Is Jiu-Jitsu a Good Workout?

By Logan •  Updated: 02/11/22 •  5 min read

As a martial art, Jiu-Jitsu is meant to train both mind and body. As such, Jiu-Jitsu offers a stimulating and healthy workout for all individuals, whether they’re beginners or experts.

Jiu-Jitsu isn’t your typical workout. With submission holds, locks, and throws it might sound more like a unique form of martial arts. But the unique fighting style does have benefits. It can help increase bone density, teach you to control your breathing during high intensity training, and build endurance with all the pressure of an opponent on top of you. It’s not just for the pros or someone looking for self defense either.

Jiu Jitsu is a time-honored martial art, appropriate for all ages and levels of skill. It provides a number of mental and physical benefits to practitioners.

Is Jiu Jitsu a Good Workout?

What Are The Physical Benefits of Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu Jitsu offers several benefits for physical health. Practicing Jiu Jitsu involves techniques that require use of the whole body, leading to a greater level of overall fitness.

Improved Cardio:

Jiu Jitsu gets the blood flowing, and improves the efficiency and power of the cardiovascular system. This in turn leads to improved heart function and lower blood pressure.

Increased Flexibility:

Jiu Jitsu requires a great deal of flexibility to handle the various grappling techniques. It may start out being difficult, but with practice and patience, you’ll find that everything from basic stretches to the harder techniques comes easier.

Improved Endurance:

The timing and methods of Jiu Jitsu training use both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Over time, these exercises will increase your respiratory function and heart health, and lead to greater endurance.

Improved Strength:

Jiu Jitsu is a grappling martial art, and requires whole-body involvement to practice properly. Over time this results in an overall increase in muscle tone throughout the body, as opposed to exercises that focus on one specific muscle group.

Improved Coordination and Control:

Jiu Jitsu requires precision in it’s movements, in order to control both yourself and your opponent. This control will, over time, branch out into other aspects of your life.

Better Sleep:

Some Jiu Jitsu practitioners say that the full-body workout and balance of Jiu Jitsu helps train both brain and body for resting as well as exercising. According to these practitioners, the chemicals released by the body during and after a workout can enable quicker and deeper sleep.

What Are The Mental Benefits of Jiu Jitsu?

With improved physical health often comes improved mental health.

Stress Reduction:

Jiu Jitsu is a great stress reliever. The exercises and movements help clear your mind and refocus your mental and physical energy. Whether it’s basic exercises or sparring matches, it’s an excellent outlet for tension and stress.

Greater Self-Discipline:

Martial arts like Jiu Jitsu teach control over both mind and body. Employing the exercises and focusing techniques you learn in Jiu Jitsu in your daily life can help you gin more control.

Deep breathing and meditation are just the start. Jiu Jitsu helps teach concentration, patience, and perseverance.

Greater Focus:

Martial arts like Jiu JItsu require concentration and focus to practice properly. Over time, this focus and concentration will become part of other aspects of your life as well.

You’ll find yourself better able to focus on tasks, and find that problem-solving and decision-making come more easily.

Improved Self-Confidence:

As you learn more and progress in your training, you’ll see the results. Whether it’s greater physical fitness, or mastering new techniques, you’ll be able to see how much progress you’ve made.

With progress comes a sense of accomplishment. And with accomplishment comes a natural sense of self-confidence and self-esteem.

Improved Mental Health Overall:

Improved discipline, focus and confidence can help boost your mental health. But Jiu Jitsu also allows a full-body, regular workout, which releases certain chemicals in the mind.

These chemicals and endorphins can help combat many mental health conditions. Most commonly, regular Jiu Jitsu practices have been cited as helpful in fighting off such chronic conditions as depression and anxiety.

Is Jiu Jitsu Enough Exercise?

Jiu Jitsu is a full-body workout, and can be as intense as a full CrossFit workout.

According to health experts, a half-hour of Jiu Jitsu practice, even light practice, can burn upwards of 400 calories.

Jiu Jitsu is also excellent for cardiovascular strength, and gives a good, solid aerobic workout to get the heart going.

It’s recommended to practice 3-5 times a week, which is certainly a fairly good workout regimen.

Will Jiu Jitsu Get Me In Shape?

With all the physical benefits of Jiu Jitsu, you can be fairly certain that regular training will help you get in shape.

Practice sessions will get your heart-rate up.

The average practice burns plenty of calories – an hour of basic training will burn about 800 calories, while heavy sparring sessions will burn 1000 or more. In terms of most fitness and dieting programs, this would almost double the amount of calories you could intake while still maintaining a deficit to lose weight.

Jiu Jitsu will tone and build your muscles, in all areas. While some students add in other exercises and the occasional weight-lifting for an extra boost, most sat it isn’t necessary.

With practice, you’ll find your physical condition improves along with your endurance, until you’re in the best possible shape you can be.

Final Thoughts

Jiu Jitsu is a great workout because it combines aerobic exercise with strength training. It also develops patience, discipline, and self-confidence.

It is an incredible workout, training your body to be strong and flexible while giving you a full body workout. Jiu Jitsu classes are open for beginners and advanced students alike. If you’re looking for a new way to work out while learning something new, consider picking up Jiu Jitsu classes today!


Hi, I've been an avid MMA fan all my life. I've been training in martial arts for the last 5 years and wanted to share some of the tips and tricks that I've picked up along the way to help to aspiring martial artists get started.

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