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Improve Your BJJ with These 4 Rest Day Secrets
Taking a day off from BJJ isn’t always the most appealing idea. But sometimes it’s necessary. If you’ve consistently been going hard, there will be a point where your body demands a rest. If you ignore the signs, your body will at some point present you with an injury and force you to take it easy for a period of time that it so chooses. Our minds also need a rest. We overload them with information on a daily basis. Trying to soak up everything we learn can be taxing on that big brain of yours.
When you think of taking a day off, do you feel guilty? We work so hard to keep up with our goals, and we don’t want our BJJ peers to think were slacking. But whit if the right kind of rest day could actually help your BJJ progress. I think it can.
Taking a day off doesn’t mean you have to glue yourself to the couch, eat pizza until you can’t move, and watch Game of Thrones for 7 hours. (although that doesn’t sound terrible) There are things you can do on your day off that will actually make you feel like a beast at your next training session. Here are a few suggestions that can help you get the most out of a rest day:
- DO NOT underestimate the power of sleep. If tomorrow is your rest day, get a full 8-10 hours of sleep tonight, and at the end of your day off, do the same. Sleep is the most important recovery and retention tool there is.
- Don’t spend your day off gorging on garbage. Yes, you’re not training today, so maybe you feel like you can cheat a little bit, but don’t. Fuel your body with healthy energizing foods, that will expedite your recovery and have you feeling fresh for your next stint on the training floor.
- Yoga/stretching. I could talk about the benefits of yoga for BJJ for hours and hours. They compliment each other in 1000 ways. If you’ve never been introduced to yoga, seek out some information. For me, yoga was life changing. After practicing it for only a year, my body felt better than it did when first started training BJJ 10 years earlier. Yoga or some form of stretching should be a staple of your rest day.
- We all spend plenty of time on our devices. For some of us, it may be part of our job. Give your brain a break and limit your screen time. Work is work, but mindlessly scrolling social media and watching TV into the wee hours of the night just isn’t necessary. Spend some quality time with the family, go for a walk, and opt for a book instead of the iPhone.
Taking a day off doesn’t have to be a detriment to your BJJ progress. It can actually give you an edge if you approach it the right way. We all want o get better, and we know that the most important element of progress is practice but be sure to help your body help you. When it’s time for a break, use the time wisely and get back on the mat with a renewed focus and rejuvenated body!
Another great addition to your training schedule is some sort of movement and mobility training. Travis Stevens and mobility expert Scott Georgaklis have created Movement for Grappling and have shared it with the world. You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!