Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters present greatest rapid and maximal strength imbalances at extreme elbow angles

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies



First Page


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School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research




Follmer, B., Ruas, C. V., Dellagrana, R. A., De Lima, L. A. P., Pinto, R. S., & Diefenthaeler, F. (2021). Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters present greatest rapid and maximal strength imbalances at extreme elbow angles. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 25, 126-132.


© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Background: The performance of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) fighters is dependent on rapid and maximal elbow strength actions. Appropriate strength balance between elbow flexors (F) and extensors (E) across the full joint range of motion may be required to decrease risk of injuries. Aim: To compare rapid and maximal elbow F/E strength balance through full range of motion in BJJ fighters. Materials and methods: Twenty-three male BJJ fighters (27.9 ± 4.6 years, 82.9 ± 10.9 kg, 174.5 ± 6.8 cm, and 15.3 ± 6.8% body fat) with 8.2 ± 6.5 years of practice volunteered to participate. Participants were tested for rate of torque development (RTD) and peak torque (PT) of elbow F and E at six angles (45°, 60°, 75°, 90°, 105°, and 120°; 0° = full extension). Rapid (F RTD/E RTD) and maximal (F PT/E PT) angle-specific torque (AST) ratios were calculated. Results: Rapid AST ratio at 45° (0.66 ± 0.18) and maximal AST ratio at 45° (0.91 ± 0.16) and 120° (0.88 ± 0.20) were significantly less than all other AST ratios at mid-point angles of elbow range of motion (p < 0.05). Individual data demonstrates that both beginners and advanced BJJ fighters present overall similar rapid and maximal F/E AST imbalances. Conclusion: BJJ fighters present greater rapid and maximal strength imbalances at extreme-compared to mid-point angles of range of motion. Results may benefit coaches to develop strength exercises focusing on these specific angles to potentially reduce the risk of elbow injury and improve performance of BJJ fighters.



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