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Avoid Common Jiu Jitsu Injuries

So today I want to give you some hard advice on how to keep healthy and on the mats.

You might think that the injuries you’d get in Jiu Jitsu would be related to the knees or elbows, maybe, since we spend a lot of time on our knees, and armlocking each other. But, you’d be wrong.

In fact, among beginners, I see a few very common injuries. These are mostly overuse injuries, in other words they don’t happen as a result of a blow or a twist, they happen slowly over time. A little bit like repetitive strains.


I’ve given this number 1 because I honestly have seen more people with general rib pain than any other type of injury, particularly in your first year of Jiu Jitsu. The ribs themselves don’t get much damage, but the rib joints (particularly in the front of the chest), and the intercostal muscles can get injured fairly easy if you’re deconditioned.

We can’t always stop that from happening, but we can reduce the odds. Deep breathing and expansion of the rib cage can help, as can good warm ups. Focusing on Thoracic rotations and bends in your daily routine is important also. Most people will never have another person lying on their rib cage (well, maybe… eh… socially), but you’ll have that a lot. So take care of your ribs.


Look, I don’t want to turn you off Jiu Jitsu, but you’re destiny is sore fingers. I’m not saying your days as a hand soap model are numbered, but your hands are going to change if you start training a lot. They’ll become stronger and tougher, of course, but they might develop some, well, let’s call them peculiarities.

What’s happening is that you’re gripping and grabbing every night, and you get the results of that. The first thing to do is focus on good gripping technique. You may be burning out your hands unnecessarily. Then, focus on warming up your hands and fingers thoroughly before every session. There’s not a lot of muscle in the hands themselves, so the ligaments and tendons need to get a good run through, particularly on cold days.


It's all in the hips, Jiu Jitsu. All in the hips.

And your hips are tight from days of sitting on your arse. That’s nothing to do with Jiu Jitsu, it’s just that you notice it at Jiu Jitsu when you try to do something and your leg won’t turn that way. Stretching is good here, but actually, what you really want is a mobility routine to mobilise the low back and hip joints.

This stuff is DAILY medicine. That’s hard to get your head around sometimes, that you’ve to do something every day, not just when it’s sore, or when you feel like it, but looking after this stuff will help you.

Okay, hope this is good for you, I’ll see you on the mat!


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