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Best Ways to Recover From BJJ

So you just finished a tough bjj workout and are now wondering what are the best ways to recover from bjj to get you ready for your next session.

What are some easy to follow guidelines to make recovery a priority?

The best ways to recover from bjj are with cool down stretching, proper hydration, solid diet fundamentals, utilizing other forms of training and active recovery, and rest.

A lot of recovery will rely on maintaining a decent diet – see our chart below for an estimate of what aids in recovery from a tough workout:

Immediately after class finishes start thinking about trying to recover from bjj training by:

  • Using a combination of dynamic and static stretches to avoid your muscles being overly stiff and help in avoiding excessive soreness
  • Re-hydrate
  • Consume some quick acting carbs like those find in sugary drinks like Gatorade or lemonade
    • (I like to go half Gatorade and half water for my preferred training drink)
  • When you get home have a post workout meal consisting of moderate protein, a bunch of carbs, and very minimal fat
  • Plan for and maintain a solid sleep schedule
  • The next day consider using some active recovery methods and stretching to further enhance recovery

Cool Down Stretching Routine for Recovery

You can use these stretches for before your jiu jitsu training as well. In addition, I also like to utilize some foam rolling or a pso-rite to work on any sore or tight spots.

My preference is a pso-rite to work on the larger muscle groups like glutes or hamstrings.

Cool Down Stretches – 6 Quick Stretches to Do after Every Session

1.Hip Flexor Stretch

This one helps loosen up your hip flexors. They are to be performed on each side.

2.Cat/Cow Stretch

This stretch is used to help loosen and relax your upper and lower back after training.

3.Downward dog/Upward Dog

Another set of stretches to loosen up your upper and lower back as well as providing a nice stretch down the back of your legs

4.Child’s Pose

This helps loosen the muscles in your upper back and shoulders as well as providing a nice stretch for your lower back.

5.Frog Stretch

This is another stretch for your hips.

Often they are the ones providing the most strength during common jiu jitsu movements so they ca be very tight and often prone to injury.

Lying Cross Over Stretch

6.Final stretch to stretch the outside of your hips and legs along with releasing tension throughout your upper and lower back.

Next up is Hydration

Some common signs of dehydration are:

  •    Urine is more yellowish than normal (more clear urine = more hydrated)
  •    Headaches
  •    Dizziness
  •    Dry Mouth

Before, during, and after bjj training you should be drinking water, or some type of water and sugary drink mixture.

There’s a reason why you sometimes will get headaches during or after training, and often this is attributed to not being fully hydrated.

Water should be the first thing on your mind once you finish bjj training.

Post Workout Diet Choices

After your bjj training, you’re sweating profusely, your body aches, and your muscles are screaming, but once that all goes away you may be wondering “what should I eat after bjj?”.

You need to get some good nutrients in to start the recovery process. This means prioritizing carbs and protein.

Fats will slow down your body’s ability to quickly absorb nutrients

So you want to make sure that your post workout meal is filled with high carbs and moderate protein, and very little fat.

An ideal post workout meal can be seen below:

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Honey
  • Berries

This meal definitely has the carbs you need and the protein to help build those muscles back up.

Making Sleep a Priority:

What does an ideal bedtime routine Look Like?:

I’m not saying do this every single night, or your life will be over, but by doing these steps you can focus on relaxing your mind and body and get ready for sleep:

Active Recovery and Rest Days

The next day, if you are still banged up (which I know I usually am) ,you can consider some active recovery along with implementing some bjj rest days.

Active recovery involves any light activity that gets your body moving without too much exertion

An increasing number of studies have shown that the best recovery methods involve moving your body in some sort of pain free movement to recover from soreness or injury.

This somewhat contradicts the old adage of RICE “Rest/Ice/Compression/Elevation”.

Recent studies are showing that moving your body without causing too much stress (or pain if you are injured) can help rush blood to the sore areas and begin the repair process.

With that being said here are some active recovery methods that have benefited my own training:

  • 10-15 minute walks
  • light bike ride
  • yoga
  • other forms of stretching
  • foam rolling

If you find you are still having issues with recovery, it may be time to sit back and analyze your overall weekly volume of training and consider scheduling some bjj rest days.

These can also include some of the active recovery methods shown above.

Finally, another method can be to consider modulating your training by only having two or three hard sessions a week with two lighter, more drilling focused days in between.

Best Ways to Recover From BJJ – Last Word

Hopefully these methods will become some of the best ways to recover from bjj for you*

These have helped me and others at my gym immensely to recover and come back to class ready to train hard and learn.

…iff all else fails the answer is usually taking a rest day.

I know we all like to be considered committed, die hard bjj practitioners, but bjj is a marathon not a sprint.

Take your rest, review some instructionals on your off days, and come back harder on the mat – Zack


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