Guest post by Travis Conley, CPT & BJJ Brown Belt
The king of all exercises and lifts. I could go on about them for days on end, but here it is in short: You work the most muscles, it's as functional as it gets to both BJJ AND anyone's day-to-day life, it's safe (no spotter, no harm if you fail and drop it), your grip strength sky rockets, it releases crazy amounts of hormones throughout your body that last for a long time, it increases cardiovascular ability, and it strengthens the critical tendons and ligaments of your joints surrounding your larger muscles thus preventing injuries.
2. Hamstring Curls (static pauses)
In BJJ, especially in traditional closed guard, the amount of hamstring work required is heavy. Squeezing your heels to your rear is constant--in arm bars, triangles, just holding a dangerous closed guard...everything. Doing Hamstring Curls with static pauses will increase the muscular endurance of your legs and enable you to put the squeeze on your opponents and finish key submissions without physical failure.
3. Bicep Curls (static pauses)
This is the only sport that requires bicep development as a priority! Here's why: In traditional gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you are always grabbing and clasping your opponents gi, pulling them in closer and holding. Whether you are in top or bottom position, whether you are passing guard or pulling off a sweep, this is always happening. Arms get a heavy workload during jiu-jitsu training and matches, so train them for it. Perform any type of Bicep Curls (Dumbbell, Barbell, Cable, Preacher) and add static pauses at points throughout the movement. Try 10 seconds, 10 repetitions with an appropriate weight, work into doing as high as 30sec static pauses and you will understand why, and your jiu-jitsu physicality will soar to new heights.