How Yoga Improves Your Grappling Abilities

Yoga for grappling might sound weird to a lot of people, right? You would be surprised to know that yoga is one of the best ways of boosting overall flexibility & developing an amazing grappling phenom. Yoga & grappling are a great combination. The primary of yoga is to develop strength, awareness & harmony in your mind & body which is significantly important for a grappler. A lot of grappling techniques are similar to traditional yoga poses, making yoga a great complementary practice!

Yoga develops flexibility, stamina, strength & mental focus, which gives you an edge over the opponent in your competition. Practicing yoga makes you stretch out the body after every match or training session. It’s a great practice for relieving stiffness & pain and also helps in restoring balance & alignment. Additionally, yoga’s emphasis on controlling breath & mind-calming techniques adds to your mental power which is necessary for the perfect execution of the technique. No matter which combat sports you practice, yoga will benefit your training.

Benefits of yoga for grappling

A lot of world-class combatants rely on yoga for improving their grappling abilities. No matter whether you practice BBJ-Gi or No-Gi BJJ  yoga, an effective supplement for hiking up your game. Most people think of yoga as a spiritual activity, which it is, but it is great in lots of other ways too. Yoga helps with better breath control & physical awareness while ensuring everything is under full control- your thoughts, spirit, soul. This control is beneficial when it narrows to BJJ as it improves your focus & keeps you relaxed even in seemingly stressful conditions. Following are the detailed benefits of practicing yoga for grapplers

1)  Flexibility

Yoga is popularly known for gaining flexibility. Enhanced flexibility gives you a very advantageous position on the mat. Most of the extreme no-gi BJJ submissions Are way easier to execute when you’re extremely flexible. You would never see a grappling champion with a stiff core or hips? It requires special dedication & extraordinary genetics for becoming flexible with yoga. This approach for developing overall flexibility is highly sophisticated. Within a couple of weeks of practice, you will start experiencing a boost in flexibility.

The meditative integration of breathing with the body’s stretching is central to yoga. The main practice is to resonate your breathing process with deep stretches. It improves your body and mind coordination as well.

Leg, shoulders, hip & torso flexibility are important for dynamic and aggressive grappling. In stressful full conditions such as closed guard, it’s your flexibility that enables you to climb up the legs high on the opponent, while threatening him with dangerous submissions. In open guard & variations, your flexible legs & hips can enable you to pass the guard while creating a frustrating situation for the opponent. You also need to be flexible for escaping pins & submission attempts.

2)  Stable and strengthened Core

The significance of ‘core stability for better athletic performance & training is not unknown. Y’all must be aware of how important your core stability is not just in sports but in easing everyday tasks. Human Core’ refers to the trunk, core strength depends on multiple muscle groups in your trunk region. Some of them are on the surface while others are complex and deeply buried. A strengthened and strong core gives your body better control & allows you to exert maximum power through the arms & legs.

Combat sports are tough and raw, their training has a risk of injuries. A strengthened core reduces those risks up to a greater extent. it’s a core stabilizing activity. A lot of core strengthening exercises such as pilates and planks come from yoga. Yoga drills are specifically designed for developing muscular strength while fine-tuning their sense of equilibrium.

These physical attributes are significant for anyone interested in unlocking his maximum BJJ potential. Also, A lot of many Yoga postures are closely similar to the dynamic grappling positions. Being able to strengthen your body’s ability to hold these positions under controlled & safe conditions, enables you to blast these positions without injuring yourself. Yoga also strengthens your muscles at their higher range of motion limits, it is very difficult to gain with conventional weight training.

3)  Better Breath Control

Yoga greatly emphasizes breath & breathing. The boosted awareness & efficiency of breathing lies in the list of unexpected benefits of yoga for grapplers. Most martial artists use only a fraction of the lung capacity while they breathe. They mostly use their upper lungs rather than engaging their diaphragm for drawing air to their lower lungs. Which results in insufficient oxygen exchange & premature exhaustion. Weeks of practicing yoga lead to a significant boost in flexibility & strength with a relatively large increase in lung capacity.

Yoga breathing exercises promote the use of a diaphragm for pumping air in & out of the lungs.

These forceful inhalations & exhalations of such activities strengthen the diaphragm & lungs. Breathing exercises develop the strength in the lungs which makes you utilize your whole lung capacity and ultimately increase endurance.

Also, mindfulness & breathing awareness helps deal with stressful situations. The yoga practice brings an active element of consciousness that resonates with your breathing and physical activity. This training translates well on the mat, your opponent might force you in pretzeled positions. This technique will make you relax and control yourself in those critical conditions.

4)  Improves your overall Balance

Physical strength & balance go hand in hand especially when it comes to the art of grappling. In these sports, it is a pretty common site that a grappler half of the size of his opponent overpowers him. Blanche plays a great role in those conditions. An adequate balance can put you in horrible situations. Regardless of the fact how strong you are or how finely you execute the skills improper balance will simply out muscle you in the ring. Avoiding yourself from falling into compromising positions is itself a great part of the game.

Practicing yoga helps you to focus on your muscle group in every posture. It synchronizes the mind & body per that particular position you are in. It gives a complete mental & physical command over your body which resultantly improves your balance. It trains your body to adjust itself even in the hardest positions.

Yoga Poses for Grapplers

  1. Eight-Point Shoulder Opener – works on shoulders, neck, chest, arms & back stretch
  2. Low Lunge – stretches thighs & groin muscles
  3. Cow Face Pose – stretches your ankles, hips, shoulders, thighs, armpits, triceps, & chest
  4. Big Toe Pose – lengthens & strengthens your tight hamstrings & calves
  5. Cobra Pose – strengthens your spine as well as stretches your chest, shoulders, lungs & abdomen
  6. Eagle Pose – improves your strength, flexibility, & endurance while increasing the concentration
  7. Figure Four – stretches your muscles & joints around the spine hips & knees
  8. Downward-Facing Dog – stretches your hands, shoulders, calves, hamstrings & arches of the foot

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About the Author: Kabbyik

Kabbyik Mitra, a voracious reader and health writer. He is a health & lifestyle journalist. Kabbyik is a yoga enthusiast practicing yoga for last 7-year. He is a certified yoga therapist, a science writer, communicator and journalist. He has been practicing yoga and training people to live a healthy and happy life. Get in touch with him via email: for any yoga related queries.

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