San Diego

The affect of Jiu Jitsu on Soft Tissue

Chronic and Acute Pain:
Chronic dysfunction is something which is very tricky. You see, dear audience: Acute Dysfunction may be identified sooner then Chronic. When one injures themselves stepping off of a curb for example, and twists their ankle, the pain is immediate and noticeable. Chronic is not so much, a postural Chronic dysfunction may take some time to show up.

In Jiu Jitsu one chronic problem we may see is the neck and upper shoulders be in constant spasm due to the locomotion which occurs while we roll, and since grappling arts use much of the head as a source of direction and a torpedo one may say, then all the assisting neck and shoulder muscles such as the flexors and extensors, along with the rotators will get shortened. This is a problem , since the effect of this can be seen by causing pain since muscles pull on bones. However, what makes this even worse is the fact that we use our necks to rotate our heads all day long, whether it is on the job behind a desk, or a manual labor endeavor.

This manual labor places much stress on the muscles of and surrounding the neck, which are already aggravated along with a lasting effect on the rest of the surrounding and supporting groups. Over time, this will cause serious discomfort , which may lead to strains , adhesions and tears if left untreated.

Please invest in a lacrosse ball, and use this ball along with a Thera cane on the areas which are tender after training , along with gentle neck stretches and shoulder stretches. This will safe you in the long run.

Adductors and Jiu Jitsu , posture and stuff!! :)

We love to Roll, we love to play various guards, the squeezing and holding space tightly with our legs makes them strong and sturdy, which allows for effective control. While this is all true, there is something which if not addressed could be detrimental to your ability to move correctly with balance and strong posture.

You see, not to make this too long or boring , I hope you stick with me my dear reader to the end, as this will only benefit you. Please think together, optimal alignment is when the knees track over the 2nd and 3rd toes while standing. However, a I will discuss some compensation which may occur.

The knees not staying in line with the toes, which could result from a muscle imbalance……
In the case of Jiu Jitsu, one may conclude that this happens due to the adductors being overly tight from constant squeezing of the thighs while grappling as this is a huge component of control in many positions (closed guard, mount, half guard, deep half etc).The adductors pull the femur into adduction when over active and makes it difficult to keep the knees aligned over the toes. Therefore, what ends up happening is that the Glutes become less strong due to constant squeezing of the thighs, and not enough Glute engagement. This causes the knees to not stay in proper alignment and throws off the center of balance in your body, due to the fact that biomechanically speaking , the body wants you to strive for proper alignment while standing, sitting and moving, and this muscle imbalance throws a monkey wrench into the whole thing.

Lastly, if you add in the fact that in todays work force we spend much time sitting, which further deactivates the glutes, and shortens the hip flexors. now our standing posture is even more thrown off. Our glutes are weakened and cannot properly assist in stabilizing our Lumbo Pelvic Hip Complex, our adductors are overly tight which pulls our knees inwards which throws off our alignment. Also, the hip flexors are shortened due to constant sitting which pulls the hips into an anterior pelvic tilt, and also throws off our center even more.

Tying this into Jiu Jitsu, or any other sport which requires posture, along with daily living. This imbalance causes us to shift our weight incorrectly. The body will now try to fight to keep us functioning and fix the problem, however this problem cannot get fixed on its own, the body will just compensate in other ways by placing stress on other parts of the body to keep us moving.

This creates a problem while grip fighting, as well as trying to get our posture to fight out of any situation. As the problem is biomechanics and no matter how hard we posture up, the problems in the joints which are coming from previously mentioned things create a much bigger problem.

In Conclusion, if we recognize these signs, in order to enjoy our loved sport, enjoy our body in motion along with a pain free mobile lifestyle: Kindly follow this rule :
Stretch the overactive, strengthen the underactive. Then we will have a much easier time with our movement in base and balance, and may prevent future problems.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more,
Wetek Personal training and Massage Therapy

Muscle Imbalances in Jiu Jitsu from Guards, Posture Rehabilitation

One HUGE thing about Jiu Jitsu Practitioners that we all have in common, WE LOVE TO DO IT! However, it comes with a price just like any other sport or repetitive movement. Oftentimes in my observations in the field of training Jiu Jitsu, studying Corrective Exercise and Personal training, along with anatomy and Massage Therapy, a few things became clear…..
Overuse of the same muscle groups causes muscle imbalances, if you are a young person who does not sit behind a computer all day, or due to your age recovers fast, its one thing, unlike those dedicated practitioners, others may have a full time job which causes stress not only mentally, but in their posture. The two common muscle imbalances I notice from individuals are : Tight Hips and Hip flexors, Hamstrings and Chest, rounded shoulders and anterior pelvic tilt, along with lateral shifting of the hips and forward head.
This is due to them sitting most of the day, which results in tightening of these groups of muscles , and their opposing groups often times get weak : such as the glutes,
Think of it this way: Some get overactive and others underactive, which makes the joints in the middle suffer, they either become jammed together or hyper immobile:

