BJJ Grip Strength: 9 Best Exercises for Unbreakable Grips

BJJ Grip Strength and Training

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.

2. Deadlifts

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.

Heavy Deadlift
Heavy Deadlift

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.

Dead Hang
Dead Hang

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.

You can either use Dumbbells as seen in the image below, Kettlebells, or whatever you have available.

Farmers Walks
Farmers Walks using heavy weights

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.

Hangboard Grip Training
Hangboard Grip Training

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.

Rockclimbing and Bouldering
Bouldering as Grip Training for BJJ

8. Grip Strengthening Tools

There are various grip-strengthening tools that you can use to improve your grip strength. These include fat gripz, grippers, forearm blasters, and hangboards.

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.

Jiu Jitsu Spider Guard
Spider Guard, Source: Evolve-MMA-vacation

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.

Exercises with Fat Gripz
Most exercises can be done with Fat Gripz

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.

Fat Gripz Grip Trainers in different sizes
Fat Gripz Grip Trainers in different sizes
  • Build arm size and strength
  • Greater muscle activation
  • Used by special forces, bodybuilders, BJJ & MMA fighters…
  • Indestructible military grade compound

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.

Vikingstrength Forearm Blaster
Vikingstrength Forearm Blaster
  • Build arm, wrist and forearm strength
  • Use anything as weights (water bottles, backpacks…)
  • Premium material
  • Lifetime guarantee

3. Grippers

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.

IronMind Hand Gripper
IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper
  • Highest quality spring
  • Knurled aircraft grade billet aluminum handles
  • Legendary build quality: precise, durable, good looking
  • Made in the USA by IronMind

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.

A set like this will be very beneficial for recovering from finger injuries which are very common injuries in Jiu Jitsu.

FitBeast Hand Grip Strengthener Workout Kit
FitBeast Hand Grip Strengthener Workout Kit
  • Adjustable resistance: 22 to 132lbs
  • Injury rehabilitation: hand & finger injuries, arthritis, carpal tunnel, fractures…
  • Various exercises possible

4. Hangboards

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.

Hangboard for grip training
Hangboard for Grip Training
  • Different grip of various difficulties
  • Strengthens your fingers, wrists, hands, arms, grips, body tension, core strength, and endurance
  • CNC milled from a complete solid wood block
  • Easy to Install: Comes with mounting hardware

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.

On top of that, you will get big muscular arms as a welcome side effect. Check out some of the physiques Jiu Jitsu athletes were able to make and the body transformations they went through.

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.

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