Using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Attaining Flexibility
Using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Attaining Flexibility
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the ground-based fighting style that focuses on raising body awareness and utilizing techniques and knowledge of the martial art to submit and render opponents or attackers immobile. Compared to several other fighting styles, BJJ has garnered a sufficient reputation in the past decades on account of its practitioners winning international fighting championships on multiple occasions.
For anyone who’s familiar with Judo, BJJ can come off as very similar but very extensive. For everyone else, imagine people wearing white kimonos or BJJ Gis and instead of trying to throw each other to the ground, they try to wrestle and engage in a grappling-only fight to attain dominant positions and attempt submissions.
Why Should You Try BJJ?
The reasons for trying out BJJ include self-defence, body awareness, confidence, mental health and social benefits, etc. However, the main reason you need to start BJJ is that there’s no better way to work on your flexibility in the following parts of the body:
Whether you’re an athlete, a fighter or just an average fitness joe looking to build a strong body that’s not vulnerable to injuries, you need to understand how important flexibility is in attaining that goal.
Did you know that other than wearing safety headgear, the only other way to improve defence against concussions or spinal injuries is by inducing flexibility? When we stretch, we’re also making our muscle tissue stronger, which in turn helps make our bones safer. That’s why when several people experience accidents with physical trauma, it’s likely that people who don’t exercise will sustain the most severe injuries. (Supposing the trauma received by everyone is the same.)
You need to be healthy in order to have the best chances of survival and that’s not just limited to physiological health. As explained above, training your muscles with BJJ flexibility exercises is effective in reducing the severity as well as the risks of injuries or muscular strain, sprain or tension that occurs in the body. That’s right, you’re also drastically decreasing the chances of bearing lower or upper back pain, muscle cramps, stiff joints, and a bunch of other annoyingly painful musculoskeletal problems.
Since all the moves involved in BJJ involve movements against active body resistance to attain dominant positions, you can imagine that a lot of strength and flexibility, as well as endurance, will be required to last long enough to put up a fight.
Even simple moves like the following will work all the unworked muscles of your body while putting in hefty cardio:
- Hip Escapes
Here’s how BJJ can help you get all forms of stretches when working on your flexibility:
BJJ involves static stretches which are basically stretching exercises that involve holding the position of your stretch before letting a muscle relax back again. These stretches, such as lunges, focus on one specific part of the body which is why they’re often recommended by physiotherapists for patients who wish to work a few selected limbs or muscles.
BJJ involves holding your own as well as your opponent’s body weight in ways you might not normally imagine. You can balance or even sweep a person who’s way bigger than you if you can position yourself against them in the right manner. Not only will lifting such a heavier body require flexibility but even attaining such a position in the first place will require you to maneuver around and get your muscles in place.
When we don’t hold a stretch but instantly repeat the action inducing the pressure in our muscles, we’re engaging in dynamic stretches. Think of jumping jacks as dynamic stretches that involve instantly going back and forth with your muscle movement. As you can probably guess from the example above, BJJ involves a ton of dynamic stretches as well. You have to use your speed along with careful technique to shift the balance literally in your favour.
Dynamic stretches are recommended for athletes and performers who rely on putting their body through a lot of sprain or fatigue because they singlehandedly work several muscles and limbs simultaneously and can help achieve a bigger goal in a shorter amount of time. Instead of focusing on precision, beginners can engage in dynamic stretches to start their flexibility workout journey off right.
Active Isolated Stretching
Active isolated stretching involves working the same muscle a couple of times before moving on to the next. You can think of doing high knees before swinging your arms around a couple of times as examples of active isolated stretches.
Suffice it to say, when you’re engaging in a sport like BJJ that’s filled with repeated submission attempts, you get used to working out muscles like your neck, elbows, forearms, triceps, knees, etc.
Guest Bio – Ann Edwards is a qualified personal trainer from Elite sports. She has been helping people in the field of bodybuilding and fitness for more than a decade. Her career in nutrition and physical therapy has made her a fine addition to our team.