As a Jiu Jitsu Practitioner, we spend so much time in the same positions which place very much the same tension onto the same muscle groups while training as in the sitting posture. Example: Constantly activating our hips and hip flexors to play various guards, forward head from constant neck tension, rounded shoulders from constant reaching and gripping. This perpetuates the cycle of tightening the ones which are ALREADY tight from sitting and keeps the ones which are weaker …weak: Glutes, Lower back, Rhomboids , neck extensors, lower back and Transverse S. etc
This may lead to things such as :Lower back Injuries due to :
1,Iliac Joint,2. Lumbar Facet joint,

Posture effect:
1. Lower Crossed Syndrome

Gait: 1.Decreased Hip extension, 2.Increased compensatory lumbar extension,3. Excessive toeing out, 4.Excessive prolonged pronation

I believe, based on my research and studies under NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), that once we can identify based on simple tests which muscles are underactive, overactive, along with a look at your Jiu Jitsu Game and your lifestyle, then begin making changes using the correct stretching for the tight tissues, strength training routines for the weaker (underactive) along with myofascial release………. over time in the long run, this will not only increase your performance due to the restored range of motion , also lessen your discomfort, which will lead to an overall healthier mental state elsewhere, as it is all connected, and the body works as a integrated unit. Therefore, optimum alignment and function of each component of the kinetic chain is a cornerstone to a functional program which will help with rehabilitation and movement, increase your Jiu Jitsu Game, provide a healthier feeling along with better movement. :

Thank you For Reading and please Stay Tuned For More

Use your Core

In many sports, daily life, and much so in Jiu Jitsu being able to have control of our core is essential to healthy living, optimal performance and a healthy spine. The core consists of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC) . This is where the body’s center of gravity is located and where all movement begins. When training , there is one common denominator: injuries are abundant -from muscle tears, to overstressed ligaments , tendons, and of course stress fractures. The reason many times could be from not maintaining a strong base of special exercises for not only the muscles , but also for increasing ligament and tendon hypertrophy. Therefore, focusing on special small exercises to build up strength in the tendons and ligaments, will help prevent injuries, increase your overall lifts, and allow the tendons and ligaments to support the musculature growth and handle the overload caused by constant lifting. Lastly, building up your core with specific progressive exercises (plank, plank on ball, medicine ball wall throw, single arm dumbbell chest press with rotation on physio ball ). This will insure your core stays strong, which will allow your body to handle everything else.

In closing, doing these things in combination with myofascial release on the muscles worked after, and throughout the week for at least 45 seconds to a minute on the tender areas multiple times, will ensure that your musculature /nervous system as its all connected stays supple and pliable , allowing it to adapt, grow and not tighten up which will lead to optimal performance once again, and avoid injury in the long run.

Make your routine fun! Include stretching, Myofascial release, and progressive training , working small body parts with drop sets, partials , super sets will greatly improve your performance, and can be done multiple times a week with high repetitions/lower weight, without over taxing the nervous system .

Train smart, train hard, stay ready and motivated.

Until next time friends,

Wetek Personal training and Massage Therapy Staff

Jiu Jitsu : How pulling/gripping effects your posture and how to fix

A huge part of training Jiu Jitsu is learning how and when to make grips. We use these grips to off balance our partner in order to execute a technique. However, through constant gripping and pulling , many muscles get worked. Primarily these muscles tend to be the same ones we often use throughout the day. The action of Pulling effects the rotator cuff, which if over worked effects the neck, shoulders and upper back, and leads to discomfort. This in turn leads to posture distortions and may through off your own balance . When combined with daily life, the chores and tasks we already find ourselves performing, this overload could cause permanent damage, if not addressed. .
Good news is , there is a simple thing we recommend , after training , do not leave the mat! Right after training, take a baseball or a lacrosse ball, and lay on the floor on your back. Find the tender areas in the back, upper neck or shoulders. Finding these will not be too difficult, all you should do is place the ball on the floor, and lay on the areas of the upper back and shoulders. Wherever you feel a tender spot, stay on that area for 1-2 minutes and allow the tenderness to melt away slowly. while doing so focus on taking a 2 second inhale, hold for 2 seconds, and exhale for 2 seconds. Doing this regularly will allow you to feel better in training and make your grips strong . The reason is because this will allow the muscles which are always getting worked from gripping and pulling, to unwind and relax, that way they may be strong and pliable for next training and not over tighten , which will make it so they do not create additional stress on your bones and joints.

Thank You for reading and please stay tuned for more .