The following exercises are designed to maximize the efficiency of jiu-jitsu-specific movements. By using a kettle bell as a training tool, you can perform these specific movements with greater resistance and more repetition in a given session than when drilling the actual techniques on the mat. All the following exercises should be done with a weight that does not give you more resistance than you can handle, because that can lead to injury. Start with a lighter weight first and make sure you can do it fluidly.
All the exercises here are iso-lateral meaning only one side is being worked at a time. It is very rare that you are ever pushing, or pulling, equally on both sides of your body when you are rolling. Your core is also engaged in every exercise and the abs should be kept tightened.
The standing guard open is probably one of the most efficient guard opening techniques in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The likelihood of success when using this technique is improved when you are able to lift your opponent on to your bent knees. The following exercise allows you to mimic that lift continuously so that your legs and back are conditioned for the technique. The lift should be explosive and bumping your hip forward is vital for the lift. Keep your arms loose and only explode using the hips – you are not using a lot of upper body pulling.
Begin on your knees with both your hands gripping the kettle bell. Make sure your arms are as straight as possible and that your posture is straight as well. Make sure your chin is up.
Jump up to both your feet and maintain the pressure on the kettle bell with your back still straight and your chin up.
Step 3 & 4.
Using your legs to lift and launching your hip forward, lift the kettle bell and swing it upwards, with your arms still straight, to approximately shoulder height. Remember to still keep your back straight. When finished the swing up, let the kettle bell simply swing down and repeat the exercise again starting from your knees.
Words by Tyler Martin