For day two our stats tell us that knee injuries are in our top three injuries for over 40 practitioners. (we reviewed posts from our “BJJ After 40 Private Facebook” group to determine the top 3 injuries for over 40 BJJ)
As we get older, our bodies may not be as resilient as they once were. This is especially true for BJJ practitioners over the age of 40. Knee injuries can be particularly debilitating, but with some preventative measures, you can keep yourself on the mats and avoid time off due to injury.
- Warm up properly: A proper warm-up is essential to preventing knee injuries. Spend at least 10-15 minutes warming up your body with some light cardio and dynamic stretching. Pay particular attention to your hips and knees.
- Strengthen your knees: Incorporate exercises that strengthen the muscles around your knees. Squats, lunges, and leg extensions are great exercises to help build strength in your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, which all support your knees.
- Use proper technique: Always use proper technique when executing techniques. This will not only prevent knee injuries, but it will also make your movements more efficient and effective.
- Wear knee Supports when needed: Knee pads can help protect your knees from impact during training. They can also provide some extra support to your knee joint. There are a lot of options for knee sleeves. I have tried them all over the years and have settled on one brand: Bauerfeind They aren’t cheap but they last and feel natural and won’t slide off when you’re rolling.
- Take breaks when needed: Listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Overtraining can lead to fatigue, which can increase your risk of injury. Don’t be afraid to sit out a few rounds if you need to.
- Be mindful of training partners: Choose training partners who are considerate and mindful of your age and skill level. Avoid training with partners who are overly aggressive or who have a reputation for injuring their training partners.
- Don’t ignore pain: If you experience any pain in your knees, don’t ignore it. Rest, ice, and elevate the affected area, and seek medical attention if the pain persists.
- Create healthy perimeters when you’re rolling: If your knees are already “bad”, then maybe stay away from any twisting leg / foot locks. It’s okay to mention to your partners you want to be extra careful with your knees.
- Check out the “Knees over toes” guy: His book is available on Amazon and is an excellent resource. One of the best (free) things you can do is to walk backwards. It sounds funny, but it really works. Especially if you’re starting with knee issues. When you walk backwards, you engage different muscles than when you walk forwards. Specifically, walking backwards can activate the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscles in a different way than forward walking. These muscles help support and stabilize the knee joint, which can help reduce the risk of knee injuries. You can walk backwards outside at a park (although you may get some stares) or you can opt for a treadmill. (Just start at the low settings)
By following these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce your risk of knee injuries and keep yourself on the mats for years to come. Remember, prevention is key, and taking care of your body is essential to your longevity in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Look for Part Three tomorrow where we reveal our third most injured body part for over 40 BJJ. For the ‘Best Practices’ for After 40 Brazilian jiu-jitsu – check out my newest BJJ Fanatics course. We cover how to transition without sacrificing position, space or pressure. We share solo movement drills for home practice. There’s attack sequences from Guard, Side, North South, Mount & Back. We cover all the very Best practices for the 40 plus practitioner. It’s everything you need!
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