Do you do any exercises for your BJJ?
While many great figures have said that in order to get better at BJJ, you should do BJJ, and while this is true to an extent, I believe we can all agree on a few key exercises that will help you recover from hard training sessions.
For this list, I will not use any strength and conditioning exercises, as I want to focus on the recovery aspect of supplemental exercise. In fact some of these may not even be what you would consider exercise at all. So, I guess this list would be better phrased “The Top Activities To Help You Recover From Training.”
- Sauna/Steam Room & Hot Tubs– The combination of these serves many purposes, but for me , it mainly helps relieve pressure and pain in my muscles. There have also been studies that show the detoxifying effects of these activities due to the amount of sweat you will lose. This then adds another benefit of helping you maintain a healthy weight.
- Yoga– I have met many Jiu-Jitsuka turned Yogi and visa-versa, but they all say the same thing; the two complement each-other well. Stretching can tear muscle fiber which leads to a gain in flexibility. Stretching is also great to prevent injuries in all sports, Jiu-Jitsu included.
- Meditation– I don’t mean this in the religious sense (although if you meditate as part of your religion, then that’s great), but just as a general practice. I have recently dived into the idea and been practicing a few times a week. I believe meditation can be useful to relieve stress on the body after training, as the whole goal is to forget about basically everything, pain included. If you want to know more about meditation and how it can be used, a quick google will give you easy guides.
- Hydrate– While not technically an activity per se, this is still something that needs to be a habit. Muscle tissue uses water as part of its recovery, and if you become severely dehydrated, you will feel the effects of muscle soreness more often.
- Sleep– This one is often overlooked, but very important. Most of our recovery from activities that put stress on the body occurs at night while we sleep. So it is important to get enough sleep and have a daily sleep/wake cycle if possible.
- Ice Bath- The ice bath can also be a great tool in recovery and here is a great summary of exactly why.”After a workout, your body needs to “repair” itself to prepare for the next training session. It does so with the help of blood vessels that bring oxygen to your muscle tissue while removing waste products of exercise — the most common being lactic acid. Too much lactic acid build-up can cause your muscles to function poorly and will often lead to fatigue. An ice bath will immediately reduce swelling while flushing lactic acid out of your body. When you sit in an ice bath — or when you rub a cup of ice on the muscles you just trained — the cold causes your blood vessels to tighten. This helps drain the lactic acid out of your tired muscles. When you get out of the bath, your muscle tissue warms back up, causing a return of oxygenated blood to help your muscles recover.” (Green, MensFitness)
These are just the top things that help me recover from brutal training sessions. What other activities help your body recover and prepare for the next day?