Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sport that you can participate in and excel at well into your sixties. But the only way that you are going to be able to achieve this is by keeping your body limber. Below are a few BJJ warm-up drills that you can perform to increase flexibility and mobility, as well as decrease the chances of pulling a muscle.
BJJ Warm-Up Drill For Flexibility – Ankle-Over-Head
One of the major problems that most grapplers tend to experience is problems with their upper and lower back. Back spasms, tight muscles, and pulled lower backs can make it extremely painful to practice.
Fortunately, ankle-over-head Jiu-Jitsu drills can dramatically improve flexibility in your back. To perform this exercise, lie down flat on your back and bring your feet directly over your head. While this stretch may feel extremely tight in the beginning, it will become easier as you continue to perform it.
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BJJ Warm-Up Drill For Mobility – Hips Up
Without properly warming up your hips, it can be difficult to apply certain submissions. For instance, applying arm bars or triangle chokes become far easier once you increase the mobility of your lower body.
With the Hips Up drill, you should start off on your back, and then “kick” your legs into the air, simulating an arm lock. For better results, kick as high as you can, and rotate your hips slightly in conjunction to whatever side you are performing the simulated arm bar. Continually switch back and forth between each side for optimal effect.
Portland Jiu Jitsu Video: Stretching and BJJ Warm-Up Drills
Additional Lower Back Warm-Up Strategies
As we previously mentioned, one of the main health-related problems that you will run into as a grappler are problems with your lower back. While there are an abundance of Jiu-Jitsu drills that you can perform to increase elasticity in this area, you should first try this: take a soft ball or back roller and place it under your back while lying down on the ground.
From here, rotate backwards and forwards, allowing the object to sink into the areas of your back that are tight. This is an excellent way to work out the kinks, as well as circulate more blood flow throughout your lower back. If you feel as though a soft ball is going to be a bit much, use something smaller and softer, like a tennis ball. They tend to work wonders when it comes to relieving lower back pain and increase flexibility in the back area.