“What’s the best piece of equipment for Home workouts for BJJ?”
If there is only one piece of equipment that you can have in your home to get stronger for BJJ it is a pull up bar! There is a triple benefit to having a pull up bar in your home and I will outline exactly why this is such an import piece to have in your strength training arsenal.
Just Hanging Out
Even though it may look easy hanging for extended periods of time is actually incredibly challenging. Taxing both your grip and your core. There are also a few levels to this hang game depending on how strong or experienced you might already be. Here are some variations you can try-
Passive Hang ( just grip the bar no tension in the lats.) Hanging for extended periods of time helps decompress you spine, loosen up your shoulders. It also helps elbows and wrists which helps improve your circulation and ultimately your recovery.
Active Hang ( retract your shoulder blades keeping tension in you lats keeping elbows straight.) Is a fantastic way to strengthen your shoulder girdle and serratus anterior muscles. These are crucial for strong pushing and pulling movements for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Also during the Active Hang keep you abdominals active drawing your rib to your hip. Stay stable so you don’t sway or rock. Training this “Hollow Body” position is key to preparing your body for pull ups.
90 Degree Arm Hang ( Pull yourself up till your elbows are bent to a 90 degree angle) One of the most challenging of all the hang variations this requires plenty of upper body and core strength. The key is to maintain tension in your abdominals so that there is no extra movement as this will only speed up the rate of fatigue in your forearms and Biceps.
Chest to Bar Hang ( Pull up until your upper chest is in contact with the bar and stay there.) Possibly the most challenging of the lot, this hang tests everything grip strength, lat strength, core strength and mental toughness. You literally just have to grip and hang in there.
Pulling Power for BJJ
Pull Ups: (ADVANCED) They may look simple a bodyweight pull up is an advanced strength training movement. Having a pronated grip (palms facing away from you.) This internally rotates the shoulder which limits your ability to use your lats and biceps. ThiS places a greater emphasis on your upper back, scapular and rotator cuff muscles.
Chin Ups: (Intermediate) While this movement is not as tough as Pull Ups it is still deceptively challenging. Using a supinated grip (Palms facing toward you) this gives you a greater mechanical advantage. It allows better recruitment of Biceps. improved shoulder position for lat recruitment and also greater pre-stretch in the bottom position. Making the hardest part of the movement a little easier to come back from.
Negative Reps/Eccentrics: (Beginner) If you cannot complete 1 Chin up then negative Reps are for you. Using a box or chair, step up to the bar taking a Chin Up grip. Pull your self into position with your chin above the bar. Take your feet from the box/chair taking all of your body weight in your hands. Hold position for 1 second then slowly ( 3 second count) lower yourself till your arms are completely straight. Then repeat this process. The stronger you get the longer the lowering phase should be, build up to 6 reps x 10 second eccentrics. SPICY!
If you want to improve your grip, core and upper body strength for BJJ you cannot look past a pull up bar. This also provides the perfect spot to hang some Olympic rings which will help take you to the next level. But more on that next time.
If you are really interested to improve your pull up game check out the video below where Joey shows you how!
Much love Bulletproof fam,