Injuries are an inevitable part of training and competing. This is even truer for combat sports like Jiu-Jitsu and MMA, where acute injuries can occur for many reasons. Because of that, we decided it would be fitting to discuss some of the essential things every trainee should consider to minimize the risk of injury. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
1. Warm Up Well Every Single Time
Warming up well before training or competing is crucial for two reasons:
First, a good warm-up prepares your body and mind for the physical work you’re about to do. As you raise your core body temperature:
your mood improves
you become more alert
you begin to loosen up
enzymes responsible for energy production to work better, which directly improves your performance
your muscles’ elastic properties improve, leading to greater strength and power output
Second, a good warm-up mobilizes your joints and improves the lubricating properties of synovial fluid - the clear liquid that keeps your joints gliding normally. That, along with the impact on your muscles, allows you to exert yourself without risking cumulative or acute injuries.
2. Take Good Care of Your Mobility and Flexibility
Many people understand the importance of stretching, but this is one of these topics that bears repeating. This is because, while knowing about it, many people choose to overlook it until it’s too late. Besides warming up well, taking the time to stretch your muscles will make you agile, better at your craft, and less likely to suffer from injuries. By working on good mobility and flexibility, you allow your body to move naturally and never go beyond its natural limitations. In contrast, if you have tight areas (for example, your hips) or muscles (for example, your hamstrings), you can more easily find yourself in a situation where you have to go beyond what your tissues and joints can currently support. Over time, this can lead to aches and injuries.
3. Work On Your Balance
Good balance is essential because it allows you to maintain a degree of control at all times, especially while sparring or having an official match against an opponent. Besides making you a better fighter capable of handling opponents more easily, good balance is also essential for injury prevention. It allows you to stay ahead of your opponents and avoid compromising positions that may lead to a loss or, worse - an injury. Though every practitioner would need to emphasize different things, good balance always comes from a solid and stable core. Including some work for your glutes, lower back, and abs will strengthen these areas and greatly benefit your balance.
Injuries are an inevitable part of most sports. The only true way to avoid them would be not to be active, but this brings a whole host of other issues.
What we can do instead is look at the most common causes of injuries and seek out ways to prevent them from happening. If you’re looking for guidance on becoming a better MMA or Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and staying safe, come down to Dream Martial Arts And Fitness.