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Will BJJ Get You In Shape? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Will BJJ get you in shape? Absolutely! From losing weight to enhancing coordination, there are several positive physical effects of training in BJJ.

So, you need to get in shape but aren’t one for the boring corporate gym atmosphere that leaves you feeling like physical activity is a chore.

Enter Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It’s more than just a sport or a form of martial arts.

It’s a lifestyle that will change your life in physical and emotional ways. Around the world, thousands of people train in BJJ. And it’s not just because it’s a positive hobby to take up and a great way to learn self-defense.

It’s a popular workout alternative that keeps your mind off the pressures of needing to stay physically active. 


Here’s what you need to know. 

Will BJJ Get You In Shape? The Physical Benefits of Training 

Any current Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student will tell you that training in the sport leads to significant changes in their physical appearance.

Weight loss, increased flexibility and coordination, improved endurance, enhanced muscle strength, and increased spatial awareness are just some tangible benefits of the sport.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will change your body in ways you never expected. You won’t just get in shape, you’ll benefit from better overall health when you commit. 

Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training Dangerous? 

Before you jump into the art of BJJ feet first, it’s essential to understand that there are some risks of injury that come with the sport.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu isn’t dangerous overall, it’s actually one of the safest forms of martial arts. But, like any form of physical activity, you can get hurt while training.

The most common injuries associated with BJJ are:

  • Lower back injuries 
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Injuries to the ears
  • Sprains and strains
  • Pulled muscles
  • Neck injuries

If you’re interested in learning about the most common injuries in Jiu Jitsu check out this article we wrote covering all of them.

As long as you listen to your instructors and practice with caution, you should be ok.

If you’re worried about getting injured, talk to the people you train with and explain your concerns. If you have any ailment or injury you are nursing, be sure everyone at training is aware.

This will help you avoid further damage. As always, be sure you check with your healthcare provider before you commit to training.

They’ll address any medical risks you may have and give you great advice on how to keep yourself from getting injured at all. 

The Physical Advantages of Training BJJ

Exercise is important. That’s no secret. It seems like everywhere we turn, a new exercise trend is promising to change your life for the good.

While most people workout to look a certain way, staying in shape is essential for more important reasons.

Students rarely walk through the doors of a BJJ studio looking to lower their blood pressure, improve their heart health, or deal with their high cholesterol.

But the best part of getting in shape with BJJ is the benefits you don’t see. Every time you step onto the mat, even the times when you submit to your opponent, you’re getting in better physical shape with BJJ. 

While some physical improvements are easy to see, it’s often the results you can’t see that make the most significant change in your life. Here are some physical advantages of training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:

1. Weight Loss

It should come as no surprise that consistently showing up to train will lead you to become fitter and more athletic.

One of the most apparent physical advantages of the sport is the significant drops you’ll see on the scale.

What many new students wonder is how BJJ training can promise to be a great way to lose weight when it’s just a form of martial arts? It’s all techniques, transitions, and submissions, right? 

Yes, the techniques, forms, and learning aspect of BJJ is part of the curriculum.

But a considerable part of your training requires constant drilling and practice. Repeating those techniques over and over again until you’ve mastered them is part of the routine.

And it’s that repetition that is one of the most physically intensive workouts in the fitness world. 

But what if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose? One of the biggest misconceptions about training in BJJ is that you need to have a certain level of fitness to start.

As long as you have no medical issues that limit your physical activity, it doesn’t matter what type of body composition you are when you begin the sport.

If you’re worried, talk to your healthcare provider before you begin. Still, no one is too heavy to train in BJJ.

If you want to lose some serious weight, you’ll be dropping pounds without even realizing you’re working hard. 

2. Increased Strength

When you make Brazilian Jiu Jitsu part of your life, you’ll become stronger physically and mentally.

Building muscle is a whole part of the process, primarily when you practice regularly. Much of BJJ training involves grappling, which works all the body muscles.

