A great way women can improve overall performance on the mats is by adding strength training to their Jiu-jitsu routine. One of the most common injuries amongst female athletes is ACL tears. Incorporating a good strength training program will enhance their Jiu-jitsu and prevent injuries.
What’s great about most women athletes is that they naturally score high in the endurance and flexibility departments. Women in Jiu-jitsu should not limit their potential by avoiding strength training.
Usually, women tend to have a stronger lower body and lack upper body strength. If you are a woman then building upper body strength can be emphasized. Many women struggle with pulling their body weight. A quick chin-up test will prove that. Creating a program which focuses on building the posterior chain in the upper body is critical. Exercises such as the deadlift, chin-ups, and rows significantly increase pulling strength and build up the muscles in the posterior chain. They cannot neglect lower body training. Developing strong hamstrings, glutes, and calves is also very important since ladies tend to be more quad dominant.
When starting a weight training program, it is essential to use proper progressions. With that said, women who are not able to do basic bodyweight movements should not jump straight into training with weights. Push-ups, bodyweight squats, and pull-ups are all examples of basic strength movements. Learning to perform the mentioned body exercises without external resistance from weights will create a better base for adding more complex activities with weights. The goal is to get stronger and remain free of injuries.
Due to anatomical reasons such as body shape and muscle imbalances women tend to suffer more from knee injuries such as ACL tears. Most women are more flexible compared to men, being too flexible can also play a role in why they get injured. Through strength training, they can strengthen particular muscle groups that are creating imbalances. It is common for injuries to occur because of this reason. Think of strength training as an emergency account. You keep putting your money there in case of an emergency even though you may never need it. A good strength training program works the same way. Nothing is one hundred percent guaranteed in life, which is why you need a good emergency fund
Men might have bigger ‘’engines’’, but that does not mean they are more efficient than women’s. That’s right fellows; the ladies are superior in this department and able to outwork you. They can work at lower intensities and last longer. Guys are stronger and more powerful, but they also work at a higher rate, and that could be one reason why they ‘’gas out’’ quicker. In a sport like Jiu-jitsu, where endurance plays a significant factor it suits women perfectly. Naturally, women are also better at recovering from bouts of activity or anaerobic training. Brief and explosive type of activity such as a 10-second sprint is considered anaerobic. Another example would be a 20-second intense armbar drill performed as quickly as possible with 10 seconds of rest between rounds. With the endurance and flexibility bases, already covered women can focus on building more strength. A better strength base will turn flexibility into strength and endurance into strength endurance.
All women should have a strength training program that focuses on strength and injury prevention. A good strength base will ‘’turbo charge’’ other qualities such as flexibility and endurance. However, proper progression and programming are essential. Otherwise, strength training can backfire and become the source of injury. The focus should always be on Jiu-jitsu and strength training must be supplemental to BJJ. Weight training is not only for men and women should not be afraid to lift heavy weights.