Most of us had a good few months where we couldn’t train properly— and some aren’t back to training yet at all (I’m sorry). As a gym owner, I’ve seen more little injuries than ever before in the last few months as our students have come back to training. I think it’s probably a combination of the time off and the weight that a lot of people put on in quarantine. Coming back from this break is different from coming back from an injury since people expect to be at the same level of ability and fitness that they were when they left— and unfortunately, most aren’t, because there’s no substitute for rolling. We’ve seen a lot of small to moderate injuries: wrecked fingers, elbow tendonitis (golfer/tennis elbow), popped ribs and knees, tweaked necks, and so on.
So, without further ado, let’s fix some broken stuff. Oh, and of course, the disclaimer: none of this is medical advice. If you’re broken, see a medical expert for a diagnosis before trying anything crazy like falling down a YouTube rabbit hole and deciding to become a contortionist.
Yoga for BJJ
[For full disclosure, my husband is a Yoga for BJJ ambassador, although I have no personal affiliation with them.]
I have to start with this one, because preventative care is so important in any kind of long-term activity. Most yoga is great for BJJ, but it’s fantastic to have yoga options targeted specifically at injuries that are common in Jiu Jitsu. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to build flexibility and strength at the end of your range of movement, something like Yoga for BJJ is great. I also really liked their handstand progression, if you’re into that. If you aren’t willing to put the time and effort in, you probably won’t see the same results, unfortunately.
Great for: People with time and energy to use yoga to prevent future injuries and address current mobility limitations.
Bulletproof for BJJ
I’ve been playing way too much squid guard lately, and I’ve torn up my elbow so badly that I can’t drink coffee right-handed anymore. Obviously, this can’t continue. I started using the exercises that these guys recommend for tennis and golfer’s elbow, and they make a huge difference. They provide tons of free content that is really helpful for addressing chronic and acute problems that are common to BJJ. They have a Facebook community that seems quite active as well. I don’t really have any complaints about this one. I like their bite-size content and no-nonsense approach. You can subscribe to their service, but they provide excellent free content that has really helped me address a few major issues.
Great for: Acute issues, relatively serious athletes who are interested in increasing performance.
Rehab on Tap
I love this account as well, as it’s very much in the same vein as Bulletproof for BJJ. Christine Mac is a physio and works with individual clients, but she also posts tons of rehab, strength, and flexibility content specific to BJJ. If you’re like me and you like your content to be well-researched and science-based, this is the account for you. As a woman, I find it valuable to have a mix of female and male voices I use for rehab, strength, mobility, and so on— different perspectives are refreshing, and people with different natural attributes approach strength training and mobility differently. It’s also nice to see someone working towards functional mobility who is already decently mobile since so many accounts that focus on mobility are targeted towards people who are stiff or inflexible.
Great for: Acute issues, all levels of athlete who are interested in increasing performance. This account is slightly more accessible for beginners.
The Jiu Jitsu Therapist
I included a YouTube link in this one because most of the good information is on there rather than on Instagram. Like many of these accounts, the Jiu Jitsu Therapist focuses on rehab for injuries that are common in BJJ, but he also goes beyond and addresses the body holistically as well. One of my favourite parts of this channel is his content that focuses on proper taping techniques. Having someone who knows how to tape a wrist, finger, or ankle is totally different than just slapping some tape on yourself and hoping for the best. His years of experience really come across in the content.
Great for: Athletic nerds. Or maybe nerdy athletes? This is great, science-backed content for acute and overuse injuries, but you do need a basic understanding of rehab science to use it to its fullest.
Open Mat Physio
This is the smallest account I’ve linked to, but as we know, size isn’t everything. This is a trio of experts who have come together to provide general training advice, rehabilitation information, and strength circuits. I like that they focus on specific areas for training: building strong knees for takedowns, for example, or core for guard players. I wish I had found these guys when I was trying to rehab my core and posterior chain postpartum.
Great for: I think these guys are great for the average BJJ practitioner who is just trying to get better or rehab, but as a competitor and academy owner, I’ve been using their resources for the last few weeks as well (and recommending them to my students).
All of these rehab accounts have premium options, but I haven’t used any except for Yoga for BJJ. I chose these from thousands of other options because they provided the best free content. I haven’t included anyone here that I don’t recommend to my own students. The best part is the depth of knowledge that is available at the click of a button these days: no matter what your problem is, it’s highly likely that one of these accounts will have a solution for you. Sort yourself out! Your training partners don’t want to hear you complain about your knee anymore.