Is Jiu Jitsu A Good Workout?

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VB Health
September 24, 2023

The popularity of Jiu Jitsu, often referred to as "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" or "BJJ", has soared in recent years, not just as a martial art but also as a means of fitness. Jiu Jitsu encompasses both gi and nogi grappling, as well as aspects of wrestling. And of course, the focus of Jiu Jitsu is control and submissions. With its intricate techniques and ground-based combat, many have touted its benefits as a holistic workout. But is Jiu-Jitsu genuinely good for overall health and fitness? Let's delve deeper.

The Short Answer

Yes, Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent workout. It provides a robust cardiovascular exercise, enhances strength and flexibility, and offers notable mental health benefits, making it a comprehensive workout for both the body and mind. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast or someone seeking both physical and mental growth, BJJ is a worthy pursuit.

Is BJJ Good Exercise?

At first glance, Jiu-Jitsu may not seem like your typical cardio workout; there's no rhythmic pacing like in running or cycling. However, a closer look reveals an intense, heart-pumping workout. Much like the striking art of Muay Thai, he constant movement, shuffling, escaping, and grappling ensures that practitioners remain in motion. Whether it's sparring in class or competing in a tournament, the intensity can push your cardiovascular system to its limits. This helps in strengthening the heart, improving lung capacity, and boosting overall stamina.

Strength and Flexibility

BJJ isn't just about technique; it demands physical strength and flexibility. The act of controlling an opponent, maintaining postures, and applying submissions requires a combination of core strength, limb power, and balance. Additionally, many Jiu-Jitsu movements and drills enhance flexibility. Positions like the guard demand a level of leg flexibility, while escapes often require practitioners to twist and turn in ways that promote joint mobility and muscle elasticity.

Mental Health Benefits of BJJ

Beyond the physical, Jiu-Jitsu offers significant mental health benefits. It's a game of human chess, requiring practitioners to think multiple steps ahead. This cognitive challenge boosts mental sharpness and decision-making skills. Additionally, the art cultivates discipline, patience, and resilience, traits that are invaluable off the mats. The endorphin release from exercise, combined with the sense of community and accomplishment in Jiu-Jitsu, can be therapeutic, combating feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.

The Positive Impact of Grappling

In essence, Jiu-Jitsu is more than just a martial art—it's a comprehensive workout for the mind and body. From cardiovascular benefits to strength and flexibility gains, it offers a multifaceted approach to fitness. Furthermore, the mental challenges and community aspect provide a holistic approach to well-being. Whether you're looking for a new way to stay fit or seeking a mental escape, Jiu-Jitsu might just be the answer.


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