Can Jiu Jitsu Make You Stronger?

Jiu Jitsu is a type of martial art and combat sport that involves a lot of training and hardwork.

Due to all the drilling, sparring, and exercises needed for a person to excel at this martial art, it’s fair to assume that taking up Jiu Jitsu can help build your muscles and increase your strength – but is that true?

Can Jiu Jitsu Make You Stronger?

Here are going to take a look at how Jiu Jitsu changes your body to see if it is capable of training your muscles to improve your strength.

This way, you can find out it’s the right sport for you to try out to get the muscles you want. 

Can Jiu Jitsu Make You Stronger?

Like with all martial arts, Jiu Jitsu works towards getting your body in great physical shape. It also works as a great type of self defense, builds confidence, and helps encourage discipline and persistence. 

As a workout, Jiu Jitsu works great at training all areas of your body, making it a full-body intense martial art.

This means that Jiu Jitsu will work all of your muscles and thus, helping them improve their strength and growth. 

So, yes – Jiu Jitsu can indeed help you grow stronger by exercising your muscles and improving their power and resistance! 

However, every workout literally ‘works out’ certain muscles over others so which muscles can you expect to grow and improve as you continue your Jiu Jitsu training?

Let’s take a closer look at the sport to find out! 

Which Muscles Does Jiu Jitsu Strengthen? 

There are a total of three core muscles groups which Jiu Jitsu works great at strengthening, thus improving your overall strength and power.

This is why so many people take up Jiu Jitsu as a form of self-defense because it improves the strength of certain muscles and teaches you some great techniques to keep yourself safe. 

But which muscles are best strengthened through Jiu Jitsu? 

Lower Torso Muscles

There’s a lot of footwork in Jiu Jitsu – stances, sweeps, striking, kicking, and more. As a result, all of this workout and training to improve your footwork builds the muscles in your lower torso. 

This means the muscles in your thighs, calves, and stomach will grow stronger and help build your stamina.

Not only will you be able to sweep your opponent off their feet, but you will also be able to hold your ground better and improve your stabilization.

You will also be able to last longer in jogs, runs, and other kinds of exercises that use your leg muscles. 

To improve your lower torso muscles through Jiu Jitsu, then you need to drill your guard passes, spins, and knee mounts.

Lower Torso Muscles

These all vary in angles and degrees, thus forcing you to use different muscles and stretch them in different ways.

Some equipment used to train these areas also include the grappling dummy or the heavy bag, or just some good old fashioned sparring.

Additional training you can do includes jogging and squats to help strengthen those thighs. 

Over time, you will find that your endurance and stability will improve thanks to your stronger muscles and you will be able to perform some strong sweeps and kicks.

Remember – your technique is just as important so don’t slack on the footwork training! 

Upper Torso Muscles

Jiu Jitsu doesn’t just focus on strengthening your muscles below your torso and waist. This martial art also works at strengthening your muscles above your torso too. 

Muscles like your triceps and biceps are specifically strengthened and trained up during your Jiu Jitsu sessions because they are important for the wrestling elements of the martial art.

Moves like transitions, takedowns, submissions and more all need strong arm and upper torso muscles in order to be successful so you will often find these muscles being exercised during your sessions. 

However, you cannot rely on Jiu Jitsu alone to strengthen these muscles – you will also need to try other forms of training like lifting deadlifts and performing pull ups to help provide the right kind of resistance to build up your muscles.

That resistance is vital for encouraging your muscles to grow so things like shadow boxing will not work. 

On the other hand, sparring and additional training are great ways to work out your upper torso muscles and improve your strength and technique.

Then, you will find your moves to be more successful over time and this is a direct result of better form and strength! 

Core Muscles

Finally, we have come to your core muscles – some of the most important muscles in the whole Jiu Jitsu art! 

Your core muscles are vital to help control your breathing while exercising and sparring, plus they are key to improving your balance.

So, strengthening your core muscles is a huge focus in Jiu Jitsu because with strong core muscles, you won’t be able to fight off your opponent.

These core muscles help you escape your opponent’s grasp, block and stop moves like sweeps and passes, plus it helps you pull off some of your own moves. 

As a result, calisthenics are a huge part of Jiu Jitsu training.

During your classes, you will find that these kinds of exercises will be included along with your sparring and drills to build up your strength so you can begin to learn more complicated moves and forms.

Then, you will be on the right road to success in your Jiu Jitsu matches. 


So, Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that relies a lot on the strength of the student. Without strong muscles, you will not get far in Jiu Jitsu – which is why a lot of classes balance training exercises with lessons on form and technique. 

If you want to succeed at Jiu Jitsu, then you should also try some calisthenics outside of your Jiu Jitsu classes to continue building your muscles.

Relying on your Jiu Jitsu sessions alone will not be enough although they can definitely help you build your muscles and learn how to use them correctly! 

Christopher Anderson
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