If we had to guess, then we’d probably be correct in saying that you’re experiencing BJJ-related back pain every now and then. This is no wonder, particularly due to the fact that you are being constantly hunched-over as you train and compete.
Well, one of the best ways to combat back pain is Yoga! Sebastian Brosche, founder of the Yoga for BJJ website, presents a simple back-pain relief routine that everyone can do.
RELAX WITH THIS YOGA STRETCH FIRST
For the first exercise, lay down on your back and bend your knees. Then, place your hand on one of the knees and lay them down to the mat on the same side; while your other hand extends to the opposite one. Sebastian points out that both your shoulder blades should be making contact with the floor.
Keep this position for one minute, and then switch sides. Be sure to breathe and relax – if you try to resist the pose, it won’t work.
The Cat-Cow is a pose you’re probably familiar with; and if you aren’t, then you will find out the „feel-goods“ of it in just a few repetitions!
Get down to all fours, with your arms straight and just a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart. From there, Sebastian demonstrates that you need to roll your back; inhale as your bellybutton points towards the mat as much as it can and as your shoulder blades „dip in“ – and then exhale as you push up with your hands as much as you can, so that your back rounds and your bellybutton goes as high towards the ceiling as possible.
Do this for around 10 breaths. On the final three, keep your spine rounded at top of the movement; you will feel your tension and pain slowly withering away already.
THE UPWARD FACING DOG AND THE SPHINX POSE
From here, Sebastian shows that you can walk your hands forward and drop your hips down, for a variant of the Upward Facing Dog. Keep your shoulders rolled back and your neck long. If this hurts, get down to your elbows – and you’re in the Sphinx Pose.
Both of these poses will stretch out your spine and the front of your body, which is probably tighter than it should be.
HUG YOUR LEGS
Onto the fourth exercise. Sit down, bring the knees close to your chest and grab underneath them with both arms; so much so that you’re hugging your legs. Then, slowly slide your heels in front of yourself. Sebastian emphasizes that you shouldn’t, however, go too far out.
Now drop your head and relax. Breathe and feel the tension leaving your body, as you patiently try to extend your heels just a little bit more than before.
INVERT YOURSELF AND THE DOWNWARD FACING DOG
Next, lay down on your back and elevate your hips off the floor. If your neck doesn’t hurt, then by all means try to invert yourself completely; so that your toes go as close to the mat as possible and so that your bodyweight goes into your shoulder blades.
If necessary, you can hold your hips up with your hands. Also, you can keep your knees straight or bend them, as Sebastian explains that this is completely up to you. Stay here for a while and breathe.
Finally, squat down and prop yourself into a Downward Facing Dog. Just place your hands and feet wide and stretch your backside up, by pushing the hips towards the ceiling and dropping your head down towards the mat.
Watch Sebastian from Yoga for BJJ demonstrate and explain these poses on the video below:
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