Training for any sort of martial art is challenging and requires constant strengthening of the muscular skeletal system; however, with Brazilian jiu jitsu, core strength is imperative. It's not uncommon for individuals to suffer from lower back pain due to the variety of uncomfortable positions involved in this martial art. Injuries can often put individuals out of training for weeks at a time, even with the support of a chiropractor or doctor. This simple guide will help you protect your core by giving practical advice on how to begin and end each session safely.
Do a Core Warm Up
Because much of your time in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is spent on the ground, warming up your lower back, obliques and abdomen is one of the best ways to protect your core muscles and increase muscular stability. Prior to beginning, and after your initial heart raising warm-up, utilise a variety of core based exercises. Things such as planks, side planks, superman and the table exercises will encourage blood flow and increase flexibility in your midriff. By increasing the elasticity of these muscles you will be less likely to strain them.
However you can take this one step further and create endurance and strength based games with them alongside your training group. For example, each session you could try to increase the amount of times you hold these positions. Or you could play 'last person standing' to encourage some healthy competition.
Keep it Dynamic
Using your core muscles in a static position can really help with strength and endurance; however, jiu jitsu is not a static sport. Spending at least five minutes performing judo and jiu jitsu based drills after your initial core warm up will further help conditioning. Shrimping, forward and backward rolls, technical stand ups, cartwheels and double leg take down drills will all help with the connecting muscles in the chest, upper back, hip flexors and groin. This is important to create functional movement between each set of muscles and tendons.
The cool down is one of the key components of any session. Try holding static stretches for around 15 seconds in order to lengthen muscles and retain flexibility. This will give you more leeway on those days where you are a little more tense than usual and will increase your overall range of movement. Following these tips will prolong your martial art career and ensure that you can prevent muscle injuries that often occur in the core.