[Video] Solo Drills: Horizontal Movements

Can you ever have enough solo grappling drills? I don't think so. That's why I filmed my favorite horizontal hip movements for you.

Detailed explanations for each drill demonstrated in the video:


The classic, universal BJJ warm-up drill. It goes by many names: shrimping, hip escapes, elbow escapes, ebi, eep 'scapes. Let's make sure you're doing it right.

  1. Lay flat on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor and elbows bent, hands by your face.
  2. Plant one foot firmly and turn to the opposite side.
  3. Lift your hip by pressing your foot down and going up on to your shoulder.
  4. Shoot your hips back as you fold at the waist.
  5. Tuck your bottom knee up to your chest so it's not left behind.

Tip: Imagine a line on the floor under your shoulders. Your hips should scoot back that far.

Bad shrimping #1

This is usually caused by trying to extend and push the leg away, rather than planting the foot and shooting the hips back. Focus on lifting the hips up and back instead of pushing your foot away.

Bad shrimping #2

This is caused by laying flat and not turning your side and bending at the hips.Turn on your side more so you can put your weight into your shoulder and bend on the hips.

Sideways shrimping

This are my favorite way to practice shrimping since it mimics side control escapes better because the head and shoulders also move backwards.

  1. Turn somewhat on your side and plant both feet.
  2. Bring your hips, feet, or shoulders back (you can start with any one).
  3. If you brought your shoulders back, then bring your feet back, then your hips.
  4. Find a rhythm where your weight shifts between each of those body parts to free up the others to move backwards.

Circle shrimping

Similar to sideways, but with less backwards head and shoulder movement.

Circle walk

Not truly shrimping, but useful for moving around on your back to find better angles to escape.

  1. Turn to one side and plant both feet.
  2. Walk your feet (without crossing them) either forwards or backwards.
  3. After a few steps, go flat to your back but continue to walk in the same direction.

This movement become useful in certain escapes and reversals, like the "shovel" movement used in some half guard sweeps.

Reverse shrimping

  1. Laying on your back, do a side crunch to bring your shoulder closer to your feet.
  2. Lift your hips and pull yourself towards your heels as you shoulder walk.
  3. Throw your arms overhead to mimic tossing someone off you.

Tip: The key to this is shoulder walking from side to side as you use your legs to help out.

Hip skips

  1. Lay down, then angle off 45 degrees from the path you want to travel.
  2. Plant your outside foot and get on to the shoulder nearest the center line.
  3. Hop and swing your hips over the imaginary line.
  4. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Tips: You can also use the inside leg by turning the pinky toe side of your foot into the mat (this way is often harder to do). A good hip skip will have you "swinging" back and forth on your shoulders without your butt touching the ground much.

Backwards shoulder walks

Beginners often do this by accident when trying to shrimp. The movement is good to know but not when you're doing it by accident.

  1. Roll your shoulders from side to side to walk them backwards.
  2. Walk your feet in time with your shoulders.

Sit-up escape (tucking elbow)

  1. Shrimp like normal, but as your weight goes into your shoulder, tuck your elbow under you.
  2. Rock back on your elbow and shrimp again.
  3. Sit all the way up and get to your palm as you scoot backwards.

Sit-up escape (wide elbow)

Like the last one, but this time swing your arm out side to get on to your elbow.

Sit-up escape (crunch to elbow)

You skip shrimping by using a quick crunch to get to your elbow.