17 Jiu-Jitsu Stretches To Prevent Injuries & Increase Flexibility

Tsavo NealBJJ GearLeave a Comment

jiu jitsu stretches

Wondering what the best jiu-jitsu stretches are to prevent injuries & increase flexibility?

At age 30, I train BJJ 4-5x per week. I also powerlift 4x per week.

However, thanks to my stretching & mobility routine, I never feel muscle soreness or tightness after jiu-jitsu or powerlifting workouts. I’ve also never had a muscle injury from training jiu-jitsu.

In this article, I’ll share with you my jiu-jitsu stretches routine and the equipment I use for stretching and mobility.

Let’s dive in.

Jiu-Jitsu Stretches: Quick Links

My Jiu-Jitsu Stretches Routine (& How It Helps)

When I started BJJ, I was nervous about how it would affect my body.

BJJ practitioners were always talking about how sore and how beat up they were.

So, I dedicated a significant amount of time researching routines that would help me prevent a life of soreness and injury.

And to be honest, I couldn’t find a specific routine that people recommended.

By the time I started jiu-jitsu, I had been powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years.

I had found a routine that had worked well for me: Joe Defranco’s “Agile 11” or “Simple Six” mobility routines.

I decided to stick with doing that.

And to my surprise, it worked!

3 years later, I do the same jiu-jitsu stretches and mobility exercises every night.

I never feel muscle soreness or tightness after training jiu-jitsu or after I lift.

It only takes me 15-20 minutes per day.

I have all of the equipment I need in my apartment.

Instead of being detrimental to my health, BJJ has given me many physical benefits.

Next, I’ll share with you the specific jiu-jitsu stretches that make up my routine.

17 Jiu-Jitsu Stretches & Mobility Routine

Here’s my complete routine for jiu-jitsu stretches & mobility. I do them every night — often while listening to BJJ podcasts.

All credit for my routine goes to Joe Defranco. I use his mobility routines, slightly modified for BJJ.

Lower Body Jiu-Jitsu Stretches: Limber 11

Joe Defranco’s Limber 11 contains lower-body stretches that function as jiu-jitsu stretches. They’ll make sure your hips and legs are mobile and flexible.

 

1. Foam Roll IT Band (10-15 passes)

Lie on top of a foam roller (I use and recommend the RumbleRoller) on the side of your quadriceps. Roll 10-15 times over your quad from the hip down to the knee. Do this for each leg.

2. Foam Roll Adductors (10-15 passes)

Lie on top of a foam roller on your groin muscles. Roll 10-15 times over them. Do this for each leg.

3. SMR Glutes (lax ball) (30sec – 2min)

Sit one glue on top of a lacrosse ball or massage ball and cross your leg. Roll around your glute for 30 seconds to 2 minutes and sit on tight spots. Do this for each glute.

4. Bent-knee Iron Cross  (5-10 each side)

Lie on your back, and bring your knees up and your feet off the floor. Bring your knees down to the floor in one direction, and your head to the other direction. Repeat 5-10 times on each side.

5. Roll-overs into V-sits  (10 reps)

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out and your hands in front of you. Roll backward and let your feet touch the floor, and then roll forwards back to the starting position with your hands stretched out in front of you. Do this 10 times.

6. Rocking Frog Stretch (10 reps)

Get on your elbows and knees and point your toes outwards. Slowly sit back into your hips. Do this 10 times.

7. Fire Hydrant Circles  (10 reps forward/10 reps backward)

Get on your hands and knees. Make a circle with one leg, keeping all the movement at the hip joint. Do 10 reps in one direction, and 10 reps in the other direction. Repeat with your other leg.

8. Mountain Climbers  (10 reps each side)

Starting in a pushup position, bring one knee up to your armpit. Repeat with the other leg. Do this 10 times on each side.

9. Cossack Squats  (5×10 reps each side)

Start in a wide squat stance. Then, lower your hips to one side to get into a deep squat stance leaning on one leg, with the other leg stretched out. Do this 5-10 times each leg.

10. Seated Piriformis Stretch (1min each side)

Sitting on a chair, cross one foot over the other knee. Keeping your back straight (although you may round it slightly), slowly lean forward to stretch your glute. Hold this for 1 minute, and then do the other side.

11. Rear-foot-elevated Hip Flexor Stretch (2min each side)

Put one leg up on a platform like your couch. Then, put the elevated knee to the ground, with the other leg up. Squeeze your glute on the leg that is elevated while squeezing your core. Do this for 2 minutes, and then repeat on the other leg. Tie a resistance band around the leg that’s up for an even deeper stretch!

Upper Body Jiu-Jitsu Stretches: Simple Six

Joe Defranco’s Simple Six contains upper-body stretches and mobility exercises. They’ll help keep your shoulders, thoracic spine, and chest in top shape for jiu-jitsu.

