How to Train BJJ While Injured

Unfortunately right now I am dealing with a bad ankle sprain and a twisted knee I got while wrestling last week. While it is getting better I still am limited in what I can do. This week I would like to spend some time talking about recovery, work outs, and still trying to train BJJ while injured.

This blog is written by Connection Rio team member Torryn Heffelfinger. He’ll be blogging weekly on life and training BJJ in Rio de Janeiro. In the following excerpt from his weekly blog “Training the Dream”, he talks about how to train BJJ while injured.

How to Train BJJ While Injured

Having an injury is never fun; nobody wants or expects to have to deal with them. That said, just because you are injured doesn’t mean you can’t grow in your sport or that you can’t still get some good training in. The first most important thing to remember when injured is that it’s about recovery. You’re number one goal is to get healed up so you can get back to training. Sometimes that mean’s taking some time and doing nothing but healing. For the first 36 hours after my injury I spent most of my time in bed or on the couch using the RICE method– Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. I put very little to no weight on my leg and just let it rest.

After a couple of days (and a doctors visit to make sure nothing was broken). I began to move around and started to get some light workouts in. This brings me to my second point; just because you are injured doesn’t mean you can’t workout. My ankle may be injured, but that didn’t take my whole body out.

Throughout the week I was able to do countless push-ups, pull ups, and resistance band exercises. Also as time went by and my ankle felt a little better I was able to start riding bike (thanks to Nabas for loaning me his bike) and swimming (with minimal kicking), and light drilling. Being able to keep up with some sort of exercise while out will do two things….

1. Keep you from going mad from no training
2. Allow for a easier transition when you get back to normal training.

Keep in mind though your primary goal is recovery, it’s ok to sometimes push yourself, but don’t go beyond your limits; as the old saying goes it’s better to be safe then sorry.

The third thing that is important to remember while out with an injury is; Just because you can’t train doesn’t mean you can’t learn. Typically when most people get hurt they won’t go to training sessions they will just sit at home sulking.

This week I made the effort to still go into training just to watch class and the techniques. Being able to see other people work on techniques and watching how they correct certain issues gave me a better insight to how the moves are done. For instance I have been having trouble with the transitioning of a cross-side armbars Dennis showed. It wasn’t until I could sit back and watch others hit it (and Dennis’s corrections) that I was able to understand how to do it.

Sometimes looking at things from an outside perspective can give you the insight that you need.


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