In are continuous series on cross training for BJJ practitioners we will be looking at the power of swimming. At first, you may think that swimming has nothing to do with BJJ, but it has a lot of benefits for people that like to compete. At the least it helps you build muscle in every part of your body, and not just any muscle, lean muscle. The type of muscle that does not stop you movement or make it harder, but the type of muscle that keeps you strong, lean, and quick. There are also a few more benefits to trying a swimming regimen.
One is that it will help your breathing capacity. In Jiu Jitsu, having the ability to hold your breath will work when you are being choked out, or if you just have a long match having big lung capacity will help as well. Plus, this is something that you can work on making it better, because after extended swimming training you can continue to increase your breathing capacity.
Swimming will also help you in your stretching capacity. Depending on what type of strokes you use when you swim it will start to stretch your arms, legs, and even hips. That will all transfer to BJJ as you continue to need to be more mobile depending on what part of the game you are learning. The power of swimming is not just limited to those two parts though.
Swimming is one of the best cardio exercises, but it is also very low impact on your body. BJJ is something that puts a lot of stress on multiple parts of the body, and it can be hard to do other forms of exercise after you have already trained. So, swimming will allow you to get that exercise, but also allow your body not to feel the impact and only the burn.