19 Best BJJ Solo Drills

19 Best BJJ Solo Drills

Your performance in BJJ will be dependent on the quality and consistency of your practice sessions. It is a prerequisite to adopting a habitual routine of spending some hours in intense grappling, sparring, and rolling if you aim to become a pro BJJ fighter. It happens, sometimes due to mundane chores, gym visits skip. If you are on a business trip where BJJ gym and partner is not available, training suffers. Or due to some cultural holidays or any pandemic restrictions, gyms are closed. In such situations, solo drills for BJJ are a great way to practice your BJJ gi and no-gi techniques at home or at any place of your comfort..

1. Best Solo Drills For BJJ

Jiu-Jitsu drills are essential to perform either in the gym with our partner or at home in the form of solo drills. Solo drills do not require training at the gym. You can easily practice drills at your home without worrying about time. All you need is a space with a BJJ mat. Following are the best BJJ solo drills:

1.1. Hit Escapes

Hit escape is an important defensive movement in BJJ. It is also known as the “shrimp”  movement because it is a crucial movement for escaping a position. This technique is used by fighters at all belt levels and is applicable in all escape scenarios like submissions, sweeps, and passing the guard. The basic purpose of this technique is to improve your hip mobility.

There are a variety of methods for hip escapes but the most basic method for solo drills in BJJ is to turn to your side on the ground with hands near your face and use your feet to exert force on the hips to move backward like an arch while extending your arms. The other hip escape methods are:

  • One-legged Shrimp
  • Two-legged Shrimp
  • Box Shrimping
  • Forward Shrimping
  • Bridge and Shrimp
  • Side Control Wall shrimp
  • Shrimp and Turn Out
  • Elbow Shrimp
  • Hand Shrimp

1.2. Technical Stand Up

Technical stand up is a powerful drill which can be used offensively and defensively. From the defensive aspect, it helps you to stand up on the ground from being physically pinned or create enough space to perform a hit escape. Offensively, this solo drill will train you to perform sweeps and reversals.

To perform technical standup, extend your one arm forward in the air or you can place it on the opponent's shoulder. Stretch out the same side leg, and bend your knee while touching the sole of the foot on the ground. Your other leg will move behind your forward leg. Your foot is now under your buttocks which acts as a base. Now contract the leg under your buttocks and start standing. Now, you are on your feet in an efficient way.

A BJJ black belt fighter, Brandon Wolverine Mullins divided technical standup into four categories.

  • The Full Technical Standup
  • The Three Quarter Technical Standup
  • The Half Technical Standup
  • The Reverse Technical Standup

1.3. Rocking chairs

The next best solo drill for BJJ is rocking chairs. It is an important drill for your home BJJ workout. It is helpful to train yourself for sweeps, reversals, and guard transitions. Furthermore, it improves your technique execution, timing, and reflexes.

The method is to lay on the ground. To gain momentum, try to touch your knees with your shoulders. Your legs will swing in the contracted position to keep your torso off the ground. Meanwhile, one leg touches the mat to provide you enough space, support, and power to roll over with hip extension.

1.4. Standing Guard Opening

To open the guard, a standing drill serves the best. There are a variety of methods that can be followed for standing openings in the gym and at home.

The method to open the guard is to start from your knees. Keep your posture straight with legs slightly wide open. Take one leg in the lunge position while the other leg is on your knee. Place your toes on the ground. The target is to move up into a sumo deadlift-like position by keeping your ground knee open. This solo drill for BJJ is the quickest and safest way to open the guard.

1.5. Penetration Steps

Penetration steps help are important in the successful execution of takedowns. They require space for execution. This is the toughest drill and requires much of your energy, repetition, and concentration to perform. This solo drill for BJJ can be performed at home with one leg forward and one leg backward.

Take small steps with one leg. Bring your knee closer to the ground but do not let it touch. Now take a huge step with the other leg. The ultimate goal is to gain momentum in the standing up process.

1.6. Wrestling sit-outs

One more drilling method inspired by wrestling that every grappler should perform is wrestling sit-outs. Wrestling sit-outs are performed to get rid of opponents from your back. In BJJ, the fighters can practice this drilling to escape from the turtle and front headlocks.

To perform a sit-out drill, place your hands and knees on the ground. Now, lift one arm in the air, to slide the opposite side leg at the spot of the raised arm. Raise your hips and extend as far as possible while pulling the lifted arm backward. Now, repeat the process from the other side.

1.7. Break falls

Beakfalls are considered crucial part for BJJ drills. They are used in Jiu-jitsu to balance the body.

The method is to stand on the ground. Go for the first squat as low as possible, this may curve you like a ball touching your butt. Then your body will flow with the curve of your spine.

Make sure your head should not hit the ground and keep your arms at a 45-degree angle to dissipate the pressure of the fall. On reversing back, your movement will be similar to the rocking chair movement.

