Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be an exhilarating Martial Art to be involved with, as the community of BJJ is full of fun, excitement, fitness, and intensity. Training on the Jiu Jitsu mats can become quite challenging, and this is due to the rigorous training regimes, and the complicated techniques. Anyone who has trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu knows just how grueling it can be, and how every muscle in their body is activated. Pushing, and pulling, twisting, and framing in all positions makes for a full body workout, which can leave athletes feeling sore, and in need of rest and recuperation. All students of Jiu Jitsu must learn how to recover their muscles, so they can keep on training with consistency to help them progress through the ranks.
What this article covers:
- How to Recover from A BJJ Workout
- How to Recover from BJJ Injuries
- Injury Prevention Methods
- Nutrition for Recovery
There are many different aspects that can help an athlete through these training processes. There are basic ones like eating the right foods, and making sure they have stretched so they can be limbered up, and prepared for training. There are other aids that can help students like knowing the correct mobility exercises, as this will help with most common bjj injuries. Athletes will learn the recovery process, as most instructors within their academy have strong values, and great philosophies to teach. Training can become an obsession, and athletes may find themselves spending too many hours inside the gym. Even though this is great for their mental aptitude for Jiu Jitsu, they need to know when to take significant rest periods, so their body can heal up before more extensive training sessions.
HOW TO RECOVER FROM A BJJ WORKOUT
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be extremely intense, as many of the maneuvers are highly dynamic. There are also many positions that rely upon heavy pressure from an opponent, which can be hard to deal with for students. Being stuck underneath a heavy top game player will also force students on the bottom to use a lot of skeletal strength, and muscle power to hold off, and frame their way out of positions, as well as defending submissions like choke holds. Most athletes that train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu understand how hard it can be on the body, especially if an athlete is not warmed up properly. Usually the next day after a training session an athlete will wake up with aches, and pains knowing they have done a solid workout. One of the best things that an athlete can do is get up, and walk around. What an athlete will find is the blood flow throughout their system will start to help heal sore spots in their body.
There are other recovery methods that athletes can utilise to help keep them consistent on the training mats. Ice baths can be extremely grueling to sit in, but the health benefits are remarkable, especially for combat athletes. Immersing the body in cold icy water is an extremely effective way of cooling down all of the muscle groups at the same time. An ice bath will significantly reduce the swelling, and any muscle damage from exercise by constricting blood vessels, and decreasing metabolic activity. It has also been proven to reduce tension on the cardiovascular system, which can bring down an elevated body temperature. This is a great way to reduce lactic acid, and fatigue in an athlete's muscles. If being fully immersed into an ice bath is a no go for certain athletes, they can simply use ice, and strapping as a compression on any sore spots to help reduce swelling, or fatigue.
Sometimes all an athlete needs is a day of rest, and this is crucial to the progression of every student in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Training everyday at a high intensity can cause an athlete to suffer from injuries, or burnout mentally. There is no shame in taking every second day off, or every third day off to rest the body in preparation to stay consistent on the training mats. Taking rest days most definitely will help with BJJ recovery, not just in the physical aspect but the mental one too. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a mentally demanding combat sport that has a high level of intricate moves, which takes a significant concentration, intelligence, and brain power to master. Taking a mental break from BJJ will work wonders for a student's game, as not only will they find a good balance in their life, but they will come back to training refreshed and ready to train with a hungry attitude.
HOW TO RECOVER FROM BJJ INJURIES
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be one of the safest sports on the planet, and one of the most dangerous at the same time. The art is full of integrity, and good sportsmanship, as athletes can easily escape danger by simply submitting to their opponent. During the process there are many avenues where a student can receive a multitude of different types of injury. Some of these injuries may include torn knee ligaments, strained ankle tendons, dislocated fingers, and cauliflower ear from jiu jitsu. Recovering from different types of injuries will warrant different rehabilitation processes. The first step in any recovery process is to assess the damage, and apply ice, or heat to the affected areas. The next step is to see a Dr, there is no point being brave, and acting like the injury will heal by itself, even though this may be true, getting a scan is always the best course of action. Once an athlete can see what they are dealing with then it becomes easy to design a specific recovery process to help get the athlete back onto the training mats.
Some injuries are a combination of a long time in Jiu Jitsu, like the slow progression of arthritis in an athlete's joints, or knowing how long does it take to get cauliflower ear from bjj. No matter how long it takes an injury to rear up in an athlete's career, they must learn the correct processes in order to maximise their chances at longevity in the sport. Many students will opt for physiotherapy, or chiropractic services to help aid their muscles, and bones throughout their BJJ journeys. Remedial massage is another good way for athletes to recover from many muscular injuries they may receive during training sessions. Hydrotherapy can work wonders for an athlete, as the no impact on the joints while they are stretching out in the water, is a fantastic way to help soothe injuries from BJJ. Like most injuries there is always a need for strengthening after the initial recovery period, and most injuries require an athlete to build up some significant strength, so they can continue training at higher intensities. There is always the last resort, which is surgical procedures, but athletes will want to explore all other avenues before being put under the scalpel of a surgeon.
