8 Important Warm-Up Drills Before Grappling

8 Important Warm-Up Drills Before Grappling

8 Important Warm-Up Drills Before Grappling

Read this to learn about 8 important warm-up drills before grappling with people, or even dummies, and up your skills in no time.

Grappling is a common move used in a variety of sports, including wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, and MMA (mixed martial arts). The point of grappling is to make your opponent submit to you, whether you get them in a chokehold or a joint lock.

Along with practising using punching bags, you can use grappling dummies and various other pieces of equipment to help you perfect your technique.

However, as useful as grappling is, learning the right technique and warming up is always just as crucial. So, if you are thinking about learning how to grapple, here are 8 important warm-up drills before grappling that you need to master.

Why Are Warm-Up Drills Important in BJJ?

Why Are Warm-Up Drills Important in BJJ?

Warming up is important before you do any kind of physical activity – from jogging and swimming to BJJ and MMA. If you don’t warm up, you run the risk of injuring yourself, with sprains and strains being the most common issues we see.

Not only that, but if you don’t warm up, you can also hurt your joints, and even get tired much sooner than you should since your body isn’t prepared for the activity. Arrhythmia can also occur, which can lead to a host of related issues, too.

8 Important Warm-Up Drills Before Grappling

Before you start grappling, there are a handful of warm up drills that are specifically recommended. Here, we will be talking about eight of them, but you can find lists of up to double that if you really want to throw yourself into the world of grappling.

These are the 8 important warm-up drills before grappling:

  • Leg circles
  • Shrimping
  • Breakfalls
  • Inversion Drills
  • Shadow Grappling
  • Sprawls
  • Bridging
  • Triangles

Warm-up Drill 1: Leg Circles

You can use leg circles to improve knee and hip mobility in the comfort of your own home or at the gym. This warm-up drill is perfect for guard attacks and retention, too, and you will work out your abs non-stop to ensure that you keep your guard active.

Leg circles are such a simple but effective exercise, but you need to make sure that you position yourself right and give yourself the support you need. It’s important to avoid bicycling when doing this warm up, too, and make sure that you move your legs in the right circular direction.

Warm-up Drill 2: Shrimping

As one of the most fundamental movements found in BJJ, shrimping is done by anyone and everyone who enjoys the sport. The whole purpose of this exercise is to put some space between you and your opponent, which will help you get out of bad positions. Practise it right, and this move is going to save you time and time again.

Warm-up Drill 3: Breakfalls8 Important Warm-Up Drills Before Grappling

Breakfalls are crucial to practise if you want to avoid injuries during takedowns or throws, and the objective is to curl your body like a ball and get back on your feet with the momentum. There are a handful of ways to practise this, including the backward and shoulder roll, so be sure to practise the different options.

In order to be successful, you need to have a good idea of how you’re going to land, and what you need to do to prepare yourself. In the event that you can’t roll when you land, slapping breakfalls will otherwise help to absorb impact, so practise both.

Warm-up Drill 4: Inversion Drills

Due to flexibility limitations, beginners might find inversion drills more challenging than many other warm-up drills. However, with the right exercises like yoga and static stretching to increase flexibility, and hours of practice, you can nail these moves.

The point of inversion drills is to perfect the technique so that you are able to stop your opponent from setting up various submissions and escaping from you. It’s one of the techniques that you will rely on in many circumstances within BJJ, so it’s worthwhile perfecting.

Warm-up Drill 5: Shadow Grappling

Warm-up Drill 5: Shadow Grappling

It’s crucial to know how to fight on the ground, even if BJJ and most other similar sports are mostly played while standing. There will always be opportunities to change things up, and if the time comes, you need to know how to hold your own.

For grappling in particular, you need to know how to handle yourself when you are no longer standing. Much like shadowboxing, shadow grappling involves you practising techniques such as arm drags, sprawling, and blocking with an imaginary opponent.

Warm-up Drill 6: Sprawls

Another incredibly important and widely used technique in BJJ – sprawls. These are typically carried out to stop your opponent from trying takedowns, and you drive your hips into your opponent while dropping your weight on them.

If you can do this successfully, you will be given the opportunity to get your opponent in a headlock, and you can try different chokes like the guillotine or anaconda. You could also use sprawls to take control of your opponent’s back from behind.

Warm-up Drill 7: Bridging

Bridging is yet another critical technique that any BJJ player should master, and it’s easy to practise. Since this is one of the most widely-used escape techniques in BJJ, you need to make sure that you have this one down.

You can use bridging to escape a variety of pins, but also set yourself up for shrimping. Its usefulness knows no bounds, and it’ll be a crucial move for when you find yourself in a tight spot.

Warm-up Drill 8: Triangles

Warm-up Drill 8: Triangles

Triangles are a fun and incredibly useful warm-up drill that you can practise solo before getting into the real thing. Not only does this exercise improve your flexibility, but it helps with hip mobility and helps you learn how to properly move your feet when doing the technique.

Using Grappling Dummies for BJJ Warm-up Drills

Although you can do a lot of practising on your own, grappling dummies can be very helpful when practising BJJ, but you need to know how to train with them. If you want to get a grappling dummy, it’s useful to know how heavy your grappling dummy should be, what it can be filled with, and how to find the right dummy for you, since there are so many options out there.

Whether you choose to practise grappling alone to practise different grappling dummy drills that you can do at home, you are improving your skills. Depending on what you prefer, and what is available to you, you just need to pick the one that suits you best.

It’s important to note, however, that although grappling dummies can really help your performance, nothing beats the real thing. So, even if you love grappling with your dummy, you should make the time to practise with real opponents.

Final Thoughts on Warm-Up Drills

Warm-up drills are crucial for any kind of exercise, and BJJ and similar sports are no different. A lot of the drills mentioned in this article can be done on your own, so they provide the perfect opportunity to take things in your own stride and learn the right techniques.

On top of the 8 important warm-up drills before grappling that we mentioned in this blog, we would also recommend warm-up exercises such as the following:

  • Stretches
  • Jumping jacks
  • Pull-ups
  • Crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Four-points base
  • Monkey up down

All of these will help you perform your best and minimise the risk of you injuring yourself. To get your blood pumping, you could also learn about the benefits of a speedball platform and whether learning to strike or grapple is harder, and practise them both.

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