When you stand up, follow the pistol squat position rather than following the regular squat.

1.8. Sprawls

Sprawls are often misunderstood with burpees and performed in the wrong manner. The most important thing to remember is that your hips need to move back rather than you attempt to squat down. It's just like defending yourself from the double leg takedown.

Sprawling cannot be performed with two legs parallel. Train from both sides to master yourself in the sprawling. This is definitely going to give you an edge.

1.9. Granby Roll

At the start, the Granby roll seems to be tough and difficult. It can be performed in a number of ways if you desire to develop a guard retention system for yourself. The ultimate goal of this drill is to perform shoulder to shoulder rolling without exerting any pressure on the neck or head. Granby roll will improve the flexibility of the spine.

The easy method is to sit on the floor with your legs extended. Bend your body towards your legs so that your arms can reach your legs easily. Roll sideways on the right shoulder while your head tucked between your legs and then on the left by keeping your legs and arms still touching each other.

1.10. Knee Cut

This is another solo drill for BJJ practitioners that you can practice in your busy days at the ease of your home. Knee cut is a technique to pass the guard by dodging the legs of a bottom fighter by using the knee. You can practice the kee cut as well as the defense against the knee cut move. The major purpose of this drill is to improve your guard passing skills for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

2. Quick and safest Solo Drilling Routine

You can adjust the intensity of your work ( rest ratio ) with the following options in the table.

Work Rest Work Rest
20 sec 40 sec 30 sec 15 sec
30 sec 30 sec 20 sec 10 sec
40 sec 20 sec 30 sec 10 sec
45 sec 15 sec 20 sec 20 sec

Exercise 1

  • Back Fall
  • 4 Shrimps
  • 4 Rockers
  • 3 Penetration Steps
  • (Repeat as much required)

Exercise 2

  • Back Fall into back flat roll
  • Front flat roll
  • (Repeat)

Exercise 3

  • BJJ roll outs each side
  • Judo style roll-outs each side
  • (Repeat)

Exercise 4

  • Shrimp one-Legged
  • Shrimp two legged
  • (repeat)

Exercise 5

  • Guard Flips (4 on each side)

Exercise 6

  • Sit throughs

Exercise 7

  • Knee Cuts (4 on each side)

Exercise 8

  • Jacare crawls

Exercise 9

  • Back Falls

Exercise 10

  • Granby Roll
  • (Repeat)

3. Train BJJ With Grappling Dummy

Train BJJ With Grappling Dummy
Photo credit: @quora

Grappling dummies can play an interesting role in training when gyms are closed or your sparring partner is missing. It cannot take the place of your real partner but can be equally beneficial when you are out of the gym and want to do some workout.

You can add weight to your grappling dummy as much as the weight you desire from your sparring partner but they will not resist you.

Grappling dummies may not come up with your expectations but definitely, it may help you practice your drills in different transitions.

Grappling dummies are useful to protect yourself from various skin diseases like ringworms, staph, and Herpes simplex.

4. BJJ Solo Drills with Heavy Bag

You can practice the following BJJ solo drills with a heavy bag.

4.1. The Knee Mount Spin

The knee mount drill exerts a lot of pressure on your opponent. Stay on the top of the bag to adopt your opponent's movement and focus keenly on the position.

4.2. The Low Spin

The low spin drill is the key winning movement for black belt BJJ players.

4.3. The Two Step Guard Pass Drill

When you attempt to pass the opponent’s guard there are some leg and footwork patterns that are essential to follow. These patterns require a lot of drilling to get carved into your mind and muscle memory

4.4. Sidemount and S Mount Attack Drill

Both drills are meant to exert tons of pressure on the opponent. If the opponent is able to manage the pressure then you are surely going to lose the match by armlock.

4.5. Kick Pass Drill

Kick pass drill is applied by shifting yourself in a loose half guard position and then swinging your leg backward to release from the opponent's strangle.

4.6. HeadMount Spin Drill

This drilling pattern is somewhat unusual but considered essential in BJJ. When your hips are away from the ground and your opponent's chest is far away, you revolve to find the better angle to get control of him.

4.7. The Hip Shovel Drill

The hip shovel drill is the opposite of shrimping. In shrimping, hips are moved away from the opponent but hip shovel drilling focuses on moving hip towards and under the opponent to force for submission

4.8. Berimbolo Entry Drill

Berimbolo drills look like sweeps but it is an attack from the guard.

4.9. Squeeze Development Drill

We attempt to apply a lot of isometric squeezing in BJJ to stop the opponent from getting away from us. Watch the video below to understand the drill.

5. Conclusion

So, when you do not have enough time for drilling in the gym or the gyms are not easily accessible for some time, go for solo drilling. It is also beneficial and like BJJ training in the gym. You do not have to wait for the partner, If you still need it then the drill dummy is the best choice.

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