Day Three of our 3 Days of Injury Prevention for Over 40 BJJ Practitioners

Welcome to our FINAL day of our three days of BJJ After 40 injury prevention.

After researching all the posts on our “BJJ After 40 private Facebook group” (33,000 members) we have determined the top three injuries for BJJAfter40 . We covered one and two in the previous days. (Back and Knees) For our final day we will focus on (drum roll please) THE SHOULDERS! I personally have had a surgery on each one of my shoulder s 20+ years ago. I have limitations but can mostly train normal. If anything, I’ve learned to protect my shoulders while rolling and I always tap early with shoulder submissions.

As a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner over 40 years old, you may be more prone to shoulder injuries. However, with some simple preventative measures, you can keep yourself on the mats and avoid time off due to injury.

  1. Warm up properly: A proper warm-up is essential to preventing shoulder injuries. Spend at least 10-15 minutes warming up your body with some light cardio and dynamic stretching. Pay particular attention to your shoulders, and incorporate exercises that help mobilize and activate the muscles around the joint.
  2. Build shoulder strength: Incorporate exercises that strengthen the muscles around your shoulders. These include exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and shoulder presses. You can also use resistance bands or weights to add more resistance and challenge your muscles. I also like to use gymnastics rings for chest presses and pull ups.They allow me to make smaller adjustments when training. Whereas a straight bar does not.
  3. Use proper technique: Always use proper technique when executing moves. This will not only prevent shoulder injuries, but it will also make your movements more efficient and effective. Specifically, be mindful of your shoulder positioning during moves like armbars, kimuras, Americans and other shoulder-locking submissions.
  4. Protect your shoulders: Wear protective gear like rashguards to prevent skin-to-skin contact during training. This can reduce the likelihood of shoulder dislocations or other injuries caused by sudden or forceful twisting movements. Being able slide in and out of moves for no-gi is important. (Rash guards are better as tee-shirts tend to stick to your partners)
  5. 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. Listen to your body, don’t be tempted by yours or someone else’s ego.
  6. 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. As a 40 plus BJJer you have nothing to prove to anyone. Your mission is NOT to beat the 20 year olds. The real competition is in the mirror.
  7. Don’t ignore pain: If you experience any pain in your shoulders, get it seen by a medical professional. Chronic pain can lead to other problems.

By following these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce your risk of shoulder 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.

A few great resources to help you on your journey: Best Supplements – Origin (I use – Joint Warfare, Krill & MOLK) Discount code: Bidwell10, The Iron Neck for strengthening / rehabbing your shoulder, neck and spine, Knees Over Toes book , “BJJ After 40 – Best Practices Course

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