This is the most comprehensive guide to best BJJ solo drills I could find…

You’ll see lots of solo drill ideas.

But most importantly?

I’m going to show which solo drills give you the most bang for your buck.

Oh, and HOW to fit them into your training.

In short: if you want to improve your jiu jitsu but can’t get to training as much as you’d like (like me), you’ll love this guide.

Let’s get started.

The 9 Best BJJ Solo Drills that Will Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

Bruce Lee I Fear Not the Man Who Has Practiced 10,000 Kicks Quotes

You can chase your tail and try a billion different solo drills. And not get good at any of them.

Or you can start by focusing on a few:

The ones that will help your jiu jitsu the most.

The 80 20 Rule Applies to BJJ Solo Drills

But… don’t just take my word for it.

I watched every YouTube video I could find. I read the top 20 articles on the internet about BJJ solo drills.

The good ones all have a lot in common:

They all cover the same drills. Over and over.

To bring them all together, THESE are 9 best BJJ solo drills to improve your jiu jitsu:

  1. Hip escapes (shrimps)
  2. Bridging
  3. Bridge and hip escape combo
  4. Bridge and mount escape combo
  5. Forwards and backwards rolls
  6. Inversions (side rolls)
  7. Technical stand-up
  8. Sprawls
  9. Shooting for doubles and singles

The 9 Best BJJ Solo Drills to Improve Your Jiu Jitsu Infographic

These are the movement patterns that you use every time you roll.

So get good at them.

And guess what?

Watch your favourite grappler. You’ll still see:

Hip escapes. Bridges. And rolling.

Every time.

The only thing that changes is the context that they use them.

BJJ Solo Drills Aren’t Just for White Belts Meme

I know what you’re thinking…

…”you’ve given me a list of BJJ solo drills. Can’t I see a demo?”

Absolutely.

This one shows you nearly the whole list. Awesome descriptions of the drills too.

7 BJJ drills you should do EVERYDAY w/Roberto Atalla

Want so see a demo of the sprawl?

Of course you do.

Then check out the first demo in this video by fightTIPS with a cameo by Stephan Kesting.

CAUTION! You’ll probably end up watching the whole video.

5 Solo Movement Drills for BJJ: No Partner Needed!

What about shooting for doubles? And singles?

It’s the first demo in this video.

This guy is smooth:

5 Solos Movement Drills for BJJ / MMA / Grappling – EXPLAINED!!

4 Ways to Incorporate BJJ Solo Drills into Your Training

So you know WHICH drills to start with. You know HOW to do them.

But WHEN should you do them?

Well, here’s the BIG 4:

1. Do BJJ solo drill training sessions.

Perfect if you’re travelling or just can’t get to jiu jitsu enough.

That’s me.

I’ll mix it up and do different sessions.

[some example workouts are included below]

2. Do them as part of your BJJ warm-up.

Maybe your school does most of these anyway? If not, squeeze in a few while you’re getting ready.

3. Include them in your non-BJJ warm-up.

If you’re doing strength or conditioning training you’ve got to warm up anyway.

So why not kill two birds with one stone.

What if you’re at a normal gym?

Don’t be a weirdo.

There’s some solo drills you can do that don’t look so, well, weird.

[You don’t want to practice inversions at Anytime Fitness… trust me]

See these below too.

4. You could use solo drills for your conditioning workouts.

But…

Be VERY cautious about statements like this:

How NOT to do BJJ Solo Drills

Here’s the thing:

You’re doing solo drills to get better at jiu jitsu related movements.

You’re trying to develop muscle-memory.

That doesn’t mean: flailing around on the mat, reinforcing poor movements.

It means: focus on doing each drill and doing them properly.

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

So go slow. To start with.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

By practicing these 9 solo drills you will start to move more efficiently.

You will be more relaxed on the mat.

You will save energy.

NOW it’s time to move on…

The Complete Guide to Other BJJ Solo Drills [For AFTER You’ve Mastered the Top 9]

So you’ve mastered the core 9 BJJ solo drills?

Good.

Now it’s time to ADD to them.

But before you go crazy, ask yourself this…

Is the drill you’re doing related to jiu jitsu movement, or is it just calisthenics?

[sure handstands are cool, but their application to BJJ is questionable]

That’s one of the reasons a good place to start is Stephan Kesting’s Video:

The Shrimp Should Be Your BJJ Club Mascot

10 Ways to Shrimp and Improve Hip Mobility on the Ground

Great explanations, and he relates them to different escapes:

1. Shrimp (hip escape)

2. Single leg shrimp (the bottom-mount elbow-knee escape)

3. Side shrimp (under side mount)

4. Forward (reverse) shrimp (escaping North-South)

5. Box shrimp (a cool drill to combine the above)

6. Bridge and shrimp (making space… more realistic against non-beginners!)

7. Side control wall shrimp (useful for escaping side mount and putting your opponent back into guard)

8. Shrimp and turn out (escaping and coming up into a single leg or standing)

9. Elbow shrimp (guard retention)

10. Hand shrimp (more space for guard retention)

You’ll want to make the shrimp your club mascot after watching that video.

