Three Easy Ways To Improve Your BJJ Posture

The first BJJ training session I ever had was all about one thing – posture. If you have no posture, you can’t be effective when grappling. it is as easy as that. BJJ posture is one of the major principles of the Gentle Art. BJJ posture can be improved, if you know how your spine works and the best exercises for better mobility. Read on to learn how to become immovable for Jiu-Jitsu!

Let me paint you a picture. You’re in the finals of a huge tournament you have spent ages preparing for. So far, the match isn’t really going your way. You’re just an advantage up and there’s less than a minute on the clock. The opponent has you in their closed guard and all you need is to run down the clock. Suddenly twenty seconds before the buzzer, your opponent pulls a sweep off. two points and the gold medal for him. Disappointment for you. Just because you never really paid attention to BJJ posture.

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BJJ posture is the key to another huge principle of BJJ mechanics – base. If you have bad BJJ posture, your base is going to suffer as a consequence. And, Without base and posture you’re down tow out of three major BJJ concepts. Very few people in grappling actually address working on their posture. Be one of the few that do, and you’ll be among those that get the gold more often than not.

The Anatomy Of Proper Posture 

Let’s keep things basic here and not go into a full-blown anatomy class. Our spine is made up of three distinct segments: the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Each of these segments has a specific role along with the task of working with the other two. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, every inch of the spine has an important function, both on its own and as part of a system.

BJJ Posture GuardThe cervical spine is made up of 7 vertebrae. The thoracic spine has the next twelve, and the lumbar spine has 5. Out of this three, the thoracic spine’s strength and mobility are the biggest factors of BJJ posture.  Each thoracic vertebra connects to a rib on both sides.Movement patterns of the thoracic spine are all three-fold: flexion, extension, and rotation. It also has to work optimally with the two other major spinal segments.
The most common problem of the thoracic spine is the tendency towards stiffness. Poor BJJ posture usually the precursor to stiffness. What’s worse, stiffness lead to even worse posture and the problem gets exacerbated. When the thoracic spine is stiff,  all segments of the spine suffer the consequences. Very often, when you start working on your thoracic mobility, shoulder, neck or lower back pain is going to go away.

Every joint in the body has a purpose. Some are there to provide stability and others have a mobility role. When one of the joints works improperly, it is going to affect neighboring joints. In terms of the spine, the lumbar spine needs stability above anything else. The thoracic spine, on the other hand, requires mobility, while the cervical needs both. Understand this and you’ll be well on your way to great BJJ posture.

The Importance Of BJJ Posture 

Every time we’re ate  BJJ tournament you can her two things come out of the coaches’ mouths more often than anything. One is ‘break the grips” and the other one is “posture”. Not necessarily in that order. This is  how important BJJ posture is.  Bad posture is going to compromise you and mist likely allow your opponent to sweep. Even worse, poor BJJ posture can open up submission attacks, like triangles. Improve your BJJ posture and you’ll become much harder to deal with.

BJJ posture is essential every time you’re on top. Given as the point of a sweep is to get on top, this is essentially every time you’re rolling or in a match. If you round your shoulders forward, then your opponent’s task of breaking your posture gets easier. Instead, focusing on getting a mechanically superior position is going to make you unsubmitable. And good posture ensure this better than anything. When your body is working as a whole, you’ll be more efficient. Think about how hard it is to triangle someone who keeps their spine straight. Even with a triangle on you’ll never finish.

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Most grapplers are in need of corrective exercises for their spine. The art is such that spine problems, especially cervical and lumbar are very common. The thing is, whenever you tweak your neck or lower back, you also affect the thoracic spine. Even more important, you might have instability in your thoracic spine that causes injuries to the other two. It is a wicked system that you need to understand before you work on improving it.

Top Mobility Exercises For BJJ Posture 

To make change in your BJJ posture you do not need much time. You just need to be consistent with it. Fifteen minutes a day is enough to see positive changes very soon.
When training the spine,  people usually focus on the cervical and lumbar segments.The thoracic region is often overlooked which leads to siffness. Sitting all day on a computer or in your car isn’t helping either. Add to that the exertion of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training and you’ve got a disaster brewing. This is bad for both for your body and your Jiu-Jitsu.
So, let’s look at the best exercises you can employ to fix your BJJ posture and keep your spine healthy. This routine requires very little time and equipment and you can do it everywhere.

Lacrosse Ball Smash: 

BJJ PosturePlace a couple of lacrosse balls at the beginning of the thoracic spine just below your neck. Make sure you have your arms folded across your chest. Next, bridge over the balls and hold the top position for a second. Returning to the starting position.
Spend some time at each part of your thoracic spine. Working your way down your back until you reach the lumbar spine. Stay with the exercise for 5 minutes.

Batwings:

BJJ Posture ExerciseLay on a bench, face down, and extend your arms in front of you. Take a small weight in each arm or just keep your hands empty.  Next, row the weight until your thumbs reach your armpits. Hold the position and keep your scapulas squeezed. Hold each rep for 5 seconds and go for 3 sets of 5 repetitions.

Quadrupeds:

BJJ Posture ExerciseStart in the quadruped position, your hands and knees on the floor. then, take one hand and place it behind your head. The goal is to try to touch your elbow to your opposite arm beneath you. Return to the starting position and try o open your chest more with every following repetition. Keep a calm breath and go for 3 sets of 5 reps once more.