Constantly Injured? Bulletproof Your Body With James Tomlinson and Joe Worthington
No one likes to be injured. Though injuries are a reality of BJJ training, they don’t have to be a frequent part of your BJJ journey. The more we’re injured, the more time we spend off the mat, or doing very limited training and to may of us this is just not acceptable. WE don’t like to take time off and we don’t prefer to just sit idle and watch from the sidelines. But what are you doing about it? Do you have any programs in place or routines to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to avoid injuries?
With proper before and after training maintenance, you can reduce your risk of injury a great deal. Loosening up and cooling down are an incredibly important part of this process. I’m not talking about a 3-hour stretching routine before and after class, just a minimal 5-10-minute session can have you feeling much better and assist you in recovering for the next day.
As we age, we may find this to be more of a necessity. After a tough training session, we tend to feel that soreness just a bit more than we did in our younger days. We may also become more susceptible to injury which makes this kind of program even more important.
When searching for guidance on this subject, its nice to have input from someone that understand what we put our bodies through on a daily basis and the toll that jiu-jitsu takes on us. James Tomlinson is a black belt under Lachlan Giles and he knows exactly what you need. He’s developed a systemized routine to get you warm for training and cool you down properly after. It’s called Bulletproof for BJJ, and its available now through BJJ Fanatics. Warming up and cooling down is just the tip of the iceberg here. This program also offers a great deal in the way of grappling specific mobility and strength exercise that will add considerable value to your training and unique BJJ needs.
Let’s take a look at this quick segment with Tomlinson. Here, he guides us through some quick warm up and cool down movements to give us an idea of what we’ll experience in the program. Check it out!
I am a fan of yoga as a compliment to BJJ and pigeon pose happens to be one of the most healing and effective poses in all of yoga as its related to BJJ. If I had only time in the day to perform one pose after training it would be the pigeon. This is where Tomlinson begins and he adds an interesting element to the pose. Lining his shin up horizontally with his hands, Tomlinson gets into the pigeon pose configuration with his legs. The difference here, is that instead of settling in to the pose, he remains active, lifting his body up and down. He keeps his back knee off of the floor and continues the motion. Tomlinson recommends 10 repetitions on each side and of course, adjust your body so that there is no knee pain whatsoever through the range of motion.
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IN the next movement, Tomlinson gets in to a straddle type position and begins to move from side to side. There are some important details here to observe. As he drops his hips down, he makes sure to keep contact to the floor with his heel. Its our goal here to sink as low as our body allows, but to also keep our knee over our toes. This movement will improve your adductor flexibility and work in to all of those small muscles we employ during training.
Tomlinson refers tot eh third warmup movement as sideline rotation. Here, he lays on his left side with his knees together. His left hand holds his knees together and his right hand is placed thumb knuckle down at the end of his extended arm on the mat. Keeping his knuckles on the mat, Tomlinson begins to make big rotations with his arm from front to back and around again. If you need to add an extra layer of difficulty to the movement, you can extend your bottom leg and connect your top knee to the floor as well. Don’t forget to draw in your lat muscle at the top of the rotation to keep those shoulders safe.
This one is especially appealing to me. I’ve had several cartilage injuries in my ribs, seemingly from over rotating or an unnatural twisting of the ribcage. I feel that this is a pretty common BJJ injury and this movement would appear to be a great prep for preventing this type of injury. Again, aim for 10 repetitions and try to increase range of motion as you work through the movements.
To combat the effects of training, specifically the tight hip flexors and the closing of the of the chest and shoulders, Tomlinson recommends these next two concepts for post training recovery.
First, he begins with a pose that uses the assistance of the wall. Placing his toes on the wall and his knee on the mat with a bit of space between the wall and his knee, Tomlinson the posts his other foot on the mat. He keeps good posture with both hands on his knee and pushes his hip forward in tot eh stretch. Be sure to push your hip forward on tis own. Try not to come forward with your entire body to gain he full benefit of the position.
In a second and more involved variation, Tomlinson touches the wall with his knee and begins to pulse in and out for 10 repetitions with his hip, again gaining larger range of motion through the movement and a much deeper stretch. He adds a hold at the end to finish it off.
IN the final movement, Tomlinson demonstrates a proper scorpion motion. Laying face down with eh hands out wide and at an angle of 15 degrees or so, Tomlinson instructs us to keep our lower half extended and begin to sweep our leg over to the opposite side of the body. When a full range of motion has been reached, we soften the knee and allow our foot to fall to the mat. After contact is made, we continue to rep the motion back and forth.
To take it up a notch, Tomlinson puts a ninety-degree bend in his arm. This will work in to the chest and shoulders even more as he actively pulses in the position and continues to move.
AS you can see, the whole goal of this program is to keep your body ready and to help it recover from BJJ training. This is something everyone who touches the mat could use and benefit from. Don’t skip this important part of your training regimen. Make it a part of your daily routine and begin reaping the benefits! Check Out Bulletproof BJJ By James Tomlinson and Joe Worthington today!
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