About To Do BJJ Class? Here’s How To Get The Most Out Of Your Warm-Up

Are you getting enough out of your warm-up? Do you cover the three important outcomes for a proper warm-up? Try to implement the following habits below into your pre workout routine and watch your performance soar!

Breathing Exercises

It is undoubtedly obvious why proper breathing is important. But when we relate this to athletic performance, one good thing to remember is that the longer your body is deprived of oxygen, the more performance suffers.

Breathing exercises can improve blood flow and create a kind of “high” allowing your body to perform to a higher level than if you weren’t focusing on your oxygen intake, both physiologically and mentally.

Being focused on the task at hand is just as important as performing the said task. In order to do that, the brain needs to have as much O2 as possible. Focusing on breathing correctly will create better work output, more precise responses from your central nervous system, and even quicker reflexes.

Controlling your breathing before you train or take part in a competition will also help to keep nerves in check if you feel anxious beforehand.

One of the simplest breathing techniques you can use pre-workout is to inhale and exhale for four seconds each. Breathe in slowly for four seconds into the base of your lungs, then breathe out for another four seconds. Find a quiet place to yourself for two minutes and try this before you start to train. It will elevate the oxygen levels in your blood and help to concentrate your mind.

Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.

If you are 100% focused on the session ahead of you then you will perform better. Mindfulness definitely will help you to achieve this mental state. I have recently adopted three sessions of mindfulness a day. One as I wake, one midway through my day or before training, and one before I go to sleep. It helps me immensely with sticking to my goals. It only takes 15 minutes of my day.

Next time you’re headed to the academy, aim to get there slightly earlier and find a quiet corner. Put a timer on for five minutes and get comfortable on the mats. You can choose to stay seated or lie on your back (try not to fall asleep, I have had to be woken up before training a few times).

Allow your eyes to gently close and focus on a positive event that happened during the course of the day. It doesn’t have to be a huge event; sometimes it can be something as small as having been able to get the time off you need to train for the next competition or even being able to have breakfast with your family before you left the house. It is less about the actual event and more about the emotions that you felt.

Allow your mind to create a vivid memory of all the positive emotions you felt in that moment. Focus on the highs, the sense of achievement, and happiness that you felt. When you’re done, focus on holding on to the positive emotions from that experience. This will help you maintain a positive vibe while training. I’m sure you’ll agree that positivity flows, so contribute to the vibe of the gyms by letting yours shine through. Visualise yourself completing the warm-ups, drilling with precision and good technique, and imagine yourself successfully hitting your sweeps time and time again. This will help to prime your mind for the forthcoming action.

Warm Up Properly

Each warm up should be time efficient and fit for purpose. It should have a general and skill-specific portion that matches what lay ahead, and always establish an optimum body temperature. It should not have you on the side of the mats sucking in the big ones and absorbing any bit of moisture in the air.

A winning athlete will undoubtedly want to achieve two things every session:

1. Perform at their best for that given day

2. Prevent any injury occurring.

Too many warm-up drills can distract the athlete from the purpose ahead, and would be better placed in a training session dedicated to addressing those movements. It takes a little experimenting to find a balance between effort, time, and effectiveness.

A full warm-up should last between 15 and 30 mins depending on the sport. Sometimes the class will only have a 5-10 minute warm-up, so it is important that you warm up as efficiently as possible and waste little time prior to class starting. Remember the warm-up is preparation for the task.

It must also be noted that warm-ups should be performed as close to training or competition as possible and great care should be taken to maintain body temperature if there are periods between finishing the warm-up and starting the competition.

What do you do pre-workout to ensure you are ready to take on the mat savages within your academy?

See you on the mats!


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