T Nation

Conditioning for Ground Fighting


I can't keep up on the ground. I get tired quickly, I lose my speed and explosiveness when I'm on my back, hell, even when I'm on my knees(turtle guard for example).

When I'm standing up wrestling or thai/boxing I can go forever. I don't get tired. When I am on the ground, I get easily tired even when I'm not struggling. I can say for sure that I struggle and move a lot more when I'm striking and wrestling, and I also wrestle heavier guys most of the time(not many guys my size).

Are there any specific drills or conditioning stuff for me to do to improve endurance and explosive speed/power while on the ground. I know "shrimping" is great for speed when escaping, and I love to do shrimp-to-turtle with a weighted vest. It has helped my escapes and reversals a lot.

Are there any endurance specific drills to do while on the ground. And not to forget explosive power.




I just did a lot of track running, 400's, ran hills, pushups, jump squats/lunges, jumproping, ab wheel rollouts before a NAGA tournament last summer. Mountain Climbers wouldn't hurt either. Keep rolling, that in itself is invaluable.


It sounds to me like you're tensing up too much on the ground. Try to relax your body, if you're in as good a shape as you say it may be your technique and not your conditioning.


this is what i'm thinking, too...


You can bump with a sandbag on you. It's like escaping side control, or mount. So the first move of this vid, but with a weight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5yUBR8Jtgg

You can thread the needle for time.

There's always the drop step, up and down the mat.

Man these things are impossible to describe. Basically, just take basic BJJ moves and repeat as quickly as possible.

Honestly though, the way to get better at rolling, is to roll. Also, the guys have a point, maybe more technique less muscle too.

While looking for vids, I found this one. Whoa


The Second video is common practice in Sambo and it really helps get the cardio and function strength up.


Find an old heavy bag... lay on the ground on your back and pull that heavy bag on top of you... move with it; stand up with it; sit down with it; push and pull it; roll to your right and to your left with it... all the while holding and controlling it. I usually will penalize myself with 10-20 burpees everytime if it gets away from me and/or touches the floor too long.

Another alternative is to use a very heavy large diameter medicine ball. I have used truck tires as well.

Just go at it until your are a panting heap of sweat.


All good advice. I like Gimnastica Natural too. If you actually do the movement patterns, they are tough. Just getting in a lot of rolling is the absolute best though :slight_smile:


I just found this series of videos, it's got a few interesting things to pick out and use.


From my limited experience it really sounds like you need to breath more/relax. If you have the conditioning to wrestle you have the conditioning to be on the ground. Maybe just maybe your isometric strength is lacking but most likely its just something unfamiliar to you so you tense up.

Once I learned to relax my breathing I sucked considerably less. The other possibility is if its new to you, you may be muscle-ing through everything instead of using good technique and leverage. Theoretically you could get in such amazingly good shape to negate these but it'd be easier just to learn to relax/move.


I agree with the previous posts and want to add, that the best conditioning for ground/fighting/grappling is actually going hard on ground/fighting/grappling. There is no endurance conditioning move or workout that can prepare you for it better then actually just doing it till you puke then doing it some more.


Its not exactly related to your q,but u can find some ideas within clip bellow (especially in the 2nd half of the video)


I been doing BJJ for 2 years and i am really athletic and explosive in all positions, i find that its all about core strength and conditioning on the ground and neck and lower back conditioning.

laying on your back and rolling your head forward till your chin touches you chest and do side to side as well
and then you need to do weighted sit ups. get some one to hold your feet and go fucking NUTS!!! on the weight
i do sit ups with 80-100 pounds on my chest like 8-10 reps just drop set it down untill your not using any weights.

i can just sit up with even heavy weights on my chest in mount no body can hold me down


Just roll, that's what with give you gas.

It doesn't matter if you run marathons, were a sprinter or can deadlift and squat a house.


When rolling, go against a fresh opponent every minute for 3-5 minute rounds. Go as hard as possible.

Get more comfortable on the ground so you can learn to relax and BREATHE. A lot of inexperienced people will panic when it goes to the ground so they tense up and actually stop breathing. Obviously this will make you gas a lot faster.


push, pull, carry heavy shit as fast as you can



This sounds nice. I should get some friends together and just do some cardio rolling. Just blast through on the ground. Hehe!