Not only will you build strength through training, but you will also notice a significant improvement in muscle tones. That’s why famous celebrities like Demi Lovato and Ashton Kutcher have jumped into BJJ with such enthusiasm. 

In addition to increasing your muscle strength, BJJ improves your flexibility. This will help give you more freedom to remain physically active in other aspects of your life.

The more you practice, the various stretching exercises will help increase flexibility and move your muscles in ways you were never able to before you started training. 

3. Enhanced Coordination

One of the greatest things about BJJ is that it teaches students to use different parts of their body as one cohesive unit.

In today’s society, Americans tend to lead sedentary lives. Whether you sit in a chair in front of a computer all day at work or relax on the couch right after you ate a full dinner, our physical habits are getting worse and worse.

This doesn’t just affect a person’s weight and overall health, but it has a detrimental effect on coordination as well. 

When our mind and body aren’t working together regularly, they get out of sync. Even the best athletes can become clumsy and unathletic.

BJJ encourages body synchronization and enhanced coordination. You’ll re-learn how to use all parts of your body to work together as a unit.

Mobility, strength, flexibility, and physical fitness all work together to gauge your power, test your limits, discover solutions, and achieve things you never thought possible. 

4. Increased Focus

While the increased focus is generally a mental effect of getting in shape, it plays a significant role in our physical outcomes.

Rolling on the mat, guard passes, submission techniques, and transitions are all physical movements that require us to remain mentally aware of what we’re doing.

BJJ students need to stay focused and think about every move they make. This doesn’t just help improve your mind, but it also keeps you more coordinated and athletically inclined.

You’ll be sharper, faster, more powerful, and find better success in your physical aspirations. 

Additionally, our bodies need our mind to get in shape. The mind is just as much a muscle as any other muscle in your body. One of the major challenges people face when trying to get in shape is the limits set by a poor attitude.

You can physically go to the gym or get the workout done, but you mentally agonize over putting in the time and work. Eventually, many students let their mind trick them into quitting the process.

Getting in shape with BJJ helps to clear the mind and return you to a more balanced mental state. It’s also a great stress reducer, bringing you an inner peace that focuses on the greater picture-the importance of maintaining a proper level of physical fitness. 

5. Improved Overall Health

Many people turn to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a form of physical fitness. You want to look better in the mirror, fit into smaller clothes, or get ripped.

That’s all great, but many people overlook the overall health benefits of the art.

Consistent training in BJJ has impressive benefits for your overall health. BJJ training:

  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Increases endorphin production
  • Improves respiratory system functioning
  • Normalizes insulin and blood sugar levels
  • Reduces risk of diabetes
  • Improves heart health
  • Improves sleep

Among others, all these physical benefits lead you to better health overall.

Since BJJ is an excellent form of aerobic exercise, you can get your cardio in during your training sessions to keep your heart in good shape.

You’ll notice that you feel better and have more energy as your body circulates more oxygen to your blood.

As you improve your overall fitness level through BJJ training, your blood pressure and high cholesterol levels will decrease.

The balanced workouts will lead to better sleep patterns, further improving your overall health. Plus, you’ll be happier and more confident. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a great way to get in shape. Not only will you lose weight and increase muscle strength, but you’ll improve flexibility and coordination and benefit from better health overall.

If you’re committed to putting in the work, the physical benefits of the sport will leave you feeling healthier and happier.

BJJ isn’t just a great workout to improve your physical fitness level, increase endurance, and get fit, it’s a way of life that will change you as a person for the better. 

Check out this Healthline article on the many benefits of cardio aerobic exercise here.

By Let's Roll BJJ

Let's Roll BJJ aims to be the leading source of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling information and news on the web. Dorian, the owner and editor of Let's Roll BJJ is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and has been training and competing for over 6 years.

Apart from being a BJJ geek, Dorian is a software developer by trade, a husband, and a father of two wonderful kids who he's recently began teaching Jiu Jitsu. When he's not training, coding, or writing, you can find him hiking, camping or occasionally binging on video games.

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