Let’s face it. If your doing Jiu Jitsu you’re going to get hurt…
Let’s face it. If your doing Jiu Jitsu you’re going to get hurt. We train hard day in and day out, and subject our bodies to awkward positions, intense sparring, and dangerous joint locks. Bumps and bruises are inevitable, however, you can do a lot to prevent serious injuries that will keep you off the mat indefinitely. The key is to commit to injury prevention and listen to your body if you want to stay on the mat for the long term.
Always Warm Up
Most academies include a good full-body warm-up before training, focusing on Jiu Jitsu type movements to heat up the muscles and elevate the heart rate. These warm-ups are great, however, not everyone is the same. Some people may need more of less of a warm-up to get going. For example, if you know your lower back is susceptible to injury, it’s smart to add your own drills and exercises before class.
The same goes for any personal injury-prone area you may be dealing with. If you had a bad neck injury in the past, take a few extra minutes to do some neck work. Or, if you just came from sitting at the office all day, dedicate time before class to loosening up your hips and thoracic spine. A good warm up should last at least 10 minutes and focus on mobilizing joints, stretching dynamically, and bringing heat into the muscles.
Check Your Ego
We’ve all heard this before, but it’s worth repeating. Practice time on the mat is just that – time to practice and explore new positions. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques that may leave you vulnerable to attack. It will only improve your game in the long run. If you find yourself caught in a deep submission, don’t risk an injury by holding on, trying to muscle out of it. Just tap. Brush it off, start again, and don’t make that mistake again. Your ego may be sore but at least your joint isn’t.
There have been numerous studies to show that strength training helps prevent injuries. Your joints become more stable, your bones become more dense, and ultimately, your body more resilient to debilitating injuries and setbacks. Always use proper technique and don’t lift beyond of your capabilities. Don’t go too heavy too fast, rather build up over time. Two or three sessions a week is enough to build strength and prevent injuries without overtraining.
It’s also smart to develop your small stabilizer and postural muscles at the gym. Although they’re not very glamorous, they will pay dividends in preventing injuries and combating the damage we do to our bodies on the mat. READ MORE