Brazilian Jiu Jitsu..

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that “a chain is only as strong as the weakest link”, well this saying is very true as far as the human body goes. Most recreational gym patrons and amateur sportsman and sportswomen tend to spend allot of time conditioning the upper and lower body but tend to neglect the core area as far as quality or specific training goes, such as brazilian jiu jitsu.

This article can support your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu strength.

The main support system for our trunk is transversus abdominus which works in conjunction with our diaphram, pelvic floor and multifidus (deep erector spinae muscle).
Tansversus abdominus wraps around our trunk, attaching either side of our spinal column with the upper portion attaching to the ribs and the lower portion attaching to the pelvis. The main function of transversus abdominus is to act like a corset when it is contracted. 

As transversus abdominus contracts, it pushes our intestines and internal organs in an upward direction against our diaphram and in a downward direction against our pelvic floor muscles which in turn increases our inter abdominal pressure (our core area is now acting like an air shock absorber). The strength of transversus abdominus is relative to the amount of pressure we can build up in our core area, the more strength the more pressure and just like our car shock absorber, the more air we pump into it, the more weight we can have in the back of the car or trailer.

Think in terms of how this could help your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game.

In the gym environment you’ll find that the common way to specifically train transversus abdominus is with the use of fit balls (swiss balls), now for the recreational gym user whose goal is fitness, health and some muscle tone, the use of a fit ball is probably adequate. For the individuals that attend a gym for rehabilitation purposes (especially back injuries) the fit ball can be a great tool. Similar to balance balls often seen in brazilian jiu jitsu academies

For the individuals who are serious about their sport, more specific and functional exercises are more appropriate. The main disadvantage with fit balls is they are non-specific to every day activities and sporting movements, if you train on a fit ball you get good at “training on a fit ball”. If your core work is done on a fit ball in a seated position, prone (facing down) or supine (facing up) then the way you are training transversus abdominus isn’t going to be as effective as training transversus abdominus with your body standing in an upright position resisting gravity. Often fit balls are used to sit on while performing single arm dumbbell exercises, the idea behind this being that as the arm moves away from the bodies center of gravity, transversus abdominus has to contract to stop you from falling off the ball, while this is true, you can get the same effect standing on one leg.

When standing on one leg, not only are you addressing core stability by standing upright resisting gravity, you are also addressing ankle, knee and hip stability as well as pelvic control and body alignment. Balance and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu go hand-in-hand.


As humans we evolved as upright beings, in the upright position we have the force of gravity bearing down upon us, in fact our whole evolutionary process has evolved around gravity. Our bones are our bodies main support structure which enables us to stand upright, resisting the force of gravity. Our muscles are designed to help us move around freely in the presence of gravity. Our heart is designed to pump blood in an upward direction to the brain resisting gravity and the veins in our legs have one way valves which are designed to open when our leg muscles contract then close to stop the blood flowing downwards in the direction of gravity. Even the way in which we consume food and pass waste products is dependent on gravity
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and diet combined is important.
To work transversus abdominus effectively we need to be in the upright position so it can do what it was designed to do, to support our trunk while resisting the force of gravity when lifting, to stabilize the body when running, jumping, climbing, throwing and striking. Amazingly we can squat more than two – three times our body weight, but to do this as well as strong legs we need that strong core area

Strong core strong Brazilian Jiu Jitsu