Activate Your Hips Before BJJ Training With These Exercises

Image Source: Mikael Häggström, M.D. via Wikimedia Commons

Today I’m sharing a series of exercises from the 90/90 position, each of which we’ve covered in the past. As a whole, this series of exercises is designed to activate, create neural drive (aka strength), and enhanced range of motion/mobility for your hips. The goal is for you to have a tangible game plan you can use to get your hips ready for a training session.

Rationale of 90/90 Pre-Training

The main idea is to focus on positions and exercises that create “neural drive” pre-training. As always, we will start with the passive 90/90 to acquaint the body with the position. But then we will progress to movements that are more intense.

For this creates that mind-muscle connection that displays strength in that range of motion. It also really wakes the tissue up and allows for that “motor control” with these ranges of motion that we seek.

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Game Plan

I will cover each exercise in order below and give you recommended sets and reps for a 5- to 10-minute hip warmup.

Basic 90/90 Set-Up

  • First off we must literally keep a 90-degree angle between the calf and hamstring of both legs
  • Next, our back shin must be parallel to our front thigh and our back thigh parallel to our front shin
  • This is the classic “90/90”
  • Before doing any end range isometrics or movements we recline back to allow a passive stretch to open and begin communicating to the tissue

90 90 Lift Offs

  • Perform 5 lift offs for 5 to 10 seconds each w/ 10 second break between each rep
  • Perform each side

90 90 Pails and Rails

  • Perform 5 second contraction pushing down into blog
  • Perform 5 second lift off of the block
  • Repeat this 3 to 5 times before switching sides

90 90 Hover

  • Perform 3 hovers each side
  • Focus on being slow and controlled

Final Considerations

Remember this is the time we’re seeking to create neural drive. This requires the mindset of being strong. At this point, since our body is not yet warm, we’re using intense contraction to wake up the body and nervous system.

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