Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that requires a lot of grip strength and endurance, especially when fighting in the Gi.
This is a complete guide that covers everything you need to know to achieve unmatched Jiu Jitsu grip strength. We have created a list of the most effective grip strength exercises and reviewed the best grip trainer available today.
Let’s find out how to build unbeatable BJJ grip strength.
Best BJJ Grip Strength Exercises
There are various methods you can use to improve your grip strength for BJJ. Here are some of the BJJ grip strength exercises:
1. Gi Pull-Ups & Towel Pull-Ups
Gi pull-ups are a great way to develop grip strength specific to BJJ. To perform Gi pull-ups, wrap your Gi around the bar, grab the sleeves of your Gi, and pull yourself up to the bar or rings, maintaining a strong grip. You can also use a towel as a grip for pull-ups instead if you want to spare your Gi.
If you need a new Gi, check out our article on the 5 Best Cheap BJJ Gi’s in 2023.
This exercise targets the grip strength necessary for holding on to your opponent’s Gi during a match. Therefore, Gi Pull-Ups and Towel Pull-Ups translate perfectly to Jiu Jitsu fighting.
Deadlifts are the best way to train for maximum grip strength, as they can be loaded very heavily. If you bring up your deadlifting numbers, you will automatically gain forearm and grip strength for Jiu Jitsu.
3. Dead Hangs
Dead Hangs are meant to train your grip endurance which is exactly what you need for fighting in a BJJ Gi. Make sure to engage your back muscles and retract your shoulder to stay injury free.
4. Farmers Walks
Farmers Walks are a great exercise for grip endurance and strength. It looks easy, but it is really painful after a while.
5. Plate Pinch
Plate Pinches are simple, as you can see in the video below. You can either use weight plates or simply find something that is heavy, fits your hand, and is tough to grip. You will have increased BJJ grip strength after just a few workouts.
6. Hangboard Training
Hangboards are the number one tool in every climber’s repertoire when it comes to gaining finger and grip strength. In rock climbing grip strength is everything, so why not learn from the best?
There are tons of hangboarding exercises available online. Make sure to take it easy in the beginning and always warm up properly, as it takes a lot of time for your tendons to get stronger, and you can easily hurt yourself.
7. Rock Climbing and Bouldering
The Hangboards mentioned above are a tool that rock climbers developed to strengthen their fingers and grip, as Rock climbing requires a lot of grip strength and body tension. Therefore, it is no surprise that rock climbing and bouldering itself is great grip training.
8. Grip Strengthening Tools
As these tools are specifically designed to help you improve your grip strength and endurance, you shouldn’t count them off but give them a try. Read the next section to find out more.
9. Grip-Intensive Drills
BJJ drills that require a lot of gripping can help to improve your grip strength. These include spider guard drills, sleeve control drills, lapel grip drills, and many more.
Drilling the exact position that will require grip strength in competition is like a cheat code for BJJ-related grip strength. Sometimes you don’t need fancy exercises.
Best BJJ Grip Trainer
A BJJ grip trainer is a device or tool that is specifically designed to improve your grip strength for BJJ. These trainers come in various shapes and sizes, but they all work to improve grip strength through resistance training. Here are some popular BJJ grip trainers:
1. Fat Gripz
Fat Gripz are our favorite grip trainer by far. They are an affordable and effective way to enhance basic exercises and improve grip strength for BJJ as well as muscle mass.
Simply attach your pair of Fat Gripz to any barbell, dumbbell, or pull-up bar, increasing the thickness of the grip and making it more challenging to hold on.
Fat Gripz are available in three different sizes. We recommend the medium diameter as it is the most versatile and will aid you in strength and BJJ grip training.
2. Forearm Blaster
A Forearm Blaster is a simple device that allows you to roll up a rope with an attached weight. It looks easy, but it is extremely exhausting and mimics the sustained strength requirements in a Jiu Jitsu fight.
Grippers are simple spring-loaded devices you can use throughout the day or as part of a dedicated workout to strengthen your grips for BJJ.
IronMind Captains of Crush Grippers are a popular and high-quality choice for grip training in BJJ. These hand grippers have been around for a long time and have proven their place in grip training.
Another option you have is an adjustable resistance hand gripper. Although we recommend going with a quality product like the IronMind Gripper above, a grip training set like the following can be a cheaper entry into the world of grip trainers.
As mentioned above, hangboards are great for finger and grip training, but you have to take it easy in the beginning. Other than that, it is a great way to get stronger in the long run.
We hope that were able to help you find the perfect grip trainer for your Jiu Jitsu grip training goals.
Why is Grip Strength Important in BJJ?
Grip strength is essential in BJJ. To make positional advances and eventually set up a submission, you need to control the opponent first. A strong grip can help you initiate techniques, secure submissions, prevent your opponent from escaping, and maintain control during transitions.
On top of that, strong grips allow you to conserve energy during a match by using your grip to hold your opponent in place, reducing the need for constant movement.
If your opponent’s grips tire out first, it will be much easier to win the match. This holds true for Gi and No-Gi Jiu Jitsu fighting, but is especially important when fighting in a Gi.
In conclusion, grip strength is not only crucial in Gi BJJ but also in NoGi Jiu Jitsu. Sufficient BJJ grip strength allows you to control your opponent and is the basis for performing various techniques.
To improve your grip strength for BJJ, you can incorporate the exercises and BJJ grip trainers into your training routine. By focusing on grip strength, you can enhance your overall performance in BJJ and achieve greater success on the mat.
Try out the different methods and tools we explained to find what works best for you, and you will have unbreakable Jiu Jitsu grips in no time.