BJJ Solo Training Without a Grappling Dummy

I’m sure most of us out there are fitness junkies to some degree.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu commands a certain degree of athleticism and fitness that it’s hard not to be!  Whether your workout of choice calls for lifting weights, plyometrics, running, etc., theirs is always practical ways grapplers can stay in shape while honing their skills!

Certain ways of working out can actually hurt your grappling game!  I’m all for lifting weights and adding muscle to your frame, but imagine how much that would impede upon your game.  It would cause restrictions in your movement, thus not making you better grappler.

Finding ways to stay in shape—while allowing your body to maintain it’s functional purpose—can be tricky, but not impossible.  Recently, I came across a fantastic video depicting how grapplers can maintain their fitness level, all while practically working on aspects of their game!

These workouts can be used in various ways such as staying loose and limber, or to help strength stableizer muscles, that are otherwise difficult to focus on in more traditional workout plans.

Creating The Foundation For Your Grappling Game

It’s easy to find ways to do individual training.  For instance, you can grab a grappling dummy or a heavy bag, and go to town!  Given the shape of these items, it helps simulate a human being as you work on your drills.

However, something is missing with those; movement.  While they are great tools to have, there is no functional

Grappling Dummies and Yoga Balls are some of the best ways to drill your BJJ game

Grappling Dummies and Yoga Balls are some of the best ways to drill your BJJ game

movement, which isn’t realistic.  When doing solo training, being able to re-create the actual thing is a must if you want to feel your game enhance!

Using a yoga ball, you won’t have to worry about the movement.  While it may not be a realistic shape in terms of mimicking a human being, it allows you to control your body as you transition and roll around in given scenarios.

This is obvious as to how your game will improve, as it will familiarize your body and muscles to specific movement patterns that you will face in a live match.  Helping eliminate “awkward” movements, the yoga ball will soon become one of your go-to training devices.

The downside to using a yoga ball is very minimal, if there even is one to begin with! You can also get a killer strength and conditioning workout in with the yoga ball. I found a pretty sweet site you guys might like with different excersizes here!

Staying Loose & Flexible

By now, you probably know that being flexible is rather important when it comes to being an effective grappler.  Using the yoga ball, you will find out quickly that your body will loosen up the more you use it, allowing you to take the next step forward.

Moves you weren’t able to hit before, or transitions that were once choppy in nature, now become a cakewalk due to your ability to move your limbs with a greater range of motion than before!

Yoga balls are fantastic; skill development, physical well being, familiarity…there really isn’t an area of your game that can’t be helped by these!  So take a quick drive to your local sporting goods store and pick one up for yourself! What I like about the Yoga ball is you can do it yourself alone. So if you show up early to practice and no one else is there to drill, you can still progress your skills. Another tool you can use is a grappling dummy which you can learn some drills with here on my article on

Dan Faggella

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