Tips for training BJJ at home… for when you can’t make it to the gym

Element Jiu Jitsu

BJJ is a very partner orientated sport and live training is a key to your development. If you are lucky enough to have someone at your house to train with (I’ve talked my wife into training with me – we’ll see how long that lasts) fantastic but many of you may not have this option.

In my opinion the best way to utilise this break is to focus on better preparing your body and mind for when you can jump back into training. For those that have been training for a while, think about that new white belt that learns a little too quick, only for you to inevitably find out they did gymnastics/dance/bullfighting etc… Anything that involves core stability and mind/muscle connection.

The areas for you to focus on are:

  • Strength & Conditioning – Improve your engine
  • Mobility – Improve your steering
  • Knowledge – Improve the driver


Before we jump into exactly what you can do, I’ll chat briefly about how. Accountability is key and training by yourself makes it that much easier to slack off. Who will even know right?

Personally, I’ve found the simplest solutions to be best. I break down the days of the week, write down what I plan to do each day and give myself a tick when I do it. It’s amazing to look at the end of the week and realise my ‘6 days’ of training was more like 2 and a half ?


Ok so you’ve listened to (read to???) me go on for a while now but what can you actually do? First, if you normally train 1-2 times a week be realistic and plan for 1-2 days of home workouts or if you want to push yourself, do so gradually.

Strength & Conditioning options:

  • Weights – Unless you are already lifting weights I wouldn’t be going out and buying an Olympic Lifting Set Up. What I would recommend is some basic body weight or kettlebell movements focusing on core strength, hip strength and addressing any specific discrepancies.
  • Running – I hate running. I’ve always hated running and I will always hate running. I personally will not be running much but it is a great option to boost cardiovascular endurance. Remember a slow jog will make you better at training but sprints will make you better at rolling and competing so try to incorporate short bursts.
  • Breathing – This one is a little woo woo but I’ve started the Wim Hof breathing techniques again. The great Rickson Gracie swears by his breathing techniques. Controlling your breathing and remaining calm with limited oxygen does seem like it would help in BJJ. Besides I was getting really bored with my mindfulness meditation and I feel this kills two birds with one stone. Best part is it’s free on his app.


  • Yoga – Yoga is fantastic but it can be hard to find routines that are less namaste and more useful mobility. The key is finding an instructor whose voice doesn’t drive you crazy. I use the Yoga For BJJ App currently (the instructor has a Swedish accent which is honestly my favourite part) but there are some great free videos on YouTube. I find 10 – 20 mins every day or two is much more realistic than a full hour session.
  • Specific BJJ Mobility Drills – Think the drills we do in warm up. We do them for a reason. 10 mins a couple times a week will do you wonders. If you’d like ideas let me know and I can write up some routines otherwise Danaher has released a free DVD (his knowledge is fantastic but I’d highly recommend watching on at least 2x speed). Anyone who has checked it out feel free to review/summarize in the comments.


  • We got you fam. The internet can be a scary place and it can be dangerous to go alone. Throughout the week the Coaching Team will be posting specific concepts/techniques/mindsets to direct your learning and increase your knowledge base. We will also have 2 x interactive Q & A sessions each week at 6pm Tuesday and Thursday nights.
  • Mind mapping your game – This will be the first topic for Tuesday. This will help you better understand your game and prioritise your learning.
  • Online Instructionals – There is a heap of free online content out there atm. Please review/recommend anything you have watched.
  • Visualisation – I rate visualisation. The mind is a powerful tool that we don’t fully understand. I always reference the Basketball study. Without going into specifics; one group practiced for 20mins a day, one group visualised each day and one group did nada. In the end the visualisation group improved almost as much as the group that practiced. I like to take a few minutes while I’m in the shower to go over moves in my head. Inevitably I end up fighting ninjas but that’s fun too.

Ok…I’ve been typing for 2 hours now and my wife is starting to give me a funny look so I’ll leave it there. Don’t forget to post your recommendations, questions below and tune in at 6pm for the live Q & A. I’m not a qualified big city fitness trainer but if you’d like to know my specific routines ask below. Happy to help and recommend.

NOTE: For people living in the future these live Q&A’s and instructionals have been and gone. If you have questions please comment below, email us at or even better message us on social media @ElementJiuJitsu

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