 

1. Foam Rolling of the Thoracic Spine (10-15 passes)

Lie on a foam roller on your upper back. Give yourself a bear hug. Roll from the top of your back down to your mid-back 10-15 times.

2. Foam Rolling of the teres minor, infraspinatus area (10-15 passes)

Lie on a foam roller on your side on your lat. Roll the length of the muscle 10-15 times. Repeat on the other side

3. Sleeper Stretch / Shoulder Capsule Stretch (45sec each side)

Lie flat on one side. Bring your top arm out with your elbow on the floor. Slowly bring your hand down to the floor until you feel a stretch. Hold for 45 seconds, and then repeat on the other side/arm.

4. Band Pec Stretch (45sec)

Using a resistance band, hold onto the band with one hand to stretch out your arm and into your pectoral muscle. Hold for 45 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

5. Lat Stretch (45sec each side)

With one hand, grab the side of a doorframe or walled entrance. Sit back until you feel a stretch in your lat. Hold for 45 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

6. Band Dislocations (10-15 reps)

With a resistance band (or broomstick), hold the band in front of you with your arms wide apart. Slowly bring the band over your head and down to your back, and then slowly bring it back over to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.

8 Must-Haves For Jiu-Jitsu Stretches & Mobility

Here are 8 pieces of gear to invest in for your home or apartment.

They’ll help enhance your stretching, improve your mobility, and make you a more durable jiu-jitsu player.

I use and recommend each of the items listed below. They also make for great BJJ gifts!

1. Becoming A Supple Leopard

becoming a supple leopard for jiu-jitsu stretches

This book is the ultimate guide to stretching and mobility. Read it and you’ll learn how to solve many aches and pains that come from training jiu-jitsu all on your own. A must-have for any BJJ athlete who’s serious about their training and recovery.

Buy On Amazon

2. RumbleRoller

rumbleRoller

Normal foam rollers didn’t do much for me. When I switched to the black RumbleRoller, that’s when I started to feel the benefits of foam rolling. It’s like having a portable masseuse. By far my favorite piece of mobility equipment.

Buy On Amazon

3. Massage Ball

Massage Ball

A massage ball is perfect for massaging those smaller, tighter spots like your glutes, shoulders, feet, etc. Armed with both the RumbleRoller and a massage ball, there’s no muscle on your body that you can’t reach effectively. It hurts so good.

Buy On Amazon

4. Yoga Mat

yoga mat for bjj

I don’t know about you, but rolling around on a wooden floor is uncomfortable. Invest in a nice yoga mat, and it will be much easier to do your jiu-jitsu stretches and mobility exercises. Plus, you’ll also be able to do yoga for BJJ.

Buy On Amazon

5. Resistance Bands

resistance bands for mobility

Grab a set of resistance bands, and you’ll be able to amplify the effect of your jiu-jitsu stretches and mobility work. I use them for the hip flexor stretch, banded dislocations, face pulls, and more. They’re very versatile and can be used in all sorts of exercise contexts.

Buy On Amazon

6. VooDoo Floss

VooDoo floss muscle floss

VooDoo floss is for compression. You wrap it around a sore muscle or joint, and it will help bring blood flow to the area, making it more mobile. I use them daily to target sore spots and it does wonders.

Buy On Amazon

7. TheraCane

TheraCane

The TheraCane is a cane-like instrument used for self-massage. It’s perfect for massaging those tough-to-reach spots with targeted pressure, like your lower back muscles. It’s also excellent for targeting and massaging trigger points anywhere on your body.

Buy On Amazon

8. Massage Gun

massage gun for jiu-jitsu pain relief

A massage gun is a great investment for the lazy jiu-jitsu practitioner who doesn’t’ want to roll around on a RumbleRoller or massage ball. You can sit on the couch and massage yourself with the massage gun. Or, you can lie down and hand it to your girlfriend/boyfriend — and make them do it for you!

Buy On Amazon

Jiu-Jitsu Stretches: Conclusion

There you have it — my favorite 17 jiu-jitsu stretches and mobility exercises.

I do them every single day. And I feel great.

Having the right equipment at your home makes it easy to stay consistent.

Don’t be lazy. Do your prehab.

It will keep you on the mats!

What are your favorite jiu-jitsu stretches?

What do you do to keep your body in good shape so you can continue training?

Leave a comment in the section below or shoot me an email (tsavo@bjjequipment.com).


tsavo neal bjjequipment.com

Tsavo Neal

Tsavo is the founder of BJJ Equipment and BJJ blue belt who started training in 2019. He’s a passionate hobbyist and BJJ gear/equipment aficionado who wanted to share his favorite pickups with other jiujiteiros. He launched BJJ Equipment in 2022 to make it easy for jiu-jitsu practitioners to find the best BJJ gear so they look, feel, and perform at their best on the mats.

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