Do you cross train to compliment your Jiu Jitsu?
Before I started training Jiu Jitsu, I lifted weights every day. That was my only form of training, and to this day I still enjoy lifting weights occasionally. However, once I started training Jiu Jitsu, I stopped lifting entirely and put all my focus onto the mats. For a couple of years this was great. All my focus was on Jiu Jitsu and I felt my skill skyrocket in that aspect. Then I got my first major pop.
I realized that because I wasn’t doing any strength training, my ligaments and tendons became weak with extreme training. My MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) was the first to go, during a competition match. I thought about something Professor Rivas said to me once after an accidentally shin-to-nose collision, “This stuff happens. We aren’t playing with Barbie dolls”. So, I recovered and shrugged it off.
Next was slightly worse, my LUL (Lateral Ulnar Ligament) popped in training. Very frustrating because I had just gotten healed up and recovered from my knee injury. Due to the frustration, I started looking at what might be the cause of these injuries or what I could do to keep them from happening.
I realized that a major part of my training regiment was missing, cross-training. Cross training doesn’t mean you have to lift weights every day. But finding functional exercises that will compliment your Jiu Jitsu training is paramount to preventing injuries.
One of my favorite activities for cross-training is rock climbing. Due to the emphasis on problem solving and grip strength, I find it to be very comparable to Jiu Jitsu. It increases the strength of forearm tendons as well as elbow and knee ligaments. Plus, it is a TON of fun.
Another good activity and a favorite of mine traditional plyometric HIIT training. This is particularly good for hip and knee strength and mobility. The only issue I have with this one is it begins to really bother my existing injuries, so I stick to my rock climbing. My only advice is to find something that works for you to compliment your Jiu Jitsu and watch as your grappling power skyrockets.
I am competing this weekend, details are on all of my social media accounts so if you would like to come out and support get with me on there and we’ll make it happen.
I am working on a fantastic interview right now that should be done and ready for you guys next week, stay tuned!