One year ago I weighed 260lbs, which was overweight for my height. I realized it and started to work out and eat healthy, which in turn resulted in me losing 55 lbs. With that said, when I started BJJ I began looking around for BJJ specific exercises that would give me a good cardio workout and would help my BJJ game. While searching for exercises I stumbled upon this video of Andre Galvao and Leo Vieira balancing on an exercise ball.
I then decided to research what they were doing and found out it was to help their balance. Several days later I was at Ross and found an Everlast exercise ball for $5, so I got it. I then added some balance ball work to every workout and the benefits have been tremendous! The balance I have on top feels so much better and it has also helped my pressure on top. In fact, one of the BB’s at the school I attend even commented on that, saying that I had excellent pressure and felt much heavier than I actually was.
I recommend an exercise ball and some balance training if you really want to improve your top game. With that said, here are some tips:
1. Get a burst resistant exercise ball. And pump it up all the way. A slack ball is easier to balance on. You want it to be hard to balance on.
2. Practice in a safe area. I practice on a 12x12ft. square of mats and I’ve accidentally fallen into stuff. Some good places would be a huge open room with soft carpet, some mats obviously or outside in a huge patch of soft grass.
3. Start slow. I started just balancing on my knees, using my hands on the ball to help me stabilize.
4. Build up slowly. I’ve been using a balance ball consistently 2-3 times a week for 7 months and I can’t stand on it yet. I can stand on it and use my hands, so I’m in a bear crawl position, but I can’t stand straight up.
If you start training balance with an exercise ball, let me know in the comments whether or not it helps you!