Day One of Three: BJJ and Preventing The TOP 3 Injuries for Over 40!

Welcome to Day One of our Three Days of preventing BJJ injuries for Over 40 Practitioners!

By reviewing the posts in our “BJJAfter40 Private Facebook group” (we have 30,000 members and growing) we have determined the top three injuries for BJJ After 40 practitioners. Over the next three days we will reveal the top three injuries according to our followers. For this blog we will start with…Drum roll please… THE BACK!

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a dynamic martial art that requires a lot of physical exertion and can be quite demanding on the body. For practitioners over the age of 40, it’s especially important to take preventative measures to avoid back injuries, which can be debilitating and take a long time to heal. Here are some tips to help you stay injury-free on the mats.

  1. Warm up properly: Warming up before training is crucial for any athlete, but it’s especially important for older practitioners. Take the time to do some dynamic stretches and movements to get your blood flowing and loosen up your muscles. I strongly recommend that you stay away from a BJJ game built upon inversions (legs over the head). The chance of a serious injury is very high (even if you’re flexible). In fact, limber people often get hurt from a partner coming down on them hard while inverted. With that being said, I do recommend that you practice inversion stretches. Even just slowly bringing your legs over your head (pointing your toes to the floor). You can use a wall or couch behind you to create leverage for the stretch.
  2. Work on your core strength: A strong core can help prevent back injuries by supporting your spine during movements. Incorporate exercises like planks and side planks into your training routine to build up your core strength.
  3. Improve your posture: Poor posture can put unnecessary strain on your back, so make an effort to sit and stand up straight throughout the day. You can also work on improving your posture during BJJ training by focusing on keeping your back straight during movements.
  4. Use proper technique: When performing techniques, make sure you are using proper form and technique to avoid putting undue stress on your back. If you’re unsure about a particular technique, ask your professor for guidance.
  5. Avoid overtraining: Overtraining can increase your risk of injury, so make sure you’re giving your body enough time to rest and recover between training sessions. Listen to your body and take breaks when you need to. (For over 40 plus practitioners I recommend you train BJJ no more than 3 times per week.) You need to balance recovery with training. For every day you train you need to have a day of recovery (for example: stretch, massage, acupuncture, cold plunge, hot Epsom bath)
  6. Don’t be afraid to tap: Tapping is a sign of good sportsmanship and can prevent serious injury. If you feel a technique is putting too much pressure on your back, don’t hesitate to tap and ask your training partner to ease up.

By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of back injuries and stay healthy and active on the mats. Remember, BJJ is a lifelong journey, so take care of your body so you can keep training for years to come.

Additional tips: As you all know I am a huge proponent of using the “Iron Neck” training device to strengthen your neck, back and spine. I have seen amazing results and highly recommend it.

(after using the Iron Neck consistently for six months – I gained size, strength & healed old injuries)

Creating a daily stretching routine that adds movements to flexibility is imperative. In my latest course on BJJ Fanatics we cover an entire section on movement which includes solo drills as well. Worth a look!

As always, Happy training… and happy posture Look for part two and three in the next two days!

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