We all know that you can't really
train in BJJ on your own. However, with necessity (a once-a-week in the gym schedule, a 9 months pregnant wife, lots of Michigan snow days) being the mother of invention, I have come up with a nice little solo routine that I feel keeps me in decent grappling condition, as well as lets me drill some basic movements that I use quite a bit in rolling.
Here is my little workout. It takes about 40-50 minutes from start to finish (depending on how many water breaks I need). I would love to get some feedback from the more experienced grapplers, especially if you all know some other solo movement/conditioning drills I could incorporate.
Warmup: 100 jumping jacks or 3 min. jumping rope.
Next I do 3 min. each of the following floor exercises, with about 30 sec rest between each interval:
- shrimps to knees
- explosive upas with 80lb heavy bag on my hips
- upa to knees
- Kimura exercise (I simulate the motion of the kimura from the guard - bridging up on one elbow and the opposite knee and grabbing the wrist on the ground with my opposite hand, as if I were setting up the submission)
- Hip bridge/thrust to knees (I don't know the name of this, but we do it occasionally in warm-ups. Sit on your rear with your feet flat and knees up in front of you. Shift/drop your knees to the left, bringing them to the mat. Continue the motion and sit up on your knees, thrusting your hips forward until you are up on your knees and your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Sit back down and repeat to the right. Do not use your hands).
So far these take about 20-25 minutes. For the next 25 minutes or so I use my heavy bag as a grappling dummy. I work the following movements:
- side control/sit out to mount.
- armbar from mount (as performed in this link
- knee on belly (as performed in the above link).
- step-around armbar from knee on belly.
I end up with a few minutes of stretching and loosening up my hips, which usually feel like they have gotten a good workout by this time.
Although I cannot work on some of the more subtle BJJ skills like balance, timing, etc. on my own, I can say with confidence that some of my movement on the mat has improved since I have found a way to practice some on my own. My armbar from mount, for example, feels pretty darn smooth, and I have been landing those pretty consistently when I spar in class once per week.
Again, any feedback or new ideas would be appreciated.