Sparring, when in training or competition, can take a toll on your muscles and tendons, many times we are eager to get rolling with our partners during training that we neglect one of the most important aspects of jiu jitsu, stretching.
Maintaining flexibility can be a daunting task because of the slow pace, minimal movements and low stimulation found in stretching . But it is one of the most important steps to becoming successful in jiu jitsu.
Many times grapplers will focus on strength and explosiveness without giving flexibility much thought, and more often than not, it results in injury.
The reason why flexibility is important in jiu jitsu is because it keeps your muscles loose and stretched, if you have ever seen guys like Eddie Bravo and BJ Penn train and spar you will see the kind of flexibility needed in jiu jitsu to be overall effective.
Stretching and flexibility can be acheived either at home , with a partner, or at your academy. Whether you stretch alone or with help from your teammates, stretching can be beneficial to your overall health and mobility .
It also maintains your core breathing when doing it in a much more direct pace, such as when you kick your legs over your head for that back stretch. The amount of stretching depends on the total time spent training and the body type. Those with thicker cores may have a more difficult time effectively stretching while those who are slimmer might have an easier time. No matter the body type or jiu jitsu goals, fundamental stretching is very important.
Maintaining flexibility through stretching excercises can also reduce the risk of being injured when training, and most of us know that injuries can become setbacks if not avoided.
Many grapplers agree that while technique is very important, the ability to maintain flexibility and mobility in the joints and muscles is also just as important.
Products like Glucosamine and Chondroitin help to build essential padding in the joints. Glucosamine in it’s current state is being used to treat the effects of Osteoarthritis in patients with degenerative cartilage. Many athletes and grapplers alike use Glucosamine , along with a healthy diet, to combat cartilage reducing effects from abuse on the mat or playing field.
Whether stretching with yoga or with your instructor, at home or at your academy, maintaining healthy and flexible muscles can benefit you in every way , and it can be beneficial to your jiu jitsu game.