way to do it – specific Jiu-Jitsu exercises. It won’t be an easy one, at all, but it will most certainly be an efficient way of undoing some of that holiday damage you amassed during the last month and a half. 

Training BJJ only is a perfect way to get into shape – until it isn’t. If you’ve been training for more than a couple of years, you already have a certain level of efficiency when it comes to grappling. Once or twice you might pull off training and roll at a higher intensity as a means to get your “beach body” back. However, after a while, all that you’ll notice is that you now have an extra layer preventing you from doing stuff like inversions or folds. At a certain point, you’ll have to complement your grappling with Jiu-Jitsu exercises to really get the most bang for your buck. Why just run on a treadmill and do bench presses when you can actually speed everything up, gain strength, a better gas tank, more mobility, and get into peak fighting shape? Here’s how.

Holiday Damage Control

Let’s face it, you’ll overeat during the holiday season. Not only that, but you’ll also stretch it way past its due date. For most, that means deep into January, when you can still enjoy a few days of New Year’s leave and no training. And you know what? It is perfectly okay, as long as you have a way back. I’ve tried being disciplined and eating clean, even cutting weight in January (for the Europeans). Suffice to say, that was the hardest weight cut I’ve ever done!

New Year’s resolutions actually come with perfect timing. You’re fat enough to need some Jiu-Jitsu exercises to help you get back in shape, and there’s not much you can do unless you live in a tropical paradise. So why don’t people just go and train like they decided they’ll do? Well, because it is still cold and nobody can see how they look under all the layers of clothing we usually wear this time of year. However, if you do Jiu-Jitsu, it is about much more than just looking good or reducing some holiday blubber.

You actually need to be able to move when you grapple, and trust me, I know, holiday excesses can really throw a wrench into those plans. Moreover, if you’re a competitor, you’ve not only got to get to your weight division, but also improve performance. It is easy, the lazier you get, the more your cardio will suffer. I’ve tried for years and years to break this cycle and never really got far. Until this year. I have now found the perfect combination of Jiu-Jitsu exercises, that along with regular BJJ training will get you in peak shape in no more than a month’s time.

What Are Your Best Options?

So, you’ve decided to strip some of that holiday blubber off. Congratulations. That said, with a lot more meals coming your way as Christmas time looms, it would be even better if you kept yourself in check with some carefully selected Jiu-Jitsu exercises.

To begin with, running is actually your best friend when it comes to preventing everything you eat from sticking to your body. However, unless you’re live in the Caribbean or an equally warm spot, you’ll probably hate running outside. That is where treadmills, ellipticals, jumping rope, and other alternatives come into play. Make it a habit of doing either longer stints of lower intensity or short but brutal high-intensity intervals and enjoy the festive season.

Strength training is another thing you can hardly go wrong with. Just Lift heavy objects and you will get stronger and in better overall shape. And keep it simple – the high powerlifting three, with several extra moves, is more than enough if you’re a grappler first and foremost.

Trying to do more BJJ is also a highly efficient way of sneaking in more intensity. By more BJJ her I mean roll more, and try to make rolls more intensive, rather than being overly technical and trying to learn too many new things.

Jiu-Jitsu Exercises To Get In Fighting Shape Fast

Let’s look more closely at actual jiu-jitsu exercises that will help you shed some weight, or at least remain at your desired one while you indulge a bit more than usual during the holiday season. Why are these Jiu-Jitsu exercises? Because they’ll both help you with your BJJ performance, as well as your fitness goals.

  • chin upsChin-ups are the absolute first thing you should do, strength-wise. Do them as chin-ups, pull-ups, muscle-ups, do them with a Gi, keep your legs in an L-shape… The opportunities are plenty and you’ll get a great return!
  • Hollow Body Holds are another crazy effective exercise. This one is from gymnastics and has you using your core to keep your feet and your shoulders lifted off the ground while keeping your limbs as straight as possible. You can hold it, or you can rock your body while holding it for some crazy results in core strength!
  • Barbell Hip Thrusts are one of the Jiu-Jitsu exercises you have to do. Lying on the ground, you’ll need to prop your back against a bench, And place a barbell across your hips. The goal is to explode with your hips up, although that explosion will look really slow with big weights.
  • Kettlebell rows, done in an alternating fashion should also be high on your list. Whether you’ll do them bent over or supported over a bench is down to you. the motion is one we use constantly in BJJ, and it activates plenty of muscles in the back to really give you a good workout. Plus, you get to stabilize the weight of kettlebells while you’re doing it.
  • Crawls are the number one bodyweight and grappling-specific exercise you need to do. It will not only improve your BJJ movements, but also teach you plenty about coordination, and moving when in a fatigued state, while really challenging your heart, lungs, and muscles. Plenty of crawl variations are variable!
  • Sprinting intervals come last. since maintaining or losing weight is the focus, you’ll need some resistance here. If outdoor conditions allow it, go for hill sprints. The steeper the hill, the better. If not, sled pushes or drags are your best bet!


Do anything. Grasse the groove, do circuits, CrossFit style workouts, old-school roadwork… Organize the Jiu-Jitsu exercises above in any way you see fit as long as you’re off the couch and working all those thanksgiving turkeys and whatever else you’re going to cram during the holidays off.

The Best Strength & Conditioning DVD and Digital Instructionals

Gordon Ryan Guard Attack Instructional 2
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