It took me such a long time to find what gets me into the zone and fully prepared to compete. There’s so many different opinions out there, some will recommend you to only stretch, While others will say you should warm up and sweat a lot to get the blood flowing.
Others will say no warm up is the best way because and I quote “ did you ever see a lion warm up before he hunts?” *sigh*
He takes his warm ups super seriously. Doing leg drags, toreadas, drilling takedown and guard passes all and all while getting himself pumped before his fight. He does that before each tournament and we can clearly see that this routine helps him to bring out his best.But does that mean you should do that as well? No. because not all athletes are the same.
Routines quiet our minds, if you will structure a warm up routine specific for yourself it will keep you focused on yourself and furthermore it will keep you focused on the exact feeling and thoughts you want to have before competing. The worst thing to do is to start focusing on” what if” scenarios, or about your opponent. The more you can “drill” this warm up routine, the more it will become a “routine” and by that the more comfortable it will feel.
So let’s breakdown what makes an ideal warm up:
I recommend dynamic stretching than static stretching. Aka doing yoga flow, or 2-3 set of mobility drills to get the blood flowing.(you can search youtube for good mobility drills for athletes) I’m not recommending doing static stretching aka standing in one place and stretch a specific body part, because that can even hurt your performance.
I personally use yoga for bjj as a warm up flow. They have 5-10 minutes flow of movement to get the heart rate a little bit high and feeling loose while focusing on your breathing, which is a very important part of your warm up.
While you’re doing your mobility / yoga flow try to focus on your breathing through the movements. In through your nose out through your mouth. That simple.
Don’t think about anything else. Focus on your movement and your breathing. . Keep it moving keep it flowing
Now that you’re a bit warmed up you should preferably do a bit of drilling with a friend. Nothing to hard. Drill easy movements at first like leg drags, toreadas, knee slides, armbars etc than you can add a flow roll just to transition between movements. Most of the tournamest have a warm up area.
But what about tournaments that don’t have? Most of the time you can still drill on the floor, but if you really don’t have a space than drill some grip fighting, single legs and arm drags just so you get the same feeling like training.
The focus should be on flowing not on heart rate and sweating. Which bring us to the next point and the most important one
Nothing more nothing less, during the warm up and after you finished your warm up For some people, hearing music will make it more enjoyable, For me personally, i see kevin hart comedy shows after i did my warm up just to keep a good vibe going on (he always crack a smile on my face). You can talk with your friends, or see funny youtube clips. Anything that will get your mind in a good and happy state and not serious.
The main idea is to make it feel natural.I want you to think of your warm up same as you do in your academy. During your class most you do your warm up (running, drilling , etc), than you drill techniques and then you start rolling. You build the intensity step by step so you should do the same before you compete.
Now the last step is sitting down and write:
Do you have your own routine? What’s your favorite songs to hear before you fight?
Some references to help you get started:
Yoga for bjj website
Bjj specific drills: