The Weekly Fix: Improve your Mobility and Flexibility for BJJ

Welcome to the Weekly Fix!

The Newsletter from the Bulletproof For BJJ brothers to give you the insights you need to have a better BJJ life. We can speed recovery, reduce soreness and stiffness just by doing simple things to improve Flexibility and Mobility. Then we give you that bit extra so you have a better BJJ weekend.

  1. How to Improve your flexibility and Mobility for BJJ: Small efforts for BIG gains.
  2. Have you seen this?!: The Pillars of the Program
  3. Community Spotlight: The White belt come back Story!
  4. Training Top Tip: Turbo Charge your Hip Flexibility!

"How Do You Improve Flexibility and Mobility for BJJ?"

The dynamic nature of Brazilian jiu-jitsu requires us to be able to bend ourselves into all kinds of weird and wonderful positions. To be able to achieve these gymnastic like postures you need both Flexibility and Mobility. Today I will explain the difference between the 2 and how implementing them into your daily routine will change your Jiu-jitsu lifestyle for good!

FLEXIBILITY: The capacity to move a joint through a range of motion.

MOBILITY: the capacity to move a joint through a range of motion under load.

First things first if you do not have a full and healthy range of motion at any of your major joints we need to add range before we add load. So if you are currently restricted in your range of motion at any joint due to injury or long term lack of use this needs to be restored through stretching and flexibility training. This approach  requires a mixture of both dynamic, active and more passive movements and positions to lengthen the muscle groups being targeted.

If you have a healthy range of motion spending more time on increasing flexibility is a waste of time. Having increased movement at a joint without the ability to control it is not only unhelpful but also potentially injurious.

Mobility training is the key to taking the next step in physical mastery and better BJJ. Mobility drills are movement based and require you to take your body through as full a range of motion as you can control. These drills can be progressed by increasing movement complexity and adding load.

The best way to improve both of these qualities is to build them into your existing schedule. In order to get the best results you want to include Mobility drills as your own customised Warm Up before you start Jiu-jitsu class. Flexibility work is best done as a Cool Down after class when your body is warmest and your connective tissues are at their most elastic.

For people who are really looking to take their movement to another level we recommend doing additional Stretching sessions, which incorporate both Dynamic and Static methods to increase range of motion.

Here is an example of a Warm Up sequence:

  • Active Pigeon 3 sets x 10 reps each
  • Active Wall Lunge 3 sets x 10 reps each
  • Table Top Press. 3 sets x 10 reps each

Here is an example of a Cool Down sequence:

  • Frog Stretch 2 sets x 60 seconds
  • Lazy Pigeon. 2 sets x 60 seconds
  • Seated Shoulder Extension. 2 sets x 60 seconds

The active nature of the Mobility drills as part of the Warm Up are ideal for increasing body temperature, increasing circulation and increasing proprioceptive awareness (balance & feel) This is a much better way to prepare your body for Jiu-jitsu than: star jumps, jogging and sit ups, all of which can increase joint tightness that will inhibit good biomechanics for BJJ.

Longer hold active and static stretching as part of a Cool Down, require a greater focus on breathing and consciously relaxing of the target muscles is a great way to regain control of your breathing and lower your heart rate. This allows you to unwind all the tension you just created rolling, squeezing and cranking.

Capitalising on your elevated level of circulation is a perfect way to push new blood into the tight tissues to supply nutrients for repair and speeds the removal of metabolic waste products and deoxygenated blood. This helps reduce muscle soreness the next day enabling you to get back to training sooner.

The added bonus of doing a few minutes of focused breath work after Stretching will help flip the switch off to your fight or flight response. This will eliminate the tired but wired feeling you get when you get home buzzed from BJJ but can’t get to sleep which ultimately leaves you exhausted the next day.

Flexibility and Mobility are essentially movement skills that require practice, investing a little bit of time on a regular basis will give you a good return. If you are really tight and in need of a dramatic change dedicating 2 full sessions just to mobility and stretching is a good idea to see improvement. Don't make yourself a prisoner in your own body, a little effort everyday will reduce tightness and soreness while restoring physical freedom, this is the way.

Bulletproof for BJJ Podcast no.2


Tjahaja Matahari

Academy: Gracie Humaita, (Alexandria)
Belt: White
Started BJJ: July 2019
My ex-partner started a couple of years before I did with one of our friends. I wish I started at the same time, but unfortunately was working too far from the academy at the time. When I finally moved to a job closer to the academy I signed up.
I had often gone in and out of training, whatever my friends were doing around me. However I had gone on a trip to Thailand and met a friend there who took me to two weeks of Muay Thai. I was hooked, came back to Sydney and was trying to find a gym that was convenient for me, then I moved over to BJJ.

I injured my rotator cuff and didn't take it too seriously in the beginning.
Finally after a couple weeks on, a couple weeks off and on, and pain in my shoulder, I decided I needed to take time off the mat and take care of it.
When my physio gave me the go ahead to start training again, I came to Jungle Brothers to do the Bulletproof program.
My shoulder is almost 100%, and I've gained all over body strength and muscle thanks to the BP program. Now that I am back on the mat, I feel a lot stronger and that my body can handle the tumbles a lot more with the muscle gain. I am really happy that during my time off the mat, I was able to keep up training that would help my BJJ journey.

Bulletproof for BJJ Hip Flexor stretch