Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu certainly provides you with a great workout, but it is typically best performed with at least one other person. What do you do when you have nobody to practice with? Thankfully, you do not have to forgo those sparring sessions on the mat. There are plenty of ways that you can practice Jiu-Jitsu when you are alone.
No matter where you are, there are ways to get in your Jiu-Jitsu practice with or without someone there to work out with you. Often, all that you need is a chair. This will provide you with multiple ways to continue perfecting the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu even if you are entirely alone.
Continue reading to learn how you can accomplish this.
Table of Contents
15 Ways to Practice Jiu-Jitsu on Your Own
If you are so focused on perfecting your skills at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that you just can’t wait until your next official class, there are plenty of ways that you can train on your own. This is your chance to develop the type of muscle memory reaction and range of motion that will serve you well when you are on the mat.
Here are 15 ways that you can practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu solo. Each of them requires a simple chair, but that is it.
Practicing Squat Movement Maneuvers
No matter how long you have been doing Jiu-Jitsu, you should already know how useful squats are to this fighting discipline. You can easily practice those on your own by simply using a chair. To begin, you will simply lie the chair down so that its back is on the floor.
With the chair on the ground, you will put your hands on the two legs that are facing up. Begin the exercise by moving from side to side in one continual motion. You will use your legs to provide the balance and stability you need to remain upright. This will be like holding down your opponent’s legs in a fight. Perform this exercise for one minute without stopping.
Work on Hand Passing
The art of hand passing is an essential skill to have if you are going to be good at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This is also something that you can easily practice on your own. You will just need the same chair, laid on the ground with two legs up just like the previous exercise. To do this exercise, you will put one hand on the ground and the other will hold onto the chair leg in the air.
Once you have started, you will go from side to side. The arm that is on the chair leg will be similar to a hand you place on an opponent’s leg. This gives you control. The other hand on the floor then allows you to pass. When you pin the leg, you can pass the guard. This is a good workout, so keep going for about one minute before taking a short rest.
Perfect the Kick Back Motion
Here is another useful exercise that will help you stay low to the ground while remaining stable and balanced. The chair should stay flat on its back. Hold on to both legs. Step one leg to the outside of the chair while kicking the other one to the same side. This replicates that passing motion when your opponent is attempting to pull you into an X Guard position.
When you use the kickback, your leg should be relaxed, and you should be able to move towards your goal. Make sure that you keep some pressure on the chair legs throughout the exercise, as this is exactly what you would be doing with your opponent’s leg. Get up a good pace, going from side to side, and keep it up for about a minute.
Learn How to Use the Crossover Move
There are many occasions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where you will want to use a crossover move to gain an advantage over your opponent. There is no reason to wait until you are next at the gym to practice this. Again, all you need is a chair turned on its side with two legs sticking up. Once you do that, you are ready to begin.
Start by holding onto both legs and then step off to the side, subsequently jumping back to the other side of the chair. Finally, you will end up in front of the chair. Since your opponent may be expecting this and will quickly drop their hands to block the maneuver, you will want to work on speed. This is the perfect occasion to do exactly that.
Do the 3-Step Pass
The 3-step pass is another effective way to get away from your opponent in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when they have the upper hand. To wrestle that control away from them, you might want to do the 3-step pass. Practice it on your own by placing a chair on the ground and then stepping your left leg over to the right side. It will go to the outside of the chair.
Once you have done that, you will want to quickly shuffle the right leg so that it goes even further to the right. You will repeat the same exact maneuver as you shuffle over to the other side of the chair. Continue going from one side to the other, doing the 3-step pass each time for one minute without stopping.
Use the Chair to Do Push Outs
After just one Jiu-Jitsu session, it will become painfully clear just how important the core section of your body is. You want to do whatever you can to strengthen this area, which makes exercising at home even more valuable.
You can start by doing pushouts. Begin on the floor and bring in both of your knees. You will then push them out to one side of the chair that you have sitting on the floor. Next, bring your knees back in and then push back out to the other side of the chair. If you can do this consistently for one minute without stopping, your core will get quite the workout.
