Staying injury-free in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn’t an easy task. More likely than not, you’ll hear a “pop” here and there – but the goal is to reduce the number of these pops and their severity. And, in order to do that, you’ll need to incorporate some prehab & injury prevention exercises into your training mix.
Here are some fantastic choices, brought to you by Chad Wesley Smith, from the Juggernaut Training Systems.
PREHAB & INJURY PREVENTION EXERCISES FOR BJJ
Bear Crawl: start by being on all fours and by pushing against the floor. Then, get your hips back (your knees should be about an inch off the floor at all times), while actively pushing against the ground throughout the movement.
Beast Hold: hold the same all-fours position as you did before and touch your shoulders (alternating arms). Focus on not rotating your upper body; your core and upper body need to stay stable and in one position throughout. This will reinforce your shoulder stability, in the same way that the Bear Crawl does.
Bird Dogs: yet again starting from the same position as before, you will extend your leg to the back for a total of 5-10 reps per leg. Make it more difficult by lifting an opposite hand and leg at the same time.
To take this exercise a notch further, start moving while holding your core and back neutral… Also, add in a resistance band across your wrists and knees and then walk sideways.
Reverse Snow Angels: lay on your stomach, lift your upper back up a bit and engage your core. From here, extend your arms in front of yourself (thumbs facing up) – and then bring your hands behind your back. Then in front of you again – repeat this several times. Make sure that your palms are higher than your elbows… It will work wonders for your shoulder health.
Side Bridge: get on your side and prop yourself up on your elbow. Lift up your hip into the ceiling while engaging your obliques and pressing through your elbow as well. Make sure not to rotate your upper body; this is a fantastic exercise for your core health.
Single Leg Bridge: this one’s great for the knees. Place one of your legs on an elevated surface or on the floor, keep it bent, and then use it to lift your hips off the floor (push through the floor and engage your glutes); your other leg should be off the floor at all times.
Lying Hamstring Curls: to take your leg strength even further, place your feet on a Swiss ball and then elevate your hips. Bring the ball close to you, then out again. Make it more difficult by using only one leg.
Perturbation Plank: it’s really similar to a regular plank, but in this case your elbows are on the Swiss ball. Press actively through your elbows and your feet – you’ll feel the challenge of staying stable rather quickly.
Chin Retractions: with a light resistance band positioned across the back of your neck and solidified on the floor underneath your palms, get on all fours and lift your head up and down.
One other great neck exercise you could do is just laying on the mats, getting your chin up to your neck and keeping it neutral.
For more details on these prehab exercises, as well as for more variations to doing them, watch the video below… And don’t forget to take a look at the JuggernautBJJ app while you’re at it!