Benefits of Sandbag Conditioning For Jiu-Jitsu

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Out of the odd object you can use to improve your BJJ conditioning, there’ one that hits a very specific spot for grapplers. Sandbag conditioning is a fun way of getting your homework done with a very grappling-specific tool. There are countless benefits of sandbag conditioning for grapplers. At the same time, a sandbag is extremely easy to buy or make and doesn’t require any space.

The sandbag is a very unusual tool for conditioning. Do not expect to find it in your commercial gym. Actually, even the hardcore gyms that house sandbags are pretty hard to find. This is surprising as sandbag conditioning is a perfect way to improve performance for any kind of sport. When it comes to grappling martial arts, the sandbag is arguably the best conditioning tool you can use. It is going to make your heart and lungs work like crazy while increasing your strength as well. Furthermore, it is going to do wonders for your gripping strengths, especially if you’re a Gi competitor.  

When we’re talking about sandbag conditioning for grappling, go old school. Modern designs like the Bulgarian bag are good, but nothing beats the DIY sandbag. That said, you don’t actually have to make it yourself. There are commercial options out there that’ll provide you with everything you need. Regardless, you can always get a duffle bag and some sand and make your own. That way you can control the weight and even make a few different sized ones. You can also choose the best material to truly challenge your grips.  Give sandbag conditioning a try and you’ll be surprised at the results.  

Sandbag Conditioning For Jiu-Jitsu

When it comes to grappling, we’ve made it clear why the sandbag is on top of the conditioning tools pile. However, once you have a sandbag, what should you do with it? After all, most people know what to do with a barbell or dumbbells. They also know what monkey bars are for, and to some extent tools like kettlebells.  

For grapplers, grip fighting is the first method of engagement during a fight. If there’s one thing that remains constant throughout a BJJ match it is the placement of grips. This requires you to possess a certain amount of grip strength. Actually, the more grip strength you have, the better for you. People usually tend to use different grip strength machines from commercial gyms. While they can help, they can never replicate the demands of BJJ. Sandbag conditioning exercises can.   

Expect to truly be challenged the moment you go through your first sandbag conditioning workout. It is going to be as tough a workout as you’ve ever done! However, sandbag conditioning is arguably the number one thing to do in order to improve grappling performance. If you’re in a hurry and really need to get in shape fast, that nothing can beat sandbag training! These are the main benefits of sandbag conditioning for grapplers:   

Developing Unbelievable Grip Strength 

Developing the grips strength of freestyle climbers is the crucial benefit of sandbag conditioning for grappling. First and foremost, sandbag training is going to help you get those Popeye forearms. Not necessarily in size, though, but certainly in strength! This is crucial for people training BJJ. Our forearms get a beating deign every training session. On top of that, forearm strength is essential for finishing chokes, especially in No-Gi. With slow chokes like the Guillotine, forearm strength is crucial to holding on long enough for the tap. 

In terms of general grip fighting, you need grip strength to both hold on to grips and break the opponent’s grips. Whatever the case, lacking in grip strength is going to make you less efficient. Sandbag conditioning mimics the movements in BJJ as close as possible, allowing you to condition your grips to specific situations.  

Building A Huge Gas Tank 

The next huge benefit of sandbag conditioning is just that – conditioning. Throwing around an oddly shaped object that moves in unpredictable ways is a surefire way of getting you into shape. In fact, this is so much alike BJJ that training with a sandbag can equate to rolling.  

When you are in a BJJ match or a tough roll, running out of gas can cost you a fight. Once you’re tired there’s nothing else you can think of and fighting is not going to be your focus. None of the other conditioning methods out there can even get close to the effects of sandbag conditioning.  Being in better grappling shape means you can last longer in a match and focus on what’s truly important – winning.   

Improve Functional Strength 

The functional strength terms get thrown around so much nowadays that it is very easy to get confused. If you listen to the fitness marketing machinery, everything you do is highly functional for your sport. In reality, things are very different, though. Namely, functional fitness is mostly a scam. There are only so many things you can do out of an actual sport that benefits that sport. For grapplers, sandbag conditioning is the one sure thing that can actually help functionality.  

Let me make it clear. A 50 lbs dumbbell and a 50 lbs sandbag can feel very different in weight. Despite weighing exactly the same, the balance of both these tools is very different. In turn, the effects of manipulating them are going to be different. As such the sandbag is going to feel like it weighs at least double than its actual weight 

IN terms of BJJ functionality, it is like training with a grappling dummy and a training partner. Your partner is not going to stay stationary and is constantly going to look to shift their weight. Sandbag conditioning can replicate this really close, making it truly functional.  

Increased Core Strength 

Sandbag ConditioningThe core is the crucial part of our bodies in terms of maximal athletic performance. It is the connection of all parts of our bodies. It is also the generator of power and explosiveness along with being the main stabilizer of the body. There are very few conditioning approaches that can ensure your core is ready for the demands of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  To make things clear, countless sit-ups are not the answer.  

Training with a sandbag ensures that you develop both linear and rotational power in the core. Even more importantly, it develops functional core stability. Try carrying a sandbag in a rack position. Your forearms are going to burn and your core is going to get the mother of all workouts.  

Full Body Engagement 

Finally, sandbag conditioning ensures that your entire body works. Training with a sandbag is very much like BJJ. Your body is going to have to adopt in split seconds to deal with the demands of the workout. The more you try to control the bag, the more it is going to defy you. You can see how this relates to BJJ. In turn, there’s not a muscle in your body that is going to be spared when you engage in sandbag conditioning.  It is simply, the best conditioning tool for grapplers.  

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The Strength and Conditioning For BJJ Competitors
BodyWeight Exercises Based on Jiu-Jitsu Movement
Roger Gracie’s Pre Competition Training Routine
Should You Use or Avoid Olympic Lifts For BJJ?
Plyometric Training For Explosive BJJ Strength

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