Three Great Bodyweight Conditioning Routines for BJJ

It’s January and all the gyms are packed with newly-inspired fitness junkies.  But you can’t always get to a gym, and sometimes the weather makes it tough to go for a run. The beauty of bodyweight, however,  means that you can work out almost anywhere.

Here are three of my favorite bodyweight conditioning routines.  Learn to love them and your opponents will hate you!

First: An ‘Easy’ Marcus Soares Workout.

Marcus is my BJJ coach and he starts every class with vigorous conditioning. These ‘warmups’ usually last about 20 to 25 minutes, and he creates a new routine for every class.

Click here for our article on bodyweight conditioning for BJJ. We wrote this a few years ago for Grappling Magazine’ (which later morphed into ‘Ultimate MMA’).

This routine is tough, but it’s only a beginner version of one of Marcus’s regular workouts. If you want the full experience then do twice as many reps for each exercise, or do two full workouts back to back

Second: Super Legs

My friend Denis Kang told me about this one just the other day.  I tried it, and it totally jellified my legs (yes, that’s the technical term).  Denis learned it from Jon Chaimberg in Montreal who is also GSP’s conditioning coach, so you know it’s gotta be good…

This is a deceptively simple but brutal leg workout.  It’s great for muscular endurance and sustained explosive power.

In the Super Legs Routine you do three sets of the following exercises.  Rest a minute or so between sets. Give it your best and trust me, your legs will be jellified too!

  1. 20 bodyweight squats
  2. 20 bodyweight lunges
  3. 20 jumping, alternating bodyweight lunges
  4. 20 jumping bodyweight squats

Here’s a video explanation of the same workout:

Third: the Prison workout

Supposedly this routine comes from inmates looking for ways to stay fit with minimal equipment.  I don’t know if that’s really true, but it’s still one hell of a workout!  It’s a great way to challenge your heart, your lungs, and muscles you didn’t know existed!!

The prison workout is basically a descending ladder of burpees.

For a good challenge, start with 15 sets.  Your first set will consist of 15 reps, but each time you complete a set you’ll do one less rep.

15, 14, 13, 12……. 3, 2, 1

And a single rep starts standing, and then you:

  1. Drop from your feet to a low squat position
  2. Jump your legs back into a pushup positon
  3. Do a pushup
  4. Jump your legs back underneath your upper body
  5. Stand up and, continuing the momentum, jump into the air
  6. Repeat

There’s a detailed discussion of workout on this thread in the S&C area of the Underground Forum.

Hope this gives you some ideas.  And removes some of the barriers between you and getting fit!!

Do you have your own favorite bodyweight exercise routines?  If so, share them below…

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