Free Shipping & Exchanges on US orders over $95
Posted on February 1, 2021
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu requires you to be in a wide range of positions and perform movements not normal in standard human activities. While flexibility is not the most important thing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, having normal or even a little bit of extra range of motion at major joints can certainly be helpful.
There are many different stretches that can benefit your Jiu Jitsu game. Below, we give you a brief explanation and discuss as to the benefits of stretching for BJJ.
Stretching essentially refers to exercises, both active and passive, that increase your available range of motion at a specific joint. For BJJ, the shoulders, upper back, and hips are arguably the most important joints when it comes to increasing range of motion.
While you do not need gumby-level flexibility for BJJ, if you are like most people, you probably tend to be on the tighter-side when it comes to hips, upper back, and shoulder flexibility. Not only can excessive tightness limit your ability to execute certain Jiu Jitsu techniques, but it also increases injury risk. If you are put in a position of pressure in one of these areas and your muscles are already stretched to the limit, the pressure goes into the joint tissues themselves, potentially risking injury.
Additionally, tightness in the shoulders, back, and hip areas limits your movement during other activities and can cause an overall tight and achy feeling in these areas.
The following stretches should be performed after warming up before training, after training before you totally cool down, or as a separate recovery session. You should always perform a few minutes of light cardio or movement before doing these stretches, even if you are just doing a stretch or recovery day.
This stretch is great for opening your hip flexors and quads, which can easily become tight and overactive during BJJ training. Tight hip flexors can limit the power of your bridges and cause low-back pain due to them pulling on the front of your pelvis.
To perform the hip-flexor lunge stretch:
The crossover glute stretch is a classic stretching technique that improves your hip external rotation. This is crucial for many BJJ techniques, and limited hip external rotation drastically affects your ability to exert pressure with your shins, move dynamically, and even enter many guard positions such as rubber-guard.
To perform this glute crossover stretch:
The prayer stretch is a great way to loosen up both the shoulders and T-spine by stretching the lats and triceps.
To perform the prayer stretch:
The ‘brettzel’ stretch is a great spinal-twist stretch from the Functional Movement System™ for the upper back, shoulders, and hips.
To perform the brettzel stretch:
Flexibility is just one component of the physical dexterity development that can help your game. Whether you are a guard-player or smash-passer, having a bit more range of motion through the shoulders, upper back, and hips will open your game and reduce injuries and overall tightness in these areas.
There are many different stretches and other flexibility options such as foam rolling, lacrosse ball work, and dynamic movement.
However, regularly performing these 4 simple stretches for Jiu Jitsu will get you well on your way to improved flexibility and movement.
Sign up for exclusive deals and free technique videos every single week