BJJ 4:20 (kinda)!

Life is the energy of change and potential. I am not on my guru/hippie tip, I just enjoy learning and growing. I got a partner that knows I have a little boxing in my background. However, he is always challenging me to start “rolling” with him in Brazilian Jujitsu (BJJ) to learn and teach my daughters. Since the pandemic we have purchased a ground dummy and have been growing through some basic drills. Many drills are great for core strength and mobility regardless if you intend to train BJJ. So let’s get in 5 basic BJJ drills for core strength and mobility. After a few hits of Zookies I am ready to get my 4:20 workout in!
First up is the basic bridge drill. Some of you may be familiar with this as a glut bridge. The movements are similar. However, with this BJJ bridge turn onto the shoulder and head rotating from right to left. This added movement is training to escape to side control.

Adding on to the bridge rotations is the rotations with escape from side to side. After rotating onto your side kick the legs through and scramble to a complete 180 reversal. BJJ aside as a drill this is draining and a full-body movement that challenges flexibility and mobility. Rotating to full crouch after the kick through is an expanding yoga posture moving into a contracted spine posture.

Let’s get in some static hip-escape drills. This basic drill done in static (without moving up and down the mat) forces one to use my core and stabilizing muscle to move through the drill fluidly. It is often said “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”. Moving through these drills slowly forces one to move with the control of yoga and own where you are weak in areas.

Press ups are another basic drill with many connections to other disciplines and movements. As a basic core drill laying on the ground and only utilizing the core to raise hips of the ground builds many under-utilized core muscles. As a BJJ drill this is developing the core strength and hip mobility to raise up to transitions to arm-bars…as a neophyte I am simply speaking to the body dynamics of these drills.

Inversion rolls are another drill with connections to other disciplines and simply functional movement. Often as warm-up as a PE teacher years ago I would have children practice forward roll and backwards roll to understand body-dynamics. Forward roll is easy to pick up; however the body dynamics of an inverse roll are more challenging and work many underutilized core muscles as well. The spine flexion from these drills needs to be balanced with periods of gentle stretching.

I am learning these drills to increase mobility and begin to ingrain the basic muscle memory of BJJ. However as a 4:20 workout the core strengthening and mobility training aspects of these movements are universal. Happy 4:20 and find new and creative ways to move with mindfulness.