INJURY PREVENTION METHODS
There are many different known preventative measures that can help an athlete stay agile, and ready for training. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can raise a host of different problems for a competitive athlete, as the grind of BJJ can be physically demanding on an athlete's body. Athletes will need to take precautions so they can learn the art of preventing cauliflower ear bjj, or preventing more serious injuries like a torn ACL, a torn rotator cuff, or bulging discs in their back, and neck. Athletes can use many different forms of protective gear in training like headgear, ear protection, knee guards, or strapping tape. Even though some of these protective measures are illegal to use during BJJ competition, they can still aid an athlete during training sessions. Fingers and toes are usually the first injuries that students will receive, so it becomes vitally important for new students to learn the art of taping fingers for jiu jitsu. Learning how to appropriately wrap any injury for BJJ is crucial to an athlete's well being, and vitality within the sport.
One of the most important factors in injury prevention is strengthening an athlete's body. Bulletproofing is a sure fire way to eliminate most chances of copping any form of serious injury. Of course there will always be minor hiccups along the way for every athlete, but with the appropriate rest, and rehabilitation, athletes will no doubt conquer all of their minor ailments. Athletes that are involved in strength and conditioning processes have a greater chance of staying injury free, as not only are they strong enough to withstand injury from their opponents, they will also avoid injury through their own process of technical movements. Mobility exercises are crucial to the prevention of all types of injuries, as they will help an athlete increase their overall range of motion. This is extremely helpful for athletes to become more flexible, and able to excel in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, at the same time giving them a broader range of mobility, which can save them in challenging situations like being stuck in a submission.
One of the most basic concepts for injury prevention is for athletes to minimise dangerous movements in their game style. An athlete that has an inverted game, where they will spend a lot of their time berimbolo rolling, and being stuck on their neck, can put them in significant danger of getting injured. This is the same as being stubborn, and not tapping out while their opponents have them in submission holds. It's all well and good to be brave, and not tap out when they are in a choke hold, but ultimately this can only lead to more serious issues like neck problems, and spine problems. Students need to be humble, and need to submit to their opponents, this is so they can come back and fight another day. BJJ is about longevity, and athletes will have a longer lifespan in the art if they stick to more of the traditional elements, instead of the fancier, and high flying maneuvers. This principle goes even further to the stand up game, where students that are willing to get thrown to the mat time and time again, will often wind up suffering from injuries. Of course there is a necessity to be able to take an opponent down, but there are also ways that an athlete can brace for impact, and they need to master these concepts if they are to remain safer for longer in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
NUTRITION FOR RECOVERY
Recovery is not just about strengthening muscles, or joints, or having significant rest periods, nutrients into the body is a critical aspect. Eating the right foods is extremely important to help the body recover quicker. Different foods will digest faster than others, so athletes should avoid eating heavy digestive meals like red meats, and junk food before training. Getting the right nutrition is all about calorie intake, as a BJJ combat athlete will burn anywhere up to five thousand calories per day, meaning there is a need to eat a lot of foods, to keep their body fuelled. During a BJJ training session an athlete can blow through a lot of energy, so they need to make sure they replenish their energy stocks as soon as they can. Eating heavy foods straight after training is not always the best option, as it will take longer to digest, and athletes need to replenish their levels fast. A good idea is to eat foods that the body can digest quickly like bananas, spinach, and cereals like oatmeal, and rice crispies. Once the body has absorbed a good level of nutrients, then an athlete can eat a bigger meal a couple of hours after training, as they won't need to worry about a slower digestion.
Combat athletes need protein and this is because of the advanced movements utilised in Jiu Jitsu. A BJJ practitioner will use their muscles in a variety of different ways, and combined with their aerobic, and anaerobic movements, there is a necessity for different kinds of proteins. Some proteins can break down in an athlete's body within hours, while other proteins can take years. Protein shakes can also be taken in conjunction with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, but must be taken with precaution. In an ideal world an athlete should get their protein from food, as their body was designed to break down food into protein. Certain protein shakes may not agree with athletes, so it becomes a little bit of trial, and error, to see what supplement works for each individual athlete.
One of the most important factors for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete is hydration. Performance measurements like aerobic endurance, strength, power, speed, agility, and reaction time will always decrease by at least two percent in dehydration. This means staying hydrated becomes extremely vital to the performance abilities of an athlete. Hydration will help to improve muscle function, and keep an athlete's blood pressure regular. Keeping good hydration levels will help maintain a good blood pressure level during training, meaning that an athlete's heart will not have to work harder than it needs to, for the promotion of good blood pressure. Drinking plenty of water will also help improve blood flow, and the circulation of blood, as well as the delivery system that sends oxygen, and nutrients to the muscles. Keeping the body hydrated will also remove any metabolic, and waste products from the muscles, at the same time as replacing any water that is lost during the perspiration process. Most athletes will notice after training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that they have an urge to drink more water than they ever have before, so as long as an athlete keeps up their hydration levels, they should be in a dominant position to stay healthier for longer.
If you enjoyed this piece, consider checking: