We all want to learn self-defense in our lives and deal with protecting ourselves from circumstances that one does not predict. Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best practices for self-defense and even for strengthening your body and core.
Being flexible is a practice, and one can only get through it through various techniques. Have you ever been rolled over by someone and wondered how flexible he or she is? Flexibility is helpful in many ways, and it is a prerequisite for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Having a certain amount of flexibility in your body can end up preventing you from major muscle injuries, which any sportsperson or athlete is perpetually exposed to. Nobody truly likes to stretch after a rigorous workout or an intense practice session, but trust this; it is one of the most important things for your body to push and pull out those muscles that have been strained.
The first and foremost thing that you need to keep in mind for any practice and even Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is PRACTICE and CONSISTENCY! These two work together and lead to exemplary performances.
Also Read: Best Home Mats for BJJ
Various Practices or Ways to Get More Flexible
There are various practices that one can undertake or adopt for becoming more flexible, and some of these are listed below:
The first and foremost thing that you need to keep in mind is that flexibility is not unachievable, and with proper training and guidance, one can get to a point where one’s body starts to flow.
- Stretching is one of the top ways of increasing the mobility of the muscles, but not all forms of extension are feasible for enhancing flexibility. Stretching helps in getting the muscles longer and stronger over time. Moreover, it offers a more substantial range of motion to the individuals and even helps improve the joints.
- Your jiu-jitsu practice and game will improve through stretching, and one must be consistent with this practice by stretching at least twice a day to enhance flexibility or even thrice a day.
- The regular stretching of the muscles helps in better practice and training and prevents any potential injuries.
- It is excellent for speeding or fastening up the entire recovery time and getting rid of sore muscles much faster than expected.
Some of the best stretches that help gain flexibility in Jiu-Jitsu are:
The Butterfly Stretch:
This is one of the best stretches for increasing or enhancing flexibility in the hip area. A standard of 2 sets for 20 seconds each is ideal. This particular stretch is quite simple and easy to do, and you can practice it multiple times in a day. For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and other forms of martial arts, this stretch is perfect, and one can ace it with regular practice.
The King Arthur Stretch:
Another significant stretch, which is quite tricky.It would help if you had a certain level of mental strength to achieve this or practice this. This is one of the most painful stretches initially, but once you get the hang of it, you are sure to become quite flexible. The stretch covers the entire upper body and lower body and helps strengthen your core and your back quite effectively. Doing it twice a day for 30 seconds will help increase your range of motion and overall flexibility. It is one of the most highly recommended stretches for Jiu-Jitsu.
This one helps enhance or strengthen specific areas of the body that are generally weaker than the others. You perform accurate life movements, making your back, knee, and ankle much stronger. Whether you are into heavy weightlifting or performing martial arts, this stretch is crucial for you. Once you learn how to ace this, you can always add a little bit of weight with a dumbbell or a kettlebell for strength and conditioning purposes.
Lying Spinal Twist:
Your back is an essential part of your body, and strengthening it is exceptionally paramount to your overall success in flexibility and fitness.In this stretch, you end up working your lower and upper body at the same time. It helps with calming your nerves, but definitely should be performed with utmost concentration. This stretch can be performed or practiced at least twice a day. Moreover, it helps focus on your breath and get it under control after a rigorous practice or workout.
Having solid and flexible shoulders is a massive advantage for the martial arts performers out there. Grappling is a crucial part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and mobilizing your shoulders and arms is quite helpful. Nothing can compare to hip flexibility, but the shoulders play a huge role in performing distinct movements.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu causes a tremendous amount of strain on the shoulders, and hence, working on them is pretty important.
The best practice for improving the range of motion of your shoulders is by performing dis-locators. You can use those flexibility bands or bars to focus on the critical aspects of your shoulders. Shoulder presses, snatches, and cleans are also a great way to work on their shoulders.
We have all heard how restorative Yoga is and the kind of impact it has on our mind, body, and soul. It includes the movement of various muscles and parts of your body and embracing the different points of the human body. For succeeding at Jiu-Jitsu rolls and enhancing the overall flexibility in your body, Yoga is essential and plays a huge role.
Some of the best poses to improve flexibility for Jiu-Jitsu are:
Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana:
The downward facing dog is included in the Surya Namaskar and can even be performed by beginners who are just starting their practice. It is a standing pose and helps in stretching out your entire body. Moreover, it is an excellent pose for improving breathing and controlling your breath and mind.
Warrior Pose or Virabhadrasana:
This particular pose helps in stretching your body entirely.It makes you feel like a warrior and helps build on your weakness and display your strengths. It is one of the most accessible poses to practice in Yoga and performing this one can truly help bring your A-game forward.
Benefits Of Yoga
The practice of Yoga has been around for centuries, and one cannot emphasize enough the kind of benefits it provides. From eliminating illnesses to improving your gut and even your mind, Yoga works wonders on those who consistently practice and make it a daily part of their lives. More than anything else, Jiu-Jitsu or any other martial art form is a mental game first and a physical game later. This is where Yoga has a significant contribution and helps achieve peace of mind.
Balance is a crucial aspect in Jiu-Jitsu because, without it, you really cannot take down your opponent. By working on the inner balance and the physical balance, Yoga helps you to work on the entire aspect of your being.
Yoga places a lot of importance on the core, and having adequate core strength is advantageous to the entire body. Having a balanced and strong core is also a prerequisite to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or martial arts, and Yoga works quite effectively for core strength. Practicing yoga a few times a week offers various benefits that are beyond understanding.
They say the key to a long and fit life is balanced breathing. Ever wondered why dogs have such a low life expectancy? They live too fast. Yoga is one such practice that helps with your breathing and keeps it in control. Acing Jiu-Jitsu involves the synchronization of the mind and the body, and Yoga helps in doing so. Breath is an essential aspect of your life and getting the proper technique in between your postures helps give that required amount of exercise to your organs.
Therefore, one has to understand that flexibility comes from the body and is equally essential for the mind. Gaining success in any form of exercise is only possible with consistency and practice and never giving up attitude. With the right combination of Yoga and stretching, one can achieve high levels of flexibility and see dramatic improvements and changes in one body. Daily practice of these stretches for the entire body can support your game and make you excel in any form of martial art or combat sport, as per your liking.