How to Become More Flexible in BJJ and Grappling

3 min read
Flexibility, an important supplement to your BJJ training so you can land techniques much easier and be injured less… Watch how to improve this vital skill below

Stretching on the BJJ mats in Canada

How to Become More Flexible in BJJ and Grappling

Flexibility, an important supplement to your BJJ training so you can land techniques much easier and be injured less… Watch how to improve this vital skill below

Location: Sherwood Park, Alberta

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Photo by: Anett Meszaros

We have all been there….

Crushed, stacked, inverted, and in every uncomfortable position in between.

Most of us have also thought to ourselves, “I wish I would have stretched” or “I wish I was more flexible.”

Thinking about rolling or drilling is often the focus, so it’s easy to forget about something boring like stretching. Even though it may be boring, it may be one of the easiest ways to increase your performance and help you avoid unnecessary injuries at the same time.

It’s a simple concept; the tricky part is implementing a routine and staying consistent and disciplined. Secondly, understanding the different types of stretches and how and when to use them can make the difference between progress and potentially wasting your time. So, let’s break it down.

Dynamic Stretching for Jiu-Jitsu 

Cold muscles don’t stretch well. They can actually increase your risk of injury. So before starting an activity like Jiu-Jitsu, you should primarily use dynamic stretching. Creating some light movement in your stretch will promote blood flow to target areas and warm them up. Increasing the range of motion will now stretch those muscles. Avoid using too much force at once. Repeating the movement for 10-20 repetitions and multiple sets is important.

Watch this great Dynamic Stretching video specifically for Jiu-Jitsu from Cobrinha Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Fitness:

Static Stretching for Jiu-Jitsu

Warm muscles stretch a lot easier. After an activity or training session, you should primarily use static stretching. Your muscles are warm, and blood flow to them is very good. With little overall movement, isolating an area and slowly creating tension for seconds to minutes on a muscle will help elongate the muscle fibers. Again, avoid using too much force. When you reach a point where you feel the stretch, hold it for at least 10-15 seconds and slowly relax again. Repeating it again multiple times for the most benefit.

Watch this great Dynamic Stretching video specifically for Jiu-Jitsu from Tom Merrick:

Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Every time you inhale, you should feel the stretch tighten. When you exhale and relax, you should feel the stretch loosen a bit. This is where you push it a bit further and repeat.

Proper stretching should never be too painful! If you are in a stretch where you feel too much pain, either you have pushed the muscle too far, or you are doing it incorrectly.

It’s not rocket science. Stretching is an easy thing to do, and it really doesn’t take a lot of time. The cumulative effect and consistency are the key. Take some time to further educate yourself. There are thousands of free resources out there. Invest in learning it.

You will perform better.

You will recover better.

You will be less prone to injuries.

You will stay on the mats longer.

Why not do our future selves a favor and stretch!

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