Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a physically demanding sport that requires a high level of flexibility, mobility, and strength. Incorporating a stretching routine into your BJJ training can help to improve performance, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance overall well-being. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of stretching in a BJJ routine, with a focus on the best stretches for BJJ, the benefits of incorporating a mobility routine, and the role of flexibility in BJJ training.
The importance of flexibility and mobility for BJJ
Flexibility refers to the range of motion a joint has. Mobility, on the other hand, refers to the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion. Both are important in BJJ as they allow practitioners to execute techniques effectively and avoid injury. A lack of either can limit a practitioner’s ability to perform certain techniques and put unnecessary stress on the joints.
Which type of stretching is best for BJJ?
There is no single type of stretching that is best for BJJ. The best type of stretching for BJJ depends on individual needs and goals. However, incorporating a variety of stretching methods into your BJJ training routine can provide comprehensive benefits for flexibility, mobility, and injury prevention.
Here are some of the most effective types of stretching for BJJ:
- Dynamic stretching: This type of stretching involves active movements that mimic the demands of BJJ. Dynamic stretching helps to warm up the muscles and prepare the body for training or competition. Examples of dynamic stretching include leg swings, arm circles, and high knees.
- Static stretching: This type of stretching involves holding a stretch for a set period of time, typically 15-30 seconds. Static stretching is best performed after training or competition to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery. Examples of static stretching include calf stretches, hamstring stretches, and quad stretches.
- PNF stretching: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching is a type of stretching that involves contracting the muscle being stretched, followed by a passive stretch. PNF stretching is an effective method for improving flexibility and can be performed with a partner or with the use of resistance bands.
- Yoga: Yoga is a practice that incorporates physical postures, breathing exercises, and mindfulness. Yoga can help to improve flexibility, mobility, and reduce stress. The practice of yoga can also complement the physically demanding nature of BJJ and provide practitioners with a well-rounded training experience.
My favorite mobility routine for BJJ: Yoga for BJJ
Yoga for BJJ is a specialized program that combines the principles of yoga with the demands of BJJ. This program is designed specifically for BJJ practitioners and is an effective solution for improving flexibility, mobility, and overall performance in the sport.
The Yoga for BJJ classes consist of a series of yoga poses and sequences that are specifically designed to target the muscles and joints used in BJJ. These poses and sequences are performed in a slow and controlled manner, with an emphasis on proper form and alignment. The program may also incorporate breathing exercises and meditation to enhance the physical and mental benefits of the practice.
Compared to other stretching programs for BJJ, Yoga for BJJ offers a unique approach that combines physical and mental training. The focus on mindfulness and breathing in yoga helps to complement the physically demanding nature of BJJ and provides practitioners with a well-rounded training experience.
The 5 best jiu jitsu stretches for beginners
Incorporating specific stretches into your BJJ training can help to improve flexibility, mobility, and reduce the risk of injury. The following are some of the best stretches for jiu jitsu beginners:
- Hamstring stretch: This stretch helps to loosen the hamstrings, which are often tight from repetitive movements in BJJ. To perform this stretch, sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you. Reach forward and touch your toes, holding the stretch for 15-30 seconds.
- Butterfly stretch: This stretch helps to loosen the hips, which are crucial for executing BJJ techniques. To perform this stretch, sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together. Using your elbows, gently press your knees towards the floor, holding the stretch for 15-30 seconds.
- Lizard pose: This stretch is a deep hip opener and is great for improving flexibility in the hips. To perform this stretch, start in a push-up position and bring one foot to the outside of your hand. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Figure four stretch: This stretch helps to loosen the hips and lower back, which are often tight from repetitive movements in BJJ. To perform this stretch, lie on your back with both knees bent. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee and pull the crossed knee towards your chest, holding the stretch for 15-30 seconds.
- Pigeon pose: This stretch is a deep hip opener and is great for improving flexibility in the hips. To perform this stretch, start in a push-up position and bring one knee forward, placing it near your opposite hand. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
These 5 exercises aren’t a substitute for a full mobility routine, but they’re a great start.
Also read: Top 5 Best BJJ Instructionals for Beginners & White Belts
The best BJJ mobility routine (advanced)
As you get better at jiu jitsu you’ll naturally get more agile and dexterous, and you might want to challenge yourself more. So if you’re a more advanced BJJ practitioner you can use this mobility routine. Lachlan Giles explains it in the video below.
Is the 10th planet stretching routine dangerous?
A friend of mine who trains at 10th Planet started to do the 10th planet stretching routine religiously every day, until he tore his own MCL (whilst attempting the buggy choke during sparring).
He says he’s sure that this happens because he stretched way too much and too hard in the period leading up to that. So although work ethic is important, please remember that you can also stretch too much!
Does BJJ make you flexible?
Whether or not BJJ makes you flexible is a common question among practitioners. The answer is that BJJ can help to improve flexibility, but it is not a guarantee. BJJ is a physically demanding sport that involves a lot of repetitive movements, which can put stress on the joints and muscles. While the movements involved in BJJ can help to increase flexibility, it is important to complement your training with dedicated flexibility and mobility work.
BJJ training can help to increase flexibility in some areas, such as the hips, legs, and lower back, which are crucial for executing techniques. However, it is also important to address flexibility in other areas, such as the shoulders, neck, and upper back, which can be neglected in BJJ training.
Also read: The 15 Life Changing benefits of jiu jitsu