Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a physically demanding sport. It puts a lot of strain on the body and as a result, injuries are common. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the fifteen most common injuries in BJJ and what you can do to prevent them.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are the most common type of injury in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. They can be caused by a number of factors, such as incorrect knee placement when passing the guard, or by hyper extending the knee when applying a submission. The most common knee injuries are:

  1. ACL tears: The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a ligament that connects the femur to the tibia. It stabilizes the knee and prevents it from hyper extending.
  2. MCL tears: The MCL (medial collateral ligament) is a ligament that runs along the inside of the knee. It helps to stabilize the knee joint.
  3. Meniscus tears: The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that sits between the femur and tibia. It acts as a shock absorber for the knee joint.

Exercises To Prevent Knee Injuries

Don’t let knee injuries keep you from training! There are a few exercises you can do to help prevent knee injuries. All involve strengthening the muscles around the knee joint:

Squats: Squats help to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, which are all muscles that support the knee. To perform a proper squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your butt down to knee level. Make sure to keep your knees behind your toes as you lower down.

Lunges: Lunges are another great exercise for strengthening the muscles that support the knee. To perform a lunge, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a large step forward. Lower your body down until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your back knee is just above the ground. Make sure to keep your front knee behind your toes as you lower down.

Standing Side Leg Lifts: Side leg lifts help to strengthen the abductor muscles, which are the muscles that run along the side of the thigh. These muscles support the knee joint and help to keep it stable. To perform a side leg lift, stand with your feet together and lift your leg out to the side. Keep your leg straight and your pelvis level as you lift.

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries are the second most common type of injury in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. They can be caused by a number of things, such as incorrect posture when defending against a submission, or by overusing the shoulder joint when applying a submission. The most common shoulder injuries are:

  1. Rotator cuff tears: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilizes the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff tears are caused by repetitive motions of the shoulder, such as when you are constantly reaching for an opponent’s leg during guard passes.
  2. Dislocated shoulders: The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. The ball (the head of the humerus) fits into the socket (the glenoid fossa of the scapula). Dislocated shoulders occur when the head of the humerus pops out.
  3. Shoulder Joint Tear: The shoulder joint is held together by a group of ligaments. A shoulder joint tear occurs when one or more of these ligaments is torn.

Exercises To Prevent Shoulder Injuries

Although shoulder injuries are relatively common in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are a few exercises you can do to help prevent them. Here are a few exercises to help strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the shoulder joint:

External and Internal Rotations: To perform these exercises, you will need a resistance band. Anchor the band to a door at waist level, and stand with your arm at 90 degrees, making sure that your elbow is close to your side. To perform external rotations, slowly rotate your arm outwards, and then return to the starting position. Now switch arms and repeat the process but instead rotate your arm inwards.

Lateral Raise: Lateral raises can be performed with or without weight. To do them, simply raise your arm out to the side until it is level with your shoulder. Make sure to keep your arm straight and your core engaged.

Front Raise: To perform a front raise, raise your arm straight in front of you until it is level with your shoulder. As with lateral raises, make sure to keep your arm straight and your core engaged.

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are the third most common type of injury in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. They can be caused by a number of things, such as incorrect posture when defending against a submission, or by taking a fall incorrectly. The most common neck injuries are:

  1. Whiplash: Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly thrown forward and then backwards. It is often caused by a fall or by an opponent taking your head and slamming it into the mat.
  2. Cervical Sprain: A cervical sprain is an injury to the ligaments of the neck. It is often caused by a fall or by an opponent taking your head and twisting it.
  3. Cervical Disc Herniation: A cervical disc herniation is an injury to the discs that sit between the vertebrae of the neck. It is often caused by a fall or by an opponent taking your head and twisting it.

Exercises To Prevent Neck Injuries

There are a many exercises you can do to prevent neck injuries. Below are some of the most effective exercises to keep your neck healthy and safe while training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Chin Tuck: The chin tuck is another great exercise for strengthening the neck muscles. It also helps to improve your posture. To do the chin tuck, sit up tall in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Tuck your chin down towards your chest and hold for a few seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Back Burners: Back burners are a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your neck. They also help to improve your range of motion. To do back burners, lay facing down on a mat with your arms tucked in by your sides. Slowly lift your head and shoulders off the ground and hold for a few seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Wrist Injuries

Wrist injuries are another common injury in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The wrist is a weight-bearing joint and is susceptible to injury if it is not properly supported. Taking care of your wrists is important to prevent injuries. Below are some exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles and support the joints in your wrists.

  1. Wrist Fracture: A wrist fracture is a break in one of the bones of the wrist.
  2. Wrist Ligament Tear: The wrist ligaments are the tissues that connect the bones of the wrist. A ligament tear is a partial or complete rupture of one of these tissues.
  3. Wrist Sprain: A wrist sprain is an injury to the ligaments of the wrist. A sprain occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their normal range of motion.

Exercises To Prevent Wrist Injuries

Table Wrist Extensions: To do table wrist extensions, rest your arm on a table with your wrist hanging over the edge. Make sure your palm is facing down. Without moving the arm, bring the weight up by extending the wrist. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down.

Table Wrist Extensions: To do table wrist extensions, rest your arm on a table with your wrist hanging over the edge. Make sure your palm is facing down. Without moving the arm, bring the weight up by extending the wrist. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down.

Table Wrist Flexions: To do table wrist flexions, rest your arm on a table with your wrist hanging over the edge. Make sure your palm is facing up. Without moving the arm, bring the weight up by flexing the wrist. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down.

Wrist Curls: Wrist curls can be done with or without weight. To do them, sit down with your back straight and feet flat on the ground. Hold a weight in each hand and rest your arms on your thighs with your palms facing up. Slowly curl your hands upwards, contracting the muscles in your forearm. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Elbow Injuries

Elbow injuries are another common injury in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The elbow is a weight-bearing joint and is susceptible to injury if it is not properly supported. The most common elbow injuries are:

  1. Elbow Fracture: An elbow fracture is a break in one or more of the bones that make up the elbow joint.
  2. Elbow Dislocation: An elbow dislocation occurs when the bones of the elbow joint are out of place.
  3. Elbow Tendonitis: Elbow tendonitis is a condition that results from the inflammation of the tendons around the elbow joint.

Exercises To Prevent Elbow Injuries

The bicep and tricep are the two muscles that surround the elbow. Exercising these muscles will help keep the elbow stable and less likely to get injured.

Tricep Bench Dip: Sit on a bench with your back to the edge of the seat. Place your palms on the edge of the seat, shoulder-width apart. Straighten your arms and slide your butt off the seat. Bend your elbows to lower your body until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Push back up to the starting position.

Bicep Curls: The biceps curl is a great way to strengthen the muscles around the elbow joint. To do the biceps curl, stand up tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a weight in each hand and let them hang at your sides with your palms facing forward. Slowly curl the weights up towards your shoulders, contracting the muscles in your biceps. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! The fifteen most common injuries in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and how to prevent them. By following the prevention steps listed above, you can help to reduce your risk of injury and keep yourself safe on the mat. Now get out there and train hard!

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