Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and MMA are cutting edge arts in every way…except in their warm – ups. It’s a surprise that arts that are known for their constant evolution are still using repetitive, ineffective warm-ups that can actually be hazardous.
I remember an old instructor of mine hobbling into class and mentioning that his Physiotherapist said that he can’t train for a while and that the cause of his back injury was a muscular imbalance from all of the work on the front of his body. He immediately proceeded to warm the class up in the same manner that hurt him in the first place.
Most Jiu Jitsu classes look like this: Running, sit-ups, pushups, more variations of sit-ups, tumbling, shrimping and static stretching. Completely anterior chain dominated.
Thai Boxing is normally a brief skip, some pushups, sit-ups and some static stretching. The same problems.
There are many good resources and professionals that can help build an effective warm-up for your programs, but the bottom line is that a poor [traditional] warm-up will actually lead to more injury than not doing one at all. So what makes a good warm-up?
1. Leave the Static Stretching till the end, it is proven to be ineffective prior to a workout and may actually increase the chance of injury according to some experts. Warm-up with mobility drills and ROM (Range Of Movement) instead.
2. Body imbalances are caused in martial arts for the simple reason that we don’t use every limb equally. Jiu Jitsu warm-ups also tend to build the front of the body rather than the back. It’s important that it is dealt with early on. A proper warm-up should help to develop a strong, balanced body.
3. The warm-up should make you sweat! Not just a light sweat either, you should be experiencing sweat, heat and blood in all of your extremities. People tend to bludge in the warm-up.
Taking injuries out for a second, experienced competitors know that the second match is the easiest on your mind and body, so it’s important that the warm-up feel as if you have got your first hard roll out of the way before you begin. It’s our little secret [Shared by UFC, BJJ and Muay Thai Champions].
See you on the mat,