Grapplers Graveyard

Improving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Grip Strength

bjj grip strength

Table of Contents


When it comes to training Brazilian jiu-jitsu, grip strength is an important factor because of the abundance of pulling movements. A weak grip will not allow you to perform these pulling techniques properly, ultimately becoming a compromise on your performance.

Continue reading to learn more about the importance of improving grip strength, how it helps control one’s opponent and also how to actually improve it.

bjj grip strength

Why BJJ Grip Strength Matters

Grip strength is super important in BJJ because it directly affects your ability to control your opponent, execute techniques with efficiency, and maintain dominant positions during matches. A strong grip also enables you to secure holds, defend against your opponent’s attacks, and apply submissions with ease.

Gripping in the Gi

Grip strength is crucial when it comes to grappling in the gi. The strong fabric of the gi provides a lot of gripping opportunities, allowing you to manhandle your opponent, set up submissions, and maintain advantageous positions throughout the match or training session.

A strong grip is essential for using leverage effectively, as it enables you to secure grips on the gi material, and create opportunities to advance your position.

Controlling Opponent’s Movements

When you have a good grip, you can easily grab onto your opponent’s gi or body, limiting their mobility and dictating the pace of the match. With a solid grip, you can effectively manipulate your opponent’s positioning, prevent them from escaping certain positions, and set up your attacks.

Strong grips will allow you to control the flow of the match in all martial arts, create openings for submissions, and maintain dominance throughout the fight.

Exercises to Improve Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Grip Strength

There are a variety of different strength training and dynamic training exercises that efficiently exercise and target your forearm muscle fibers and flexor muscles. These are responsible for the squeezing movement when you grab your opponent in BJJ. Some exercises are:

Alpha Gripz

Alpha Gripz is a very well-known brand mainly known for its equipment specifically designed to train and strengthen your hands and forearms. Chances are, if you are on TikTok, you have seen these things somewhere, they were all over my for you page for weeks. Alpha Gripz are an extensor trainer and help build grips by strengthening and stabilizing your wrists, fingers, and forearms.

These are also great for those suffering from mobility issues like Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, and Carpal Tunnel. Another great part about Alpha Gripz is the convenience factor, you can use their equipment anytime, anywhere, and when you are done, you can just slide it into your pocket.


You want a forearm workout that leaves you vascular and feeling a burn? Alpha Gripz will help you get there. A product that helps you increase grip strength for various sports.

  • Super easy to move this equipment around
  • Comes with 4 different levels to work up to
  • Work outside and inside parts of forearm
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03/02/2024 06:03 pm GMT

Great Ape Grips Rice Bag

The rice bag is one of the most ingenious ways of training your grip strength for BJJ. It is essentially a 3-pound rice bag with a glove-like incision inside where your hand goes. After putting it on, all you have to do is squeeze and you will get a greater contraction than any other equipment.

We took the time to review Great Ape Grips and Alpha Gripz (Alpha Gripz Review) over the past couple of weeks and have been loving the products. It is so easy to get these exercises in while you are doing boring day-to-day tasks or just sitting around at home on the weekends. A forearm workout for about 30 minutes using these devices will have your grip strength for BJJ increasing in no time!

Great Ape Grips

Built for versatility, Great Ape Grips offers a comprehensive grip training experience that is an upgraded/mobile version of the classic rice bucket workout!

  • A new and unique way to train forearms
  • Easy to bring anywhere
  • Minimal Space Required
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Hand Grippers

Hand grippers are an excellent way of building a strong grip. They are commonly available and won’t hurt your pocket too much either. They are also available in a range of intensities from a beginner level up to an advanced level.

The great part is that you can buy Dial grippers which are adjustable, meaning you do not have to buy several pairs as you get stronger.

Hand Grip Strengthener Set

Traditional Hand gripper set. Comes with 6 different levels to work up to.

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Gi Pull Ups

If all you have is your training Gi and a pull-up bar, that’s all you need for an effective grip training session. Throw your Gi halfway across the pull-up bar and perform Gi pull-ups with a neutral grip.

These are by far one of the most effective exercises that will burn your forearms like no other.

bjj grip strength

Approaching Grip Training for BJJ

When it comes to beginning your grip training for BJJ, it’s essential to perform exercises that mimic the gripping demands of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Incorporating a variety of specific grip training drills into your routine can help you develop the strength and grip endurance required for grappling.

Some excellent exercises include gi pull-ups, farmer’s carries, wrist curls, and also towel hangs. It’s also highly recommended to work on both static(heavyweight) and dynamic grip(low weight) strength to improve your ability to control your opponent properly and execute techniques effectively.

Make sure to gradually increase the intensity and resistance of your grip training over time as you progress, to continue challenging your grip strength.

Why is specific grip training for BJJ so important?

If your grips fail, all your technique goes out of the window. It becomes hard to execute anything. That’s why specific grip training for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is detrimental to practitioners.

In BJJ, your grip strength is a fundamental component that directly impacts your ability to control your opponent, perform submissions, defend against attacks, and leverage their weight to your advantage. You can easily build a strong grip through specific exercises tailored to the demands of BJJ, such as gi pull-ups, towel hangs, and grip strength drills with sparring partners.

With these movements, you can develop the explosive power and grip strength endurance needed to maintain strong grips throughout intense sparring sessions and competitions. Grip development is not beneficial in terms of enhancing your ability to secure submissions and control positions but also helps prevent injuries by providing stability and support during dynamic movements on the mat.

Therefore, it can be concluded that incorporating targeted grip training into your BJJ training regimen can significantly catalyze your performance, enhance your technical execution, and give you a competitive advantage in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are grip training tools worth the investment?

Grip training tools can be a worthwhile investment for those looking to improve their grip strength quickly. Tools such as grip strengtheners, hand grippers, and forearm trainers, offer a focused and efficient way to work on strengthening the muscles in your fingers, hands, and forearms.

They provide a variety of resistance levels from beginners to advanced intensity to progressively challenge your grip strength over time. Incorporating these grip training tools into your weekly training routine can help enhance your performance in various activities, from sports like rock climbing and ground fighting to everyday tasks like carrying groceries and opening jars.

Additionally, by regularly using these grip tools, you can prevent injuries, improve hand dexterity, and promote overall hand health for a longer period.

How will increasing my grip strength impact my grappling?

Increasing your grip strength can have a huge impact on your grappling performance. When you engage in combat sports that involve groundwork and pulling your opponent like wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or judo, having a strong grip is essential for fully controlling your opponent, executing techniques, and maintaining a strong position.

Having a strong grip allows you to secure holds more effectively, resist your opponent’s attempts to break free, and exert more control during matches, ultimately gaining more points and pins. A powerful grip can also enhance your endurance during grappling sessions, because of your stronger finger flexors, you’ll be able to sustain your holds and maneuvers for longer periods without fatigue.

By starting grip training through specific exercises and training tools, you can level up your grappling game, enhance your performance on the mat, and gain a competitive edge against your opponents.

  • Cameron Allen

    Cameron is the Founder of Grapplers Graveyard. He is an entrepreneur, athlete, and life-long learner. His goal is to build businesses that help people become smarter, healthier, and happier. Avid Cold Plunger, Blue Belt, and Tech Sales Professional who has a passion for building websites.

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