Flexibility for grappling
After searching through this forum I've found a few threads that touch on this subject but all of them seem to be a bit confusing, everyone seems to recommend something different when it comes to flexibility training. I was wondering if theres any sort of consensus as to the best way to improve your flexibility for grappling? Theres a whole bunch of DVD's out there on the subjectbut are any of them worth the cash? Are there better free resources out there or should I just give up on this and go to a yoga class and forget grappling specific trainning?
I think that flexibility for grappling DVD are better targeted then yoga class or DVD's. Same would go for dance, gymnastics etc. I like Paul Zaichik's info, but I can't say anything about his DVD because I don't have it.
It would be nice if someone could take Zaichik's, Sonnon's, GN and other products and compare them. I just a thread about Paul's DVD, so I was surprised that another thread about grappling flexibility was started.
honestly, i feel the same way about flexibility training as i do about regular grappling, in that it should be done in a structured class environment. this keeps you consistent and allows for better progress.
as such, if you aren't lucky enough to have an ginastica natural school near you, i'd suggest doing yoga or pilates. these are both relatively easy to find, relatively expensive and exist in a structured way.
i do yoga when i do run ups for jiu jitsu tournaments. yoga helps beautifully with both flexibility and more importantly body awareness that translates well into jiu jitsu. i SWEAR by yoga as a training method.
There are many products out there that can help you on this: Zaichik's, Sonon's, Pavel's, Ginastical Natural, Yoga for Figthers (I think it's in grapplearts.com), Magnificent Mobility. Each has its own take and might do one thing that's frown by the other. But for all practical purposes, you'd be fine with any of these products, or even by simply taking Bikram/Ashtanga Yoga classes several times a week for a month (and then doing it on your own regularly for maintenance.)
Truth to be told, you need to check the following (in no particular order):
1. Glute flexibility
2. Hamstring flexibility
3. Dorsiflexion flexibility
4. Hip flexor/IT band flexibility
5. Hip abductor/deep hip external rotator (piriformis)/trunk (obliques) flexibility.
6. Hip adductors (think groin area) flexibility. Think Eddie Bravo.
7. Upper thoracic mobility
8. Shoulder blade stabilization and strength (rhomboids, serratus anterior and external shoulder rotators.)
9. Traps, pecs and neck (sternocleidomastoid, splenius and scalene) flexibility.
10. Both external AND internal shoulder rotator flexibility (MUCHO IMPORTANTE!!eleven!)
11. Erector Spinae flexibility (which is not the same as bending at the lower spine.)
People DO get by in grappling without some of these, but your chances of avoiding injury are greater the more you can work your flexibility and strength in all those areas. Not just injury, but nagging pain that creeps in hindering your training.
Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.
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