Be smart about your rest
Training regularly at any level can take its toll on the body. So the days we aren’t training should be spent wisely. Sometimes after a long week our body tells us “Hey! do nothing, but eat everything!”. As much as it may feel that your body needs a rest, chances are it needs to move.
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This is where active recovery comes in. At rest our muscles will begin to tighten. Left over inflammation from training will only assist in this process. Finding little ways to reduce inflammation has to be a key tool in your active recovery kit. Ask around the mat, because your training partners certainly have some tips for active recovery. Here's five:
- Foam Rolling- most stores carry these and they come in a wide variety. The ultimate goal is to break up the tension that builds in the soft fascia of our muscles. Find one that fits your needs. Some are rigid, some are hard, and others are more pliable.
- Yoga- Easily one of the most recommended activities by the Jiu-JItsu community. Some academy’s even have class onsite. If not look around and you’ll surely find a studio. In some cases you can even find reliable jiu-jitsu specific yoga classes.
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- Strength and Conditioning- Traditional means of fitness can be used supplementally to support your Jiu-Jitsu game. Kettlebells are a staple of plenty people in the BJJ community.
- Streaming- If you lost the battle with your inner dialogue win some of the battle. How about every time you are asked “are you still watching?” you make yourself get up and go through a short 5 minute interval of body weight exercise or basic stretching. Or even comboing some of the other items on this list for short intervals between episodes. Just throwing it out there.
- More Jiu-Jitsu- Seriously. Being disciplined isn’t limited to simply showing up to train. Showing up to train with a specific goal to just work technique and/or light drilling can be a difficult task. Light training can be used to both recover and keep your mind focused on Jiu-Jitsu. You can also utilize your off time studying instructionals and trying to add new tricks to your game.
As much as we might think we need total rest and have to save energy to heal our bodies. Our bodies need to get the kinks out through active recovery. Make good use of your time off the mats to make the most of your time on the mats.
Another means of active recovery is to add some movement drills into your routine. Olympic Judo Silver Medalist and John Danaher Black Belt Travis Stevens has joined forces with his mobility coach to share Movement for Grappling with you! You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!