Are You Warming Up Correctly?

Jiu-Jitsu Warm-ups

Lets first get this out in the open…A proper Warm-Up is just as important for any BJJ athlete as technical drilling and rolling. Most of the time, I look at some people when they are warming up and they look like they are going through the motions. They are talking about their crappy day at work, how the wife charged way too much on their credit cards, or just about football. These will most likely be the same people that now have to miss training because of injuries.

The primary purpose of a Warm-Up is to elevate the body temperature and prime the neuromuscular and cardiovascular systems for optimal performance, but also get your mind focused on the training session that you are about to be put through.

Does your Warm-Up do that for you? If not, continue reading…

[social][/social]In the Strength and Conditioning world, most Warm-Ups tend to be about 15-20 minutes (this includes Foam Rolling, Activation Exercises, and a Dynamic Warm-Up) and through my experiences, the Jiu-Jitsu community runs their Warm-Ups for about 10-15 minutes (this includes Running, Static Stretching, and Throwing/Pummeling).

Now there is nothing wrong with how we have been warming up, but my question to you is if we are constantly looking for new techniques to become more efficient and dominant on the mat…shouldn’t we be looking also for more ways to keep our BJJ athletes healthy and on the mat more?

The first thing that I notice that every academy is missing is a foam roller. Foam rollers are not very expensive and every academy should have at least 8-10 readily available for their students.

For those of you that are not familiar with what a foam roller is, here is a quick Q&A on what it is and how you should use it:

Q. What is a foam roller?
A. A foam roller is simply a cylindrical piece of some type of hard-celled foam. Think pool noodles but just a bit more dense and larger in diameter.

Q. When do I use it?
A. 10-15 minutes before, after, or before and after training.

Q. What will foam rolling do for my training?
A. Foam rolling prior to a workout can help to decrease muscle density and allow for a better warm-up. Rolling after a workout will help to aid in recovery from strenuous exercise and allow you to perform better at your next training session.

Q. What are some areas that I should target when foam rolling?
A. Here is a great video by Eric Cressey, from Cressey Performance, and what areas you should target when foam rolling:

[bjjad][/bjjad]Lets now break down how I would suggest a Warm-Up should be like after everyone has foam rolled:

1. Running (1 minute)
2. Hip Thrusts (30 seconds)
3. Fire Hydrants (30 seconds on each leg)
4. Push-Ups (30 seconds)
5. Body Weight Squats (30 seconds)
6. Plank (30 seconds)
7. Judo Push-Ups
8. Body Weight Lunges (30 seconds)
9. Side Plank (30 seconds on each side)

Solo Drills (Ground)
1. Shrimping
2. Forward Shrimping
3. Wall Spins
4. Sit Outs
5. Alligator Walks

Solo Drills (Standing)
1. Sprawls
2. Wrestling Shots
3. Break Falls
4. Cartwheels
5. Rolling Back to a Handspring

Now I am not a BJJ Black Belt or pretend to be one, but what I am is a Strength and Conditioning Coach that has spent many years studying the best methods to get my athletes to perform at the highest level in practice and in games.

Take your Warm-Up as serious as your belt color and watch your performance in the academy skyrocket.

Editor’s Note: Congratulations Rich! For you guys who don’t know Rich is on his honeymoon. This crazy guy submitted two articles while vacationing in paradise. Thanks Rich! Best of luck to you and Mrs. Mejias.

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