BJJ Training During Pregnancy

BJJ Training During Pregnancy

Training while pregnant is not as complicated as people think. If you are experiencing a healthy pregnancy you can continue to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This article would give you expert insight into how to train BJJ during different stages of pregnancy. 

1. Can You Do BJJ While Pregnant?

You can do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu while pregnant, but you must modify your routine for safety and get a doctor's approval first. For safely practicing, use drill positions that don't strain the stomach, such as top mount, and half guard, and practice with a trusted partner. All these instructions are for the first six to seven months of pregnancy. You should completely stop training when you are about seven months pregnant.

Women make up 48% of martial arts practitioners, there are a lot of individuals who want to continue to train during pregnancy but are unable to get proper guidelines and education. It is not advisable to start learning BJJ while pregnant but, if you're already involved in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, it might be highly beneficial for your health. If you want to keep training, you shouldn't feel guilty or ashamed about it.

2. Things To Acknowledge While Pregnant

Once you find out you are pregnant, you will have to follow the instructions given below:

  • Consult with your doctors right away. They can provide you with detailed advice on what is recommended, to what extent, and what is safe and unsafe to undertake during pregnancy.
  • Secondly, consult your instructor, who has probably dealt with pregnant clients. They are aware of your BJJ skill level and, more significantly, can advise you about suitable training partners according to the situation.
  • Lastly, it is a good idea to consult a fitness expert who is well-versed in prenatal exercises. This will help to create an effective and secure training program for you and your baby.

3. Eva Torres Gracie’s Guidance on Training BJJ During Pregnancy

The wife of BJJ Black Belt Rener Gracie, Eva Torres is an American martial arts instructor and a former wrestler. Eva is the head of the Women Empowered self-defense program at Gracie University. She continued training in BJJ during her pregnancy and explained how to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

  • She advised women to tell their gym mates about their pregnancy as early as they can so they are well aware of their condition during training.
  • Eva only sparred with her spouse Rener Gracie between 12 and 17 weeks. Drilling or mild sparring with someone you trust is fine, but they must have excellent control and know when to stop.
  • Avoid positions like knee on belly and being under top mount, as they put pressure on the stomach.
  • After 17 weeks, she suggested sticking to those exercises and movements that won't harm the baby or cause her training partners to worry about the conditions of the mother and baby.
  • Eva advised training in groups of three because, while you're pregnant, you don't want anyone to feel constrained. They may practice together whenever they can.
  • Never train with someone who lacks control over their body and techniques.

Eva continued her BJJ training (rolling and sparring) until she was seven months pregnant. As every woman's circumstances and condition are different, this will not be the case for every woman, it is crucial to understand what is feasible and what is not.

4. Safe BJJ Positions For Pregnant Women

  • Side Mount
  • Half Guard
  • On Top of Mount
  • Guard Positions (X-Guard, De La Riva, Reverse)

These are considered somewhat safe positions in pregnancy as females can control all the pressure in these positions, allowing them to change or adjust according to their comfort levels.  

5. Complete Guidance On BJJ Training While Pregnant

5.1. First Trimester

Pregnancy is different for every woman. In the first trimester of pregnancy, it is advised to avoid practicing techniques like a takedown, choke, mount, break fall, and knee on belly. As these pressure-exerting positions can be harmful to you and your baby. Announce your pregnancy in the gym so others have an idea of your condition and train with you accordingly.

Furthermore, be aware of your heart rate during the rolling and sparring. As it is not permissible to wear monitoring devices during training, focus on deep breathing.

In addition to that choose your training partner wisely, the one who you trust. In the first trimester of pregnancy, it is better to train with higher belts rather than white belts because higher belt holders have greater control over their movements and techniques.

5.2. Second Trimester

As you move to the second trimester, you will have to change your training style because of the change in your stomach size. Always prevent high loads, direct stomach pressure, and watch out for increased heart rate and high body temperature.

It is suggested to do a proper warm-up, you may have to change your warm-up style. Warm-up is a necessary thing to do because a thorough warm-up will lower the risk of any possible complication to the ligaments, and tendons. These precautions can ease the tissues that behave differently as a result of hormone changes.

