Use code POWERUP for 10% off fitness equipment! Use code POWERUP for 10% off fitness! SHOP NOW
4 Steps to Add Kettlebell Workouts for Jiu-Jitsu into Your Schedule

4 Steps to Add Kettlebell Workouts for Jiu-Jitsu into Your Schedule

Written by
September 18, 2017
Updated May 15, 2020

I recently started competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments again. At my advanced age of 41, it has been no easy task! When I was fighting professionally, I didn’t have time to train with the gi (jiu-jitsu uniform) because, in MMA, you do not fight with one.

Gi training involves a lot of grabbing collars, lapels, and sleeves, so it’s a crazy forearm workout. My hands and forearms were constantly sore to the point where I would have to submerge my hands in ice water.

The Kettlebell Solution for Jiu-Jitsu

Enter the kettlebell, I was introduced to kettlebells, and I developed my Kettle-Jitsu training system. This reinvigorated my love for training (at least the conditioning aspects of it). Along with the gi, it is the best tool for increasing grip strength and conditioning. Below is sample template on how I incorporate the kettlebell into my class’s training week, using the kettle-jitsu technique.

Step 1: Warm Up for Kettlebell Training

My classes always start with a 10 to 15-minute joint mobility/light bodyweight warm up. The goal of this portion of the workout is to increase your core temperature by performing basic movement skills and calisthenics. Once you’ve broken a sweat and your muscles are warm, I suggest performing ground-based mobility drills. This will ensure no injury will occur during your kettlebell workout.

Step 2: Movement Practice for Kettlebell Workouts

Once you are nice and loose, it’s time to mimic the actions in the ring with 3 to 5, 1-minute rounds of Shadow-Jitsu (the bodyweight training variation of Kettle-Jitsu) combinations. Some combinations you could use for your Shadow-Jitsu workouts can be seen here:


Step 3. Kettlebell Workout Schedule for Jiu-Jitsu

We then do a light kettlebell warm up, followed by 3 to 5, 2-minute rounds of kettlebell circuits. Below is an example of how you could organize your training week:

Monday: dynamic warm-up/mobility; Shadow-Jitsu; double kettlebell training
Wednesday: dynamic warm-up/mobility; Shadow-Jitsu; a heavy single kettlebell routine
Friday: dynamic warm-up/mobility; Shadow-Jitsu; light kettlebell routine

If I’m feeling my oats, I will squeeze in another day of kettlebell and bodyweight. This is the general format I have been using at my gym for some time now, and everyone loves it! Both my women’s and men’s classes have been packed!

Step 4. Get Started Adding Kettlebell Workouts into Your Jiu-Jitsu Schedule

3-4 days of kettlebell training should not interfere with recovery for your grappling or fight training. If you want to improve your grip strength and take your MMA or BJJ game to the next level, it is essential you incorporate the kettlebell into your training week. Incorporating the kettlebell into your training will greatly benefit you, unfortunately not so much for your opponent! Give these two workouts a shot next time you have a chance:

Kettle-Jitsu Kettlebell Workout


Double Kettlebell Workout with Kettle-Jitsu

Joey Alvarado is the owner and head trainer of Socal MMA Fitness based in East Los Angeles, California. Joey is a former professional MMA fighter and competitive grappler, and the developer of Kettle-Jitsu, a unique blend of Jiu Jitsu bodyweight exercises and newly developed kettlebell exercises. Find out more at
Free shipping is offered on orders with a minimum subtotal of $100 less discounts. Free shipping is only available in the contiguous U.S. and excludes Fitness and Digital items.
For media inquiries please contact us at
With a subscription, you'll get your favorite Onnit products whenever you want at 15% off MSRP unless otherwise noted. All automatic, worry free, and with our same great money back guarantee.
Cancel or adjust your order at any time, hassle free. Your payment method will only be charged right before your order ships. The discount applied every time is 15% off MSRP (unless otherwise noted) or the current sale discount, whichever is greater. For more information, see the complete Onnit Subscription Terms & Conditions and Frequently Asked Questions.

Secure Shopping

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access any information on our website. We incorporate physical, electronic, and administrative procedures to safeguard the confidentiality of your personal information, including Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for the encryption of all financial transactions through the website. We use industry-standard, 256bit SSL encryption to protect your personal information online, and we also take several steps to protect your personal information in our facilities. For example, when you visit the website, you access servers that are kept in a secure physical environment, behind a locked cage and a hardware firewall. After a transaction, your credit card information is not stored on our servers.