Does Grappling Make You Stronger?

Sometimes people tend to confuse strength with muscles. While, yes, strong people are often muscular, it is not always the case. A lot of people have a core and overall strength. That brings us to today’s article, where we will be asking whether or not grappling makes you stronger. Let’s take a look.

If you start a grappling martial art with little to no strength, then doing one of these martial arts can help you build a significant amount of strength. If you are already a strong person, then a grappling martial art can help you maintain that strength. Grappling is most effective at building core strength.

In today’s article, we will not only be answering whether or not grappling makes you stronger. We are, in fact, going to take a deep look at the subject. We will be speaking mainly about jiu-jitsu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as these are two of the most effective grappling martial arts out there. So, for everything you need to know, keep reading.

Does Grappling Make You Stronger?

Grappling martial arts such as jiu-jitsu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu can give you strength, and it could also help you maintain a certain level of strength if you are already quite a strong person. It all has to do with the movements that are involved in these martial arts.

Not only are you constantly active while doing jiu-jitsu, but you are also pushing and pulling against an opponent. The stronger and heavier your opponents are, the more strength you will develop.

It is not just about the motion of pushing and pulling. Remember that when you are pulling your opponent, you are pulling someone trying to pull away, which adds extra weight. You can think of it as resistance training.

Again, when it comes to pushing, you are trying to push somebody away whose main objective is to move towards you.

You also need to consider all the muscles that are involved in all of these movements. Grappling somebody is not easy, especially when your opponent is skilled. You use almost every muscle in your body in the entire grapple.

Does Grappling Build Muscle?

We have written a recent article about this. Here is a small snippet from that article:

“If you already have a lot of muscle and you start doing jiu-jitsu, then you should not expect to build much muscle. If you have an average or below-average body and you start doing jiu-jitsu, then yes, you will put on a significant amount of muscle.

It is important to note that the amount of muscle you will put on will not be the same as if you were to go to the gym and lift heavy weights for the same amount of time.

If you already had a lot of muscle coming into jiu-jitsu, then you could actually lose some of that muscle if you do not carry on going to the gym.

What Muscles Are Used In Grappling?

In the section, I want to make a quick list of the muscles that you work while grappling, and then we will talk a little bit about why grappling and jiu-jitsu work at these muscles and while everything might not be obvious at first, once you think about it you’ll get it.

  • Legs: This includes your lower and upper legs.
  • Abdominals: There is a lot of rolling in Jiu-Jitsu. Also, you can expect to drop body-fat.
  • Forearms: Pushing and pulling will work your forearms.
  • Biceps: This is due to grappling.
  • Triceps: Again, pushing and pulling.
  • Shoulders: This will be rather minimal.
  • Back: A lot of your grappling will involve using your back and shoulders.

It is important to remember that you also work your core.

Does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Give You Abs?

We get this question a lot whenever a beginner decides to take up a martial art. They always have many questions, and one of the most common ones is, does Brazilian jiu-jitsu give you abs? Actually, whatever martial arts someone is considering, they will always ask this question.

When you do Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it is quite cardio-intensive. So, first and foremost, you will be burning body fat. The fact that we all have abs already, means that the more body fat you burn, the more those abs will show.

You also need to know that in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you are using a lot of your core muscles. This, coupled with the fact that you do a lot of rolling and getting up, means you can slowly start building some abs if you never really trained them before.

So, not only will you be burning fat to show your abs, but you will be growing them as well. We can confidently say that, yes, Brazilian jiu-jitsu does give you abs. In fact, most martial arts help you in getting abs.

Will Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Get You In Shape?

As we have already mentioned, BJJ is cardio-intensive. So, it can help you with your overall fitness. If you are overweight and trying to lose a little bit of weight, BJJ can be one of the tools that helps you the most.

Obviously, it is not all about exercise when it comes to losing weight, and I’m sure we have all heard this before, but it really is true. When you want to lose weight, you need to have a diet in place. Also, you need to have a good training routine.

BJJ will not only give you the exercise that you need; it actually teaches you a lot of discipline and principles that will help you stick to your diet, stick to your routine, and overall, it just gives you a great state of mind.

If you are trying to put on a little bit of weight, BJJ is a great way of giving your body a full-body workout. However, you need to increase your nutritional intake, so you need to eat a little more.

Should You Lift Weights For Grappling?

Grappling, or any kind of martial arts, for that matter, is more about technique than it is about strength. However, that does not mean that building muscle and strength in the gym for jiu-jitsu won’t give you some advantages.

If you can master grappling techniques while also building muscle and adding strength, you will basically be giving yourself every advantage that you can.

It is important to remember that in BJJ, the person with the better technique or at least who executes each technique better is most likely the person who will win in a fight.

Is Grappling Good For Self Defence?

There is an article that we wrote which was about the best martial arts for bodyguards. In that article, we spoke quite a bit about Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This is because grappling is one of the best forms of defense, especially if you are trying to inflict as little damage as possible onto your attacker.

Being able to grapple with somebody trying to attack you will allow you to easily get that person into a position where you can then get them into a submission hold. This is the best way of subduing someone.


Being able to grapple is one of the best ways of building core and overall strength. It might not be the most effective at building muscles, but if you want to be fit, healthy, and strong, you cannot go wrong with a grappling focused martial art.

More from author

Related posts

Latest posts

Advantages And Disadvantages Of 6 Pack Abs

Most people secretly wish they could have a set of six-pack abs. However, only 2% of the world's population can boast of having great...

Kettlebell Gloves Or Chalk?

Many opinions exist regarding exercise, including the tools needed to maximize a workout. One such debate revolves around the use of kettlebell gloves vs....

Can You Be Fit Without Abs?

When it comes to fitness, men often start and finish with the same picture of their eventual goal: glorious abs telling everyone they are...

Want to stay up to date with the latest news?

We would love to hear from you! Please fill in your details and we will stay in touch. It's that simple!