Photo: Emma Pursey
Stretching reduces Muscle Soreness
It’s been scientifically proven that stretching after a practice reduces the level of discomfort and/or soreness on the next day twice as much as stretching just before a work out (Weppler et al, 2012).
Stretching can help you Track your progress
Every bjj practice has a certain theme. If you track the muscles that were the most engaged you can certainly tell the difference between pre workout stretch and after. Nothing is more motivational than seeing actual results firsthand on yourself.
Yoga for BJJ free basic class:
Stretching can enhance Recovery
Recovery is typically regaining a state that was lost but in exercise it typically covers both Reducing fatigue and Adapting to new demands. As such, full recovery would mean you’ve actually achieved a level of fitness higher than beforehand. This ties in nicely with tracking your own progress
Stretching has an active role in Reducing Stiffness
You should avoid static stretching techniques after a practice – they generally require enduring mild discomfort- because the science suggests it’s not very worthwhile. Namely static stretching reduces blood flow, capillary region oxygenation as well as velocity of red blood cells to the muscle. Instead indulge in active recovery involving dynamic, pain free motion.
Stretching after practice has Psychological Benefits
This type of an activity will keep your mind in tune with your body. BJJ practice can be grueling and as such it’s quite important to breathe through your stretches and be conscientious of aches and pains. There’s also the added factor of inducing relaxation and stress relief. Science would suggest post exercise stretching calms the nerves slightly and as such it could help you fall asleep easier afterwards which is a frequent issue related to late night brazilian jiu-jitsu training.
McNeal JR and Sands WA. Stretching for performance enhancement. Curr Sports Med Rep 5: 141–146, 2006.
Sands WA. Flexibility. In: USA Diving Coach Development Reference Manual. Malina RM and Gabriel JL, eds. Indianapolis, IN: USA Diving, 2007. pp. 95–103. 74.
Weppler, C 2012, ‘On “Effectiveness of stretch for the treatment and prevention of contractures…” Katalinic OM, Harvey LA, Herbert RD. Phys Ther. 2011;91:11-24’, Physical Therapy, 92, 4, pp. 627-629.