Yeah, we know. Stretching is so booooring. The last thing you want to do after an intense rolling session, or/and during a busy day, is to spend some of your time stretching. It seems like you could do much more productive things instead… Or just rest, for crying out loud!
But stretching doesn’t have to take too much of your time. What’s more, you could do it for a maximum of 10 minutes before bed!
WHY THIS STRETCHING ROUTINE WILL HELP YOU
These stretches won’t take a long time to do, and they’ll be helpful to your BJJ flexibility. Plus, you’ll be able to do them before you go to sleep.
But why should you do them before going to sleep? Two reasons:
1) It’s easy to fit into your schedule. You won’t have to think about cramming it into your day, but you’ll know that as soon as your pajamas are on… So is the time for stretching.
2) You’ll sleep better. By stretching before sleep, you’ll feel more relaxed and doze off fast.
Therefore, turn stretching before going to bed into a routine. You’ll love it.
All those chokes and neck cranks… Make every Jiujiteiro’s neck painful. That’s why it’s vital not just to strengthen your neck, but to actively work on stretching it and – therefore – making it less tight.
But stretching the neck isn’t one-directional. That is, you will need to stretch out the multiple muscles it makes up, from multiple angles.
Here’s a neat video with all of the stretches that you may need. Do each side for around 30 seconds, before moving on to the next stretch.
THE UPPER BACK
There are loads of upper back stretches out there, and none is necessarily better than the other. However, if you’re short on time and you want to get rid of that nagging upper back pain and tightness… There’s one stretch – or rather, a movement – that will have you feeling like a million bucks quickly.
It’s the Cat-Cow exercise. Do it as much as you feel the need to, and really focus on getting the full movement of the spine.
Your shoulders are one of the most BJJ-vulnerable areas of your body. There will come a moment when you’ll tweak them, so it’s paramount that you take care of them. That you make them stronger (especially the rotator cuff) and stretch them out regularly.
And the best possible stretch for your shoulders? You are not going to believe this, but… It’s actually hanging off of a bar!
Just latch onto a pull-up bar or something else you can hang from, and hang there. Here is why this stretch can be so helpful:
It’s so, so important to stretch out your hip flexors. From all the time you spend sitting during the day, and from then being in a guard position in training… These will get tight and will produce problems down the line.
Here’s a great hip flexor stretch. Feel free to take your time with it; do it for up to a full minute per each leg.
GLUTES AND HIPS
Your glutes and hips probably feel extremely tight after training. So, it’s good to stretch them out by doing the Pigeon Stretch before you head to sleep!
Trust us, this stretch feels wonderful. It will also help, along with the hip flexor stretch, with any lower back pain that you may have.
And lastly, do a bit of hamstring stretching before you go to bed. That will do a great deal in preventing both lower back pain and (serious) injuries down the line.