Good Day,

This morning’s challenge comes from Dr. Sam Hodous, a medical professional and BJJ student at DMA. He’s written up an excellent protocol for recovery and mobility.

If you’ve been keeping up with these workouts lately – even a little bit – I’m guessing (like me) you’re getting pretty sore. These workouts are pretty vigorous!

Recovery is crucial for athletes. If you have goals for training or physical fitness, and you’re pushing yourself, you’re going to reach your physical limits. Which then means that you need to give your body time to adapt and grow from the stress you’ve placed upon it. For athletes this is true for mental and physical training. Sam has given us a true, professional set of protocols to help your body repair and return to training ready to push your threshold a little further next time.

Read this, practice this and make sure you’re giving your body the necessary recovery for health and growth.

Recovery & Strength with Dr. Sam
Part 1: Diaphragmatic Breathing
I can go on for hours regarding the benefits of conscious, mindful, diaphragmatic breathing. Lets keep it simple today and start with 5 minutes of BOX BREATHING! Place your hands on your lower rib cage, right above your stomach. Inhale and exhale ONLY through your nose during this style of breathing.

1. Box Breathing (5 min)
-Inhale through your nose and expand your rib cage and abdomen, hold, exhale all of the air out through your nose, hold, and repeat. When you find your mind wandering, just bring your awareness back to the counting and visualizing the BOX.

Fitness Challenge


Part 2: Joint mobility with CARs

We are starting with neck, spine, shoulder, hip, and ankle CARs because of the specific demands of BJJ and combat sports. The acronym CARs stands for “Controlled Articular Rotations” or very slow and intense joint circles with the goal of actively bringing your joints through their full, rotational range of motion every day. In BJJ we get hurt or submitted when our joints get taken into awkward positions, so this is the start of training awkward positions. See image below for a more detailed explanation of the benefits of CARs, instructions, and my daily morning CARs sequence!

Fitness Challenge

Here’s Dr. Hodous’ Page: Search CAR’s for clips on each of the following movements

1. Neck CARs (4x each direction)
-Standing and then in quadruped (all 4’s)

2. Spine CARs (4x each direction)
-Try in tall kneeling first, to avoid compensations at hips.

3. Shoulder CARs (4x per arm)
-Start in quadruped (all 4’s) first to avoid compensations at the spine. Then try in standing, but attempt to keep your torso from rotating.

4. Hip CARs (4x per leg)
-Start in quadruped (all 4’s) first to avoid compensations at the low back. Then try in standing, but attempt to keep leg from rotating.

5. Ankle CARs (4x per leg)
-SLOWER the better. You will find some parts of the circle will feel “choppy,” go through those portions even slower.

I hope you all find this helpful. If anyone has tips/tricks or recovery practices you’d like to share please send that in. We’d love to hear about it.

Let’s Go,
District Martial Arts