Jiu Jitsu Training: Recover quick, 3 tips to elevate your BJJ!
Recovery from your BJJ training may not be your top priority, like many Jiu Jitsu practitioners we know it’s a simple formula, train more and get better. A huge factor in training Jiu Jitsu more is how quickly can you recover from those tough training sessions and get right back on the mats.
As a practitioner over 40 and having gone through 2 major surgeries (hip replacement and spinal fusion) I have learned how to recover and limit the risk of injury on the mats over time.
Here are some quick and simple tips I have picked up to help you recover quicker, train more and minimize injury.
Massage for Jiu Jitsu Training Recovery
There are a ton of training recovery gadgets out there. So do you spend $100s on Theragun to assist your recovery? In short, this is not needed.
While I do own one and they feel great they are often not practical. I have found the muscles that need massaging the most from Jiu Jitsu training are the traps/upper back, IT bands, and hips/glutes. Everyone is different but over 40 I find these areas get the tightest and need regular work to break up the tension.
The challenges with a theragun here are often they cannot reach the areas need and the type of tension Jiu Jitsu practitioners experience is not in the normal range. We tend to need a much deeper tissue massage to recover.
So what is the solution? Surprisingly simple, a $3.99 softball.
This has been the best purchase to date that has helped me to recover quicker from training. Using this as a foam roller not only gets deep into the tissue, you can place it on the ground and hit all those hard-to-reach spots in your back and not to mention it is super easy to carry around. I have even used it on the subway home after training.
Reduce inflammation after training
With so many supplements out there how do you choose the best for you?
In our opinion, it is always best to keep things super simple. If you don’t want to spend $100s on fancy supplements stick to a few core natural spices loaded with anti-inflammatory properties such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. You can add them to your diet or take them as a pill to aid your training recovery. Studies with athletes who participated in high-intensity workouts showed that by taking 3 grams of either cinnamon or ginger, they had shortened recovery time and DOMS after intense training.
Secondly, I have found both ice and heat have helped reduce inflammation post BJJ Training. Ideally used in two cycles of 10 minutes of ice, alternated with two cycles of 10 minutes of heat have. Ice slows blood flow and heat has the opposite effect, increasing blood flow. The increase in blood flow helps to flush out the byproducts created by the workout, and the ice helps to reduce inflammation.
During a hard workout, blood rushes to your muscles, carrying oxygen and the needed energy to complete the workout. After a hard workout, muscles are inflamed and you have countless micro-tears in your muscles. You want to flush out all the waste that is the byproduct of this process.
The cooling part of this process doesn’t need to be an ice bath; 65 to 75 degrees is fine. The cold water reduces the blood flow to the muscles and reduces the inflammation while still allowing for waste products to be flushed. Athletes experience less post-workout soreness after a cool bath.
Tip: Not everyone has an ice bath and sauna available. Consider just hitting the hard-worked areas with an ice pack followed by a heating pad. Better than nothing!
Consider a rest day from Jiu Jitsu Training.
Lastly, take a day off from Jiu-Jitsu! Ironically I found taking a complete rest day allowed my body to recover from my jiu jitsu training quicker. This meant I felt better going into a BJJ training session and could push harder. If you are stubborn and just can’t stop training, mix up your sessions with drilling and active recover. Learnt o flow roll! Not every round needs to be a battle to the death. Quality sleep is crucial here too. It is literally where the body rebuilds itself after a hard training session.
Please note we are not medical experts! Every body is different and may require different training recovery tools but these have been the most helpful tips we have found to help keep us on the mats and training Jiu Jitsu into our middle age! Roll on dudes and duets.