Balance training for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Submission Wrestling.. Every Martial Art for that matter. How important is balance training? I was once told my grappling is only as good as my base. I could have 1 million takedowns under my belt, 1 million guard passes and 1 million submissions, but if I’m constantly off balance, getting taken down or swept than how effective is my BJJ and Judo?

Depending on your schools curriculum you may never see a day of base and balance training. But it’s all good! This short video is going to give you a good amount of exercises that I have used to improve my balance and pressure from any top position. You can do these exercises anytime of the day in the comfort of your own home or at your BJJ school during open mat, provided they have a stability ball available. So lets get started.

The stability ball (also called an exercise ball, Swiss ball, or physioball) is a simple yet versatile piece of training equipment that you can use to train your whole body with fun and innovative moves. Stability ball training is effective in building balance, stability, muscular endurance and core strength. You can find stability balls at most gyms and they can be purchased at sporting goods stores. 

Here are some of the positive results you’ll see:

  • Build core strength. Stability ball exercises are ideal for building core strength since they increase the demand of your shoulder, hip, and core stability.
  • Improve balance and coordination. The unstable surface of the stability ball forces your muscles to heighten their readiness. Your body will call more muscles into action to help stabilize your body and control that unstable surface.
  • Activate key muscles. Stability ball exercises can also help activate and elongate key muscles, much like you do in your movement Prep routine.
  • Better sports performance. Stability ball movements create better body awareness. This can lead to a lower your risk of injury because you’ll be less likely to turn an ankle or twist a knee when you’re knocked off balance.

Think about it! If you do a set of pushups on the floor, you’ll need some strength, but not a whole lot of balance, agility, or coordination. But what if you add the added challenge of placing your hands on a stability ball? Now your body has to compensate to keep the ball from moving, much like your opponent during a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Judo match. Your central nervous system has to recruit more of your muscles so you can remain balanced. More of those little muscles in the shoulder and core are activated, creating more stability.

Here is a great video from BJJ legend Jeff Glover. I have been following the moves in this short video for a few months now and have noticed a great improvement in my balance game. From controlling a spastic opponent to passing guard and applying submissions, this video is a great place to start. Don’t worry if the moves seems awkward at first. Even gifted professional athletes have difficulty when they first use the ball. But you’ll find that you pick up the exercises quickly and experience an immediate benefit. They often say that they feel as if they’ve activated and stabilized muscles they didn’t know they had.

There’s also a great feeling of accomplishment for being able to perform on an unstable surface. You’ll increase the degree of difficulty somewhat, but the benefit will increase exponentially, and you’ll feel great knowing that you can do something many people cannot. 

Razors Edge Mixed Martial Arts