If you don’t take part in a match, be sure to observe and record your teammates. While you are sitting out, taking notes that you may review and study, it will significantly improve your performance. If you are unable to participate on the mats, do what you can to advance intellectually in your match.

If you decide to participate in a live match, it is crucial to pick your partner carefully. Choose a partner who gives you minimum resistance and lets you pass through techniques and submissions.

5.3. Third Trimester

You would have to be extra careful in the third trimester. Considerations and rules are the same as for the first two. It is advised to stop training when you reach around seven months of pregnancy, as it is even hard to warm up in the third trimester. Just sit and watch intently what your teammates do and learn new tips from them to improve your performance if that feels convenient.

6. Helpful Tips On Training BJJ While Pregnant

Helpful Tips On Training BJJ While Pregnant

6.1. Find a Training Partner You Trust

Find training partners you can trust to remain safe if you want to roll and practice exercises during the initial months of pregnancy. A partner who will be able to assist you in carrying out your practice in the safest manner is important in this situation.

6.2. Work In Groups Of Three

Working in groups of three is another thing to keep in mind so that your companions can train as efficiently as possible.

When working in groups of three, each member will have a turn to use their best techniques, switch roles, and let their companions engage in safe and secure training.

6.3. Keep Yourself Hydrated And Cool

Always bring a water bottle along with you while training BJJ and especially during pregnancy. Additionally, you should avoid letting your body temperature rise above  102°F or 38.9°C for longer than 10 minutes, since this might cause issues for the unborn child.

During training, just take pauses to cool off and, if required, stay close to doors and windows.

Your gym mates could first find you odd-looking, but they will grow used to it, so you must continue training without discomfort.

6.4. Upsize Your Gear

You must upsize your gear around 14 weeks of pregnancy. The baby inside of you will cause you to gain weight. You might wish to purchase some larger comfortable clothing to wear while pregnant.

If required, you might wish to purchase a larger Gi and a belt that adjusts up to four sizes larger.

Throughout your pregnancy, continue to purchase loose-fitting rash guards.

6.5. Make Sure Your Techniques Are safe

Forward rolls, backward rolls, and inversions are common moves in a BJJ warm-up. Make sure to focus on doing safe moves for both you and the unborn child. You can try bjj solo drills at home as well.

Consider your options as well as what you can and cannot accomplish. Shrimps are often okay, but first, get approval from your doctor. Bring them a list of the exercises so they can advise you on which ones are safe for you.

6.6. Flow Rolling

Flow rolling involves less strength and focusing just on moving with the flow. Be cautious about who you roll with, and it is advised that, only roll with those who have solid technique and good control.

Tap very early to avoid risking harm because some submissions can impede blood flow and because pregnancy does make your bones weaker.

6.7. Give Yourself Some Slack Since You're Expecting

During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes. As your body is undergoing hormonal changes throughout pregnancy, you will experience an emotional imbalance and postpartum depression.

Concentrate on flow-rolling, and tap early as necessary. You shouldn't feel guilty about taking precautions to keep yourself secure during pregnancy.

6.8. Stay Positive

It is really hard to sit on the sideline, not being able to perform proper moves and feel energy loss. Light BJJ training is a very intelligent way to stay positive, motivated, and healthy during pregnancy.

7. Benefits of Training Martial Arts While Pregnant

Training Martial Arts can Provide The Following Benefits:

  • It reduces discomfort during pregnancy
  • It makes birth easier
  • It helps in speedy recovery afterward

However, martial arts can be a physically demanding activity but it offers a lot of benefits when done with proper guidelines and precautions.

In this way, you may continue to engage in your passion to enjoy the advantages throughout your pregnancy while avoiding any complexity.

8. Last Words

Pregnancy doesn't restrict you from pursuing your passion. If you are going to practice BJJ during pregnancy, make sure to do it in a safe way as recommended by the doctor. We hope this article is helpful for those who are planning to continue BJJ training during pregnancy.

Photo credit: @grapplinggirl

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