1. The official Sherdog Store is back! Check it out! » Discuss it here! »

Swimming is way superior to running when it comes to working on cardio for bjj

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by GoatArtemLobov, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. GoatArtemLobov Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    1,885
    At least this is the impression I have.
    The advantage running has for itself is that it raises your heartrate a bit more. Therefore, studies show that elite runners tend to have a slightly stronger heart than elite swimmers.
    However, running takes a huge toll on your body. Granted swimming can be bad for shoulders too, but not as much as running is for knees, ankles and hips.
    Moreover, swimming gives you that upper body concentric strength, which is very useful for guard players.
    Swimming also teaches you how to control your breathing.
    Last but not least, running is something that will inevitably make you stiff (again, studies show that being stiff in the thighs was something common among elite runners), and that's not what you want for bjj, right?


    What's your opinion on that?
    What do you do for cardio?
     
    MitsuyoMaeda likes this.
  2. MitsuyoMaeda White Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    33
    I agree. I remember swimming was incorporated for conditioning when I was wrestling, and we (Now coaching) still program it for our wrestlers.

    And looking at another athlete, Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz would swim as his primary form of cardio instead of running.
     
    GoatArtemLobov likes this.
  3. GoatArtemLobov Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    1,885
    I think it makes sense for grapplers.
    For striking, especially boxers, there is a lot of moving around being light on your feet, and what running teaches you is to run while being very light on your feet too, so I think running would translate better to striking arts.
    But for grappling, I have no doubt about swimming being superior
     
  4. GoatArtemLobov Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    1,885
    Would also interest me to know what pro-grapplers do for strength and conditioning.
    I know they lift a lot, but for cardio we almost never get to see them going on long runs like other martial artists do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
    MitsuyoMaeda likes this.
  5. MitsuyoMaeda White Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    33

    It varies. I have heard the arguments of anaerobic vs aerobic exercise. I personally have seen a pro-grappler log in 7 miles a night. But others I really haven’t seen much running due to the impact. The other counter argument I have always heard, “in order to improve cardio all you need to do is drill.”
     
    GoatArtemLobov and HunterAcosta like this.
  6. HunterAcosta Black Belt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    1,839
    Think like was mentioned earlier that strikers should def run but for grapplers its not necessary at all I feel. I do feel stretching or yoga and some form of strength training, whether its weights, bodyweight exercises or both(I do both and get best of both worlds) is necessary especially as you age into bjj. Those skinny 130lbs guard player young beast purples will be messed up at 40(well we all will anyway) without some meat on their bones. Too many large strong men will put their full weight on you over the years and smash pass your neck and back into oblivion. I look at building muscle( I lift 3x week and bodyweight exercises daily-push ups, dips, rows, chin/pull ups, bodyweight squats. ) at 47 as something that is armor for my old body and to protect my joints and ligaments. Does it help my bjj? Id say somewhat but YES technique is king for sure. I get my cardio by training bjj and walking 10,000 steps daily. My knees are shot to run and i hate using gym cardio equipment. I feel extra cardio work is a bit overrated if you train enough bjj...My two cents.
     
  7. Kforcer Dragon Slayer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,071
    Likes Received:
    2,985
    Location:
    East Lansing, Michigan
    You ever tried the Jacob's Ladder or Versa Climber? Never did the Versa Climber but the Jacob's Ladder, which is similar to a Versa Climber, strikes me as great endurance training for grappling.
     
  8. meauneau Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,479
    Likes Received:
    795
    Marcelo says he doesn't lift or run, all his strength and conditioning comes from jiu jitsu.
     
    GoatArtemLobov and HunterAcosta like this.
  9. Daniel Fox Green Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    1,473
    Likes Received:
    66
    I swim regularly due to bad knees, I prefer swimming to running but truthfully, there is no cardio substitute for running. If you are actively competing at a high level you have to run. Every Friday I swim 3550 (2 miles) and I actually find it easier than running three miles, even though 2 miles of swimming takes me 1:20 minutes, where as running three miles takes about 25-27 minutes.
     
  10. Whitebeltatlife Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2020
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    142
    Swimming is also better on the body as it has less gravity. I agree it's better for BJJ as it uses similar muscles groups whereas running is mostly just the legs. I think running is kind of boring too. If you look at the body of a swimmer they're usually similar to a BJJ guy without workouts, whereas runners are scrawny and weak looking.
     
