When we talk about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it is inevitable to think about breathing, considering the key role it plays in your performance on the mat. With that in mind, Gracie Humaita has set aside some daily care that you should start implementing if you want to improve your roll.

Breathing stimulates blood circulation, activating the musculature and allowing it to work better and warmer making you less prone to injury. Like other muscles, the brain is oxygenated, generating a feeling of well-being and relaxation, which increases the athlete’s ability to process what’s happening thus improving performance. That’s why when we’re in a stuffy room, with little ventilation, we start to feel tired. It’s our brain asking for air.

During sports practice, your breathing pattern changes as you exercise. The most suitable way is the one that facilitates the flow of oxygen and the outflow of carbon dioxide from the body. Therefore, breathing through your mouth is essential for athletes, after all, the nose is not always able to meet the body’s need for ventilation, we see examples of this constantly on the mat.

Check out some tips below for controlling and maximizing your breathing in certain physical workouts and feel what works best for you.

Weight exercises

Try not to hold your breath when lifting weight, as this can increase your blood pressure. The most recommended breathing for this type of exercise is known as passive breathing. Exhale in the muscle contraction movement and inhale as you return to the starting position.


Aerobic exercise

For running, walking, biking, swimming, and other aerobic exercises, try breathing regularly. Inhaling and exhaling air at a regular frequency helps the body to maintain a balanced function and also helps with concentration.

Long jiu-jitsu training and intensive aerobic exercises

There are times during an intense exercise like Jiu-Jitsu when you’re extremely exhausted. When you feel very tired and feel that your breathing is irregular, breathe deeply. Inhale as much air as you can, hold it for a second, then slowly exhale. This technique will allow your body to take in more oxygen and you will feel a little more willing to continue the exercise.

Low-intensity aerobic exercises

For light walks, biking along the beach, or any aerobic exercise that doesn’t require a lot of effort, try breathing through your nose. Inhale deeply through your nose and let it out, with the same calm rhythm, through your mouth. This type of breathing will help your body to relax, you will feel more comfortable, and the exercise will flow more naturally.


Ideally for this type of breathing is not to exert too much effort. From the moment it bothers you and doesn’t seem to be able to oxygenate your body, start inhaling through your mouth as well.

More than trying to breathe correctly at different times, we encourage you to always pay attention to your breathing. Pain and discomfort during exercise is a signal from your body that breathing is not being done effectively. If you can get the message and change your breathing, you are ready to go beyond your limits. Let’s do this together!

See you on the mats,
Gracie Humaita Sydney.

by Fernanda Monteiro.