With great power in BJJ comes… Quite a bit of aches and pains, actually. It’s no secret, and every Jiujiteiro knows it: sooner or later, as you train Jiu Jitsu, you will encounter pain. It’s just a matter of where and when.
Dealing with these aches doesn’t have to be complicated, though. Here’s a simple guide to resolving the most common „ouchies“ that come up as a by-product of training. Beware, however – it involves strength training, stretching, common sense, and patience.
LOWER BACK ACHES
One of the most common areas that BJJ athletes feel discomfort and pain at as a result of BJJ training is their lower back. This pain can be particularly annoying, because it has a tendency of making its presence known in whichever other activity (or inactivity) you do.
The most common cause for lower back aches is a weak core. Jiu Jitsu places a lot of demands on your core, and if it’s weak, you’ll begin to feel it in your lower back. Therefore, the best thing that you can do in this case is loads of core exercises, such as the plank, leg lifts, and similar.
Hip flexor tightness and hamstring weakness are two another common perpetrators. Stretch your hip flexors every day, and do some strength work on your hamstrings; deadlifts and hamstring curls in the gym will work fantastic.
Additionally, it would be a good idea to try out this routine, that you can do at home. Do it every day – and there’s a high possibility that your lower back pain shall disappear quickly!
UPPER BACK PAIN
Ah, the everyone’s „favorite“ – upper back pain and tightness. Getting stacked, inverted, pressure passed… It’s no wonder that upper back aches and Jiu Jitsu seem like a match made in „heaven“.
Luckily enough, there are some simple things that you can do to neutralize this nuisance.
Buy a foam roller and a lacrosse ball. Use the first one to roll out your upper back before and after training, as well as during the day when you can (just evade rolling on the spine); and use the lacrosse ball to press it against the wall with your back – hitting those painful knots with it, and massaging them until they subside.
With that, strengthen your upper back and stretch your chest, as well as the front of your shoulders. You need to do both for your back to feel as healthy as possible. Therefore, any type of rows and pull-ups shall help, as well as stretches such as the pec minor stretch. Add to that the dead hang exercise from a pull-up bar (a fantastic option for shoulder pain as well), and you are going to be ache-free soon.
„It was more of a crank, bro.“ Well, maybe it was or maybe it wasn’t, but the end-result is the same: you’re experiencing neck tightness and pain quite a lot these days. And the best solution? You’ve guessed it right: stretch it and strengthen it.
Here’s a great article on how to stretch your neck from all possible angles. And here’s a great exercise for strengthening the neck and improving your posture:
Admit it – you love training in the Gi. We know that, because that’s the reason why your fingers ache so bad!
Finger pain is really common in BJJ, for beginners and advanced athletes alike. The best advice for alleviating it is to train more No Gi and to not hold on to the grips with so much zest.
Yup, it’s no rocket science. It is simple and it works; so start (un)doing it.
Stop Feeling Sore, Tired, And Injured And Start Being Preventative With Your Injuries. It’s Time To Become Bulletproof For BJJ!
- Get grappling-specific exercise routines to build mobility, strength, grip, and core, with or without a gym
- This system was designed by BJJ brown and black belts and professional fitness gurus Joe Worthington and James Tomlinson
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