Learn How to Do Kimura
Another valuable use of your time when practicing Jui Jitsu alone is to do kimura. These are situps with a definite twist. You need to use the chair for this one as well.
Lay the chair down on the floor with you in front of it. You will then put both of your legs over the chair. Keeping the chair as your guard, sit up while simulating a kimura submission on one side of your body. Then, go back to the other side. This is quite the workout, but try to keep it going for one minute.
For this exercise, you will simulate setting up an omoplata during a Jiu-Jitsu match. While the chair cannot move forward like your opponent would be able to, this exercise still effectively works your core and helps condition your legs to get the range of motion that they need to complete the move.
With the chair on the ground, grab one side of it. This is for stability. You then kick both of your legs off to the side and then down. Move the legs back into place over the chair and repeat with the side. Again, try to do this exercise continually for one minute in order to get the maximum benefit.
Do Some Leg Lifts
Practicing Jiu-Jitsu solo is also a great occasion to give your legs a good strength workout. This simple leg lift exercise will do you well in that regard. You simply need to put the chair on the ground with you sitting in front of it on the floor with your head touching the legs.
You will grab the legs while keeping your legs as straight as possible. Go ahead and lift your legs, extending your hips up and off the ground as you come to the end of the motion. You will then bring your legs back down, but do not let them touch the ground. Once they come down, repeat the process. Keep going for about a minute.
Do the Hold Guard Halfway
If you are looking for a way to really get your core muscles burning during your solo Jiu-Jitsu workout, this is the exercise you have been looking for. You are going to hold onto the chair while bringing your midsection partway off the floor and holding it. This will really get the burn going.
Use a Chair to Do Shoulder Touches
Here is an exercise that also uses a chair but gets your cardio workout in at the same time. It will exercise your upper body, but you will want to ensure that the chair is sturdy and placed on a solid surface.
You will want to put both of your feet on the chair, with both hands touching the floor. This simulates a declining pushup. Next, pick up one hand and touch the opposite shoulder, returning it to the floor. Then, repeat with the other hand.
Use a Chair to Do Step Ups
You can also use your chair to do some step ups. This is a great exercise if you are looking for ways to strengthen your quadriceps and glutes during your solo workouts.
Just make sure your chair is sturdy and on a solid surface. Do a knee strike in the air, landing on the chair with one foot. Come back down and then repeat with the other leg. If you really want to burn the calories with this workout, hold a small dumbbell while doing your step ups and keep going for about a minute.
Use a Chair to Do Pullups
Pullups have long been one of the best exercises to build strength and do cardio at the same time. This is also a useful exercise to build your strength for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and it is easy to do with a simple chair. Once again, just make sure that the chair is standing upright and that you are lying flat on the floor with your head under the seat.
Grab hold of the armrests on the chair, and then pull yourself up. If you are able to do it, lower yourself to the ground without actually touching it. The way to maximize this exercise is to keep your body hovering over the ground for about a minute as you go through the lowering and raising process.
Learn How to Do a Double Leg Takedown Using a Chair
Here is a great way to practice your double leg takedown maneuver that will give you an advantage over your opponent in Jiu-Jitsu. In addition to providing you with a solid workout, it will also give you the type of muscle memory and reflex that you need on the mat. Once again, start with the chair standing upright on a solid surface.
Pick out a point on the chair to aim at, and then go down to the floor to get it while sweeping your knee to the ground. You will want to get a low center of gravity for this one. You do not need to pick the chair up and take it down to the ground. This is just for practice.
Use a Chair to Hold a Leg Lift
This is a great exercise to strengthen your legs further while you are working out alone. You will actually take the chair and balance it on your legs. This puts extra weight on your leg so as to strive to hold it off the ground. The key is to keep your legs about six inches off the ground for about a minute if at all possible. You might have to work up to this goal.
As you can now envision, there are plenty of ways to practice Jiu-Jitsu when you are on your own. There is no reason why you cannot stick to a regular workout schedule even when you are traveling or simply cannot find another person to practice with.
Some maneuvers can require specialized gear. Others, only require a sturdy chair. The exercises described in this post illustrate exactly how you can make solo training happen.