  11. GoatArtemLobov Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    1,885
    I kind of agree with you because, as I mentionned it earlier, running spikes your heartrate more than swimming.
    I sometimes swim long distances too (like 2000m, in about 30 min) and it feels smooth, even relaxing, I'm having a blast and it's not even close to being as hard as this running torture. If you get the chance to swim in a lake or in a see, you are close to heaven.
    With that being said, there are ways to make swimming very hard too. Have you ever tried things like 12*50m butterfly, with 30 seconds of rest between each set? Fucking torture, I regularly spike my heart rate up to the high 180's, low 190's BPM with that. And it works the upper body in a great way, giving me the bests punps in the back/arms/pecs/shoulders/abs I could get, way better than those than I get from weighttraining.
    If there are fitboys/insta stars here who look for ways to look amazing on a photo at the beach for instance, give it a try <NewGina>
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
  12. ahheadlock God**** Sexual Tyrannosaurus

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,928
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    Adelaide - South Australia
    Swimming is like running while trying not to drown.

    I find swimming much harder than running (while simultaneously being easier on your joints which is nice) - However I really suck at swimming (also running, but I suck worse at swimming). They shut down all the pools during covid but I think they are open again now, I should really get back into it. Bonus is you get a solid full body workout at the same time.
     
    GoatArtemLobov likes this.
  13. nefti Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    10,233
    Likes Received:
    399
    I think heelstriking has alot to do with joint pain. It took me a while to change form but once i changed to a balls of my feet striker most of the pain left my joints. Much harder on my calf tho...
     
  14. Daniel Fox Green Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    1,473
    Likes Received:
    66
    I never had formal swim training, so I have never tried intervals, I imagine that would be a very good workout.
     
    GoatArtemLobov and Kforcer like this.
  15. aries Gold Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    17,347
    Likes Received:
    2,385
    Location:
    UK
    I had that experience too. I'd had knee problems for a long time whilst running but they went away when I switched to a barefoot style of running. Unfortunately just recently I've had to cut runs short due to knee pain. It may be that even forefoot running can't help me. Maybe I need to switch to swimming?
     
  16. biscuitsbrah Red Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    9,774
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    I think both is better. Sprinting or interval work is probably going to translate better to grappling than long runs. Swimming is a good workout for recovery but it’s not going to make a huge difference in your game like running *could* have

    lifting and conditioning through ‘functional’ movements is ultimately going to be more important than both imo

    But yes swimming is the healthiest, so I guess best for a complete hobbyist but not from a competitive or skill stand point
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
  17. Kforcer Dragon Slayer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,071
    Likes Received:
    2,985
    Location:
    East Lansing, Michigan
    When I had access to a pool, I would just tread water as hard as I could, rather than swimming. I was always afraid of pinching something or having some sort of injury if I tried to go all the way. There was a guy I knew who used to be incredibly strong and pinched a nerve or something swimming, so I was paranoid after that. But I did get pretty tired doing the treading water thing.

    I think anything where you have to coordinate your upper and lower body is pretty good for grappling.
     
  18. rmongler Black Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,026
    Likes Received:
    782
    Location:
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    A lot of sports involve running, so forms of running are ultimately necessary for conditioning for a lot of sports.

    But more than a few sports don't involve linear running as a significant element, and most combat sports are a significant example of that. And if your sport doesn't involve running, then there is little good reason to incur the wear and tear of long periods of running.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
  19. Swimming is great for the joints according to some exports. It is good to swim on a recovery day. But it is better to mix both for better result.
     
  20. Daniel Fox Green Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    1,473
    Likes Received:
    66
    I get the opposite effect from swimming, I find it restores the body. I find myself much more prone to injury while Wresting, running or lifting weights. As an old guy I believe that swimming is the number one exercise for anyone over 40, especially if you want to stay active in combat sports (in my case it is wrestling). If I had to guess, and this is pure speculation on my part, your friend most likely injurered himself elsewhere, and thought it was from swimming. Pinched nerves are weird, sometimes there is a delay and you do not notice it for several days.
     
    Kforcer likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.