For some more ideas check out this one from Jason Scully:

33 Solo Grappling BJJ Drills in Just 7 Minutes

Here is something to aim for…

Smooth.

BJJ Solo Drills with Professor Andrew Galvao

What if you have all the time in the world…

…but nowhere to train?

Then here’s an hour of solo drills by the 4x black belt world champion, Rikako Yuasa

Single Movement: An Hour of BJJ Solo Drills by Rikako Yuasa

Should You Even Be Doing BJJ Solo Drills?

Here’s the deal:

There is one real reason to do solo drills… and that is:

  • Developing your technique.
  • Improving quality of movement.
  • Being smoother and faster.

But if your main goal is strength, conditioning, or flexibility for BJJ?

You’re better off doing a specific strength, conditioning, or flexibility program. 

Read: The Best Strength Training for BJJ Workout Routine

Stephan Kesting from Grapplearts get’s asked about it, here’s his response:

Stephan Kesting quote about BJJ solo drills

That’s pretty honest.

You can see the instructional he’s talking about here on Amazon: Grappling Drills for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling.

Grappling Drills by Grapplearts

[Full disclosure: I haven’t seen it. I’ve reviewed his BJJ Back Attacks Formula though, and I rate his work highly]

That being said…

Solo drills that are based on jiu jitsu movements WILL also:

  • Provide SOME sports-specific strength and endurance
  • HELP improve your joint mobility and flexibility
  • Improve your balance

Should You Train Solo Drills Even if You Get to Class Regularly?

It depends.

If your sessions already involve doing movement drills… then it’s probably not needed.

If you turn up, rep a few techniques, then roll… yes.

Think about it:

Basketball players practice shooting.

Golfers practice their swing.

Tennis players practice their serve.

You get the picture.

They are a good supplement to your jiu jitsu training.

But… The Main Thing to Remember About Solo Drilling?

Don’t let solo drills replace your training.

Fact You Get Better at Jiu Jitsu

Improvement comes from:

Working on timing. Discovering which techniques work for you. Your body shape. Your opponents’.

That’s what make BJJ effective.

If all you do is solo drilling?

It’s like only doing kata. Or practing kicking and punching air.

As if any martial art ever only trained like that…

What Are Some Ideas for Solo Drill Workouts?

These are some of the workouts I’m currently doing:

The BJJ Solo Drill Home Warm-Up

This is the warm-up I do when I’m about to train at home:

HINT: It’s the top 9 solo drills

My wife is used to me being weird, so it’s okay

I do 3x rounds of 5x repetitions (5x each side if it’s a one-sided exercise)

  1. Hip escapes (shrimps)
  2. Bridging
  3. Bridge and hip escape combo
  4. Bridge and mount escape combo
  5. Forwards and backwards rolls
  6. Inversions (side rolls)
  7. Technical stand-up
  8. Sprawls
  9. Shooting for doubles and singles

The 9 Best BJJ Solo Drills to Improve Your Jiu Jitsu Home Warm-Up

The BJJ Solo Drill ‘Anytime Fitness’ Warm-Up

This is the warm-up I do when I’m in public.

I don’t mind being weird.

But…

Inversion rolls are VERY weird when you think about it.

So for this one I do 3x rounds of 10x repetitions of:

  1. Bridging
  2. Sprawls
  3. Shooting for doubles

The sprawls look like burpees with poor form… and I sort of disguise the shots for doubles as dynamic lunges.

The 36 Solo Grappling Drills Movement Workout

I credit Jason Scully for this one, and use his video from above.

Why 36 drills?

I counted 34 drills in his video…

…plus added in sprawls and technical stand-ups.

I usually go for 5x reps each side, aiming to go slow and smooth

[This means it doesn’t take 7 minutes, I allocate half an hour]

Tabata Intervals with Jiu Jitsu Solo Drills

Below is an example Tabata workout I use for conditioning.

Note:

I’ve specifically chosen drills that I find harder to stuff up when I’m fatigued…

… and I make the less technical exercises last.

AFTER I do the solo drill home warm-up:

  • Technical Stand-Up (4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest)
    • One minute rest
  • Shooting for Doubles (4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest)
    • One minute rest
  • Sprawls (4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest)
    • One minute rest
  • Bridges (4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest)

Tabata Intervals with Jiu Jitsu Solo Drills

Summary

There are 9 BJJ solo drills that best improve your jiu jitsu specific movement

Train them by doing solo drill sessions or include them in your warm-ups

If you use solo drills in conditioning sessions keep in mind:

  1. Movement skill is the first priority
  2. There may be better ways to achieve fitness goals

There’s lots of other drills you can also do to improve your jiu jitsu…

Your turn!

Comment below:

What are your favourite solo drills?

How do you like including them in your training?

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