Body Types & Jiu-Jitsu – Advantages and Disadvantages

Body Types & Jiu-Jitsu – Advantages and Disadvantages

Different body types have distinct advantages and disadvantages in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For example, a taller person has a longer reach, while a shorter person may be more agile and can better use leverage. This article focuses on how each body type can help or hinder you in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

1. Body Types in Jiu-Jitsu

1.1. Ectomorph Body Type

Ectomorphs are characterized by having skinny body with little muscle mass. This body type is often seen as the ideal body type for jiu-jitsu, as it can provide an advantage in speed and flexibility.

However, a person with an ectomorph body type may mean something other than they will be good at jiu-jitsu. If you are an ectomorph interested in jiu-jitsu training, don't let your lack of muscle mass discourage you – you can still be a great fighter!


  • A skinny body is the best fit for BJJ
  • A long and lean body with little body fat ensures better speed and agility
  • Better flexibility allows you to perform more positions


  • Lack of strength and power due to less muscle mass

1.2. Mesomorph Body Type

Mesomorphs have large bone structures, natural muscularity, and low body fat. Most mesomorphs have a broad chest and shoulders with a tapered waist. This body type is often associated with athletes or those who actively work out.

Mesomorphs excel in activities requiring intense exertion, such as sprinting or weightlifting. They typically have little trouble building muscle mass and can quickly recover from stretching workouts and strenuous exercises. However, they may also find it hard to maintain a lean physique and bulk up quickly if they don't carefully watch their diet.


  • Athletic build grants more strength
  • Strong muscles to overpower the opponent
  • Can perform for long hours without becoming tired
  • Better stamina for high-intensity training


  • Have trouble losing fat while gaining muscle mass
  • Shorter limbs proportionate to the larger torso

1.3. Endomorph Body Type

Endomorphs have bodies with more fat cells and less muscle mass than the other two body types. People with this body type find it harder to lose weight and build strength.

Endomorphs' key to success is focusing on their diet and training.


  • Have a strong, muscular body
  • More muscle mass reduces the risk of injury
  • Better stamina


  • High body fat hinders movement
  • Can become fatigued quickly

2. Impact of Body Types When Learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, body types can significantly impact whether you win or lose a match. Different body types have different strengths you can use to your advantage and weaknesses an opponent can exploit.

For example, a bigger, more muscular body can exert more force than a smaller, more agile individual. However, a smaller fighter might be able to maneuver around a larger opponent better.

Different body types are better suited for performing specific techniques. For example, having longer limbs ensure better flexibility and make it easier to pull off submissions. Meanwhile, short stature will make it easier to execute takedowns and throws.

Depending on the body type, a fighter must find suitable training gear, including a punching bag, BJJ belt, BJJ gi, etc. Ultimately, being aware of your strengths and weaknesses helps you to adjust your BJJ strategy.

3. Which Body Type is the Best Fit for Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that people of all body types can practice. However, some body types are better suited for jiu-jitsu compared to others.

If you are overweight or obese, jiu-jitsu may not be suited for you. Since this sport heavily relies on using leverage and turning your opponent's weight against him, trying to pull off techniques with a heavyweight body can be impossible.

It can also be challenging to practice jiu-jitsu if you are too tall or short. Having overly long or short limbs may make it difficult to pull off moves that require wrapping your arms and legs around your opponent.

4. Bottom Line

Whether you are an ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph, remember that each body type has its advantages and disadvantages in jiu-jitsu. It is up to the individual to figure out a fighting style that fits their body type and use their strengths to their advantage.

Photo credit: @precisionnutrition

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