7 Best Mobility Drills For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

7 Best Mobility Drills For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a widely played grappling martial art that requires great body motility and flexibility. To achieve great physical strength and flexibility, mobility drills play a crucial role. What are mobility drills and why are they important? Let’s get to know more about Mobility drills and their effectiveness.

1. Why are Mobility Drills Important?

A flexible and strong body enables the player to perform well on the mat, especially in international competitions and against a bigger opponent, and build a strong invincible defense. Along with strength training, sparring, and rolling, joint flexibility is essential to your performance in BJJ.

2. Benefits of Mobility Drills

In BJJ, the fighter needs to learn and practice multiple joint lock techniques and chokehold submissions. Motility drills enable BJJ fighters to not only execute successful submission attacks but also handle physical strain without getting fatigued and injured. To improve mobility, BJJ fighters need to incorporate certain exercises in their daily exercise routine. Below are some important BJJ mobility drills.

2.1. Hip CAR: Controlled Articular Rotations and BJJ Mobility

The whole BJJ game is built around the awareness of body joints for manipulating the joints of the opponent and building the defense against the same techniques simultaneously. Amid the whole anatomy of the human body, the hip joint is the most functional and bigger component as it is linked with the lower limbs, core, pelvis, and spine.

The hip joint plays the most essential role in maintaining balance while training and performing techniques, submissions, and choke holds. To become a more efficient grappler, mobility drills for hip joint strength are prerequisites.

Controlled Articular Rotations or CARs strengthen your hip joints, reduce your lower back pain, and extend your range of movements and flexibility. This enables BJJ practitioners to exert more pressure while maintaining extended hip joint movement and ensuring improved stamina.

When you perform CAR exercises, the secretion of synovial fluid increases and extends the hip joint’s range of movements. Synovial fluid helps your joints move freely in a greater range.

Also, increased activity in the hip joint stimulates the nervous system which helps strengthen the sync of mind and body for better performance.

Steps for CAR (Stretching Workout)

  • Stand on one foot, place your hand against the wall for balance and support, and bend your knees.
  • Move the bending leg away from the other leg.
  • When it is extended far as possible, try to rotate the leg.
  • Move back and switch to the other leg.
  • Repeat this exercise five times with both legs.

2.2. 90/90 Position and BJJ Mobility

The upper and lower body movements are highly dependent on the external and internal rotation of the hip joint. Motility is a basic requirement in grappling Martial Arts like BJJ. The 90/90 position improves both external and internal hip rotations.

Steps for the 90/90 position:

  • Bend one of the legs in front of you so that your hip is rotated externally and your leg, knee, and feet are flat on the ground. The foot should be pointing toward the ground.
  • Position your other leg behind your back so that your knee is aligned with your hip joint. Keep in mind that your legs should form a 90-degree angle when they are bent.

2.3. 90/90 PAIL and RAIL

PAILs is the abbreviation of Progressive Angular Isometric Loading while RAILs is the abbreviation of Regressive Angular Isometric Loading. Both are performed to enhance the range of motion. An increased range of motion is helpful to enhance motility.

In this regard PAILs and RAILs along with a 90/90 position are helpful to increase the motion of hip joints beyond normal limits. Flexibility in hip joints enables a BJJ fighter to perform different techniques efficiently and avoid injuries.      

  • To further improve flexibility, touch your heel while keeping your knee on the ground. This position helps with external hip joint rotation. This exercise practice is known as PAIL.
  • Now move your heel upward to rotate your hip joint internally. You can put your hands in front or behind your hips. This is known as RAIL. Remember to stretch your torso throughout the activity to get better results in less time.

2.4. Frog Stretches and BJJ Mobility

BJJ fighters should have strong limbs to maintain their position and to execute successful submission attempts. Frog stretches are in fact a yoga workout to improve flexibility in your inner thighs, hips, and lower back muscle. 

Frog stretches are effective practice for BJJ players. Frog stretches help increase flexibility and the range of rotation in your hip joints, while also strengthening your thigh muscles. Furthermore, they also help reduce tension in your lower back.


  • Start on all fours, resting on your knees, and elbows. Put your palms together and move them toward the back of your neck. Then, widen your legs.
  • Balance your body and move one of your legs beneath you.
  • Repeat in the opposite direction.
  • Repeat at least 10 times.

2.5. Shoulder CARs and BJJ Mobility

Grappling sports like BJJ require strong shoulder joints to perform many techniques like chokes, and Armlock. 

The shoulder joint is shaped like a ball and allows circular movement like a hip joint. However, the shoulder joint is able to do a 360° movement. BJJ practitioners should need shoulder joint flexibility to move them according to requirements. Shoulder CARs help keep your motor functions active and improve shoulder flexibility. If you are a BJJ fighter, you must try it for effective flexibility.

Steps to perform Shoulder CARs:

  • Rotate your shoulder joint in all directions.
  • Stretch your arms and keep your fingers straight. Now move your arms upward until they are straight above your head.
  • Now move them back to your sides.
  • Lift your arm straight and stretch. Now rotate it in the air in a circular motion.
  • Repeat this motion with another arm.

2.6. Kneeling Lunge To Pigeon Posture

Ankles are very important in BJJ as ankles help fighters to balance on the mat. When a fighter tries to pass guard, he should have strong and flexible ankle joints so that he can move freely around his opponent and his ankles can stabilize him on the mat. Kneeling lunge to pigeon posture helps improve the flexibility and strength of ankles.

Steps of Kneeling Lunge to Pigeon Posture for BJJ players:

  • Bend both legs until your knees and feet are touching the ground, with one leg extended forward.
  • Place both your hands on the front leg.
  • Now squeeze your glutes and alternate between legs, moving them forward and backward. Repeat at least 10 times.
  • Now bend both legs until they rest on the ground.
  • Put one leg forward, while the other leg stretches behind you.
  • Put both of your hands on the ground in front of you.
  • Now move your body forward towards the ground.

2.7. Forearm/Wrist Stretches

If you are a BJJ fighter, you must have strength and flexibility in your wrist joint to defend against the opponent’s attacks. Wrist stretches help improve flexibility in your forearms and increase strength in your wrist muscles. Practicing exerting pressure on your wrists will help your wrist joints become used to carrying more weight and increasing your range of movement.

Steps for Wrist Stretches.

  • Put your knees and palms on the ground. The palms should be positioned so that your fingers are pointed to your knees.
  • Lock your elbows and move your hip joint towards your heels.
  • As you move your glutes toward your heels, you will feel a stretch in your forearms and wrists.
  • Repeat this exercise 10 times. Hold for 10 to 15 minutes in the final stretch.

3. Takeaway

Here we discussed vital movement drills for those who desire to become expert BJJ fighters. Follow these movement drills regularly. Persistence is a way that leads you toward your destination.

Photo credit: @prgrm

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