Video: The Five Best Grip Exercises for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling

Whether its in the gi or no-gi, grip strength is one of the most important assets for any jiu-jitsu player. Playing guard, guard passing, attacking the back, it doesn’t matter — grapplers are using their grip in essentially every single position. So, how does one develop a crushing grip? In a recent video, professional trainer Dane Miller gives the five best grip exercises for BJJ — and why those exercises work.

Here are Miller’s top five exercises for grip strength in BJJ:

  1. Monkey grip pull-ups
  2. Rope climb
  3. Forearm roller with thumb change
  4. Towel hangs
  5. Plate flip

One major takeaway here is that grip strength rarely works just the grip. Monkey grip pull-ups and rope climb, for example, both involve plenty of pulling and lat work, as well as core work — just like grapplers incorporate different muscles at the same time while they are rolling. We also see the importance of developing finger strength; the towel hang in particular will target not only the muscles of the forearm, but also the small muscles in the hand. Finally, Miller’s top exercise — the plate flip — trains the muscles of the forearm to act explosively, just as they do during a jiu-jitsu match.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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