Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a whole body sport, and for this reason the entire body deserves to be stretched. The most important areas to be stretched for optimal flexibility, smoother moves, and better breathing, are the shoulders, back, hips, and legs. Grappling is fairly unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared for any situation. Many BJJ enthusiasts have turned to yoga to prepare them for the mats.
“I was relaxed doing yoga and this gave me the equilibrium to fight well”, said Wallid Ismael, a Brazilian mixed martial arts champion, just before his fight against Royce Gracie in 1998.
Many of the top Brazilian competitors in Jiu-Jitsu practice yoga religiously as it helps contract only the necessary muscles needed to hold a posture, and relax the other ones — a beneficial situation for grapplers. The general rule of stretching is to stretch at the point of tension, and not at the point of pain. Stretching before and after training is extremely important, and should never be skipped. Before training, it’s best to do dynamic stretches, and after, static ones. Here are a few that will aid in achieving.
Stretching when done done correctly can greatly help your BJJ guard retention.
Guard retention is the act of getting your opponent back in front of you and in between your legs, as he tries to pass your guard. You need to have a grip and at least 3 points of contact.
We all have that training partner that is really flexible and whenever you roll with them, you spend a long time trying to solve the riddle of their guard…
Well that can be you.
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