Is It Safe to Train Jiu-Jitsu When You're Sick?

When you're training Jiu-Jitsu, you put your body through a lot. You're constantly pushing it to the limit, and sometimes you might even feel like you're sick. But is it really safe to train when you're not feeling well?

In this blog post, we will explore the risks of training Jiu-Jitsu when you're not feeling your best, and offer some advice on what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

Respect Your Training Partners

The first thing to consider is the type of illness you have. If it's a minor cold or the flu, then you shouldn't continue to train Jiu-Jitsu. Infectious diseases are easily transmitted in a contact sport such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Not only will you be putting your training partners at risk, but you'll also be risking your own health by continuing to train.

If you have a more serious illness, such as pneumonia or the flu, then it's best to stay home altogether. You don't want to risk infecting other people in the academy, and you also don't want to make your illness worse by training. In some cases, training while sick can even lead to death.

Should You Train BJJ While Sick?

Listen to Your Body

Your body is constantly sending you signals telling you when something is wrong. If you're feeling run down or feverish, then there's a good chance that training Jiu-Jitsu isn't the best idea. Even if you're not feeling sick please listen to your body. If you're feeling exhausted or have a headache, it's probably best to take the day off.

In cases such as these, it's always better to be safe than sorry. You don't want to risk getting injured or becoming ill because you decided to train when you weren't feeling your best.

If You Must Train...

If you absolutely must train Jiu-Jitsu while sick, then there are a few things that you can do to make sure that you stay safe. First of all, try not to train in close contact with other people.

This will help reduce the chances of transmitting any germs or viruses. Secondly, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.

Finally, if possible try to lighten up your training regimen. This will help reduce the stress on your body, give you time for your immune system to fight off the common cold and other illnesses.

Let Your Immune System Train

In short, Brazilian jiu jitsu and other ground fighting when sick is not ideal, there are some things that you can do to make sure that you stay safe.

If you're feeling ill, it's best to stay home and rest until you feel better. And if you must train, be sure to take precautions to avoid transmitting germs or getting injured. 

Train with a cold? Is training BJJ dangerous? Can I still roll?

When most people catch a cold or flu they instinctively think, "I need to rest." This is sage advice, as training while sick can not only make you feel worse, but also lead to injury.

But what if you have an important competition coming up?

Many ambitious athletes may be overtraining which is leading to a temporarily suppressed immune system. This will make athletes more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections.

You can read more about over training with this Submission Shark guide and how to implement a potentially more effective strategy with the mindset of flow and training undulation schedule.

Things To Do While Sick and Want To Stay In The Game

Many martial arts practitioners will want to keep training while sick. Training BJJ while sick is often a bad idea as you can get another serious competitor ill.

Even a minor illness can turn into a major one so even if you are only a bit sick, it's important to respect personal boundaries.

Here are a few ideas on how to continue to practice grappling with lower intensity techniques. Exercise these ideas with precautions, consult your medical health care practitioner and be honest with yourself with the severity of your sickness.

Magnesium Baths

This will help relieve any sore muscles you may have during the training week. A majority of the population is deficient in magnesium and this can be a way for your body to absorb this essential mineral while you recover.

Herbal Tea

Drinking tea is a great way to soothe an irritated throat. There are many different types of herbal teas that can help with various symptoms related to being sick. Ginger, chamomile, and lavender are all great choices for helping to calm the body and ease congestion.

Yoga for BJJ

Incorporating yoga into my BJJ lifestyle has been one of the most effective compliments to my jiu jitsu training. If you are new to yoga and would like some help, feel free to check out Yoga for BJJ and begin adding it to your routine even after you recover from your sickness.

If you're feeling up to it, yoga can be a great way to keep your body limber and stretched out. Yoga is also a great way to relax and de-stress.

Fascia Tension Release

Using a foam roller or a massage ball to release tension in the muscles and fascia can be a great exercise to perform while resting on sick days. This will help reduce muscle soreness and improve range of motion.

Using a foam roller for BJJ recovery

Watch BJJ Instructionals, Read Blogs & Listen To Podcasts

This may be a less active way to stay in the game while training bjj when sick. Watching high-quality BJJ instructionals can help you learn new techniques and improve your overall game.

There are many great BJJ instructors out there that have put together amazing video content and helpful resources to help you improve upon your skills and can be a useful thing to do while battling common colds.

You can even use a grappling dummy to simulate training time with moderate exercise.

Some of my favorite sources for online content are:

Submission Shark (of course)

BJJ Fanatics

Nattie Boss' Podcast (The Empowered Athlete)

Nattie Boss (Empowered Athlete Podcast)

And lastly, if all else fails….

Rest! It is very important to listen to your body and allow it time to recover from any sickness or injury. Forcing yourself to train while sick will only make you feel worse and could lead to further injury.

Rest

Most importantly, listen to your body and rest as much as possible. This is crucial for allowing your body time to heal and preventing any further injury.

When training BJJ we are constantly putting our bodies under stress. While it's important to push ourselves during training, it's also essential that we allow our bodies time to recover. If you're feeling sick, take a day or two off from training and let your body get the rest it needs. You'll be back on the mats in no time!

Rest and Recovery For BJJ (taking Time off the mats when you are sick)

There are many different ways that you can stay active and involved in the BJJ community when you're not able to train. These are just a few examples of how you can continue training safely while recovering from an illness. Stay safe and rest up!

Training To Non-Contact Rolls

If you find yourself in must training while sick, try training only with partners who are willing to roll at a reduced intensity.

If you're feeling ill it's best to take a day or two off from training and allow your body time to recover.

However, if you're feeling up for it, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that you stay safe. Try training with partners throughout the week who are willing to roll at a reduced intensity such as a spouse or family member that is already in close contact with you.

When you ask yourself, should I train tonight? Follow this simple rule. Be mindful of all the symptoms you have when you feel sick such as a sore throat or runny nose. a viral infection or even a bacterial one can spread to multiple people within a week after just one BJJ class.

So Should You Train BJJ with a cold?

If you're dealing with a more serious illness, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, then training might not be the best idea. These illnesses can easily be aggravated by training, and could potentially lead to a worsened condition.

In addition to your physical health, you also need to take into account your mental state when deciding whether or not to train Jiu-Jitsu. Training while feeling depleted will cause even further exhaustion.

Denying a roll to train BJJ safely

BJJ training for self defense is something that many practitioners do. You need to know when to say 'no' until the person shows no symptoms and is no longer sick.

This grappling martial art can have plenty of benefits but it is important to protect your immune system and use your best judgment when deciding to roll with someone who is sick, even with a common cold.

Be respectful and politely bring attention to their symptoms and ask them to return later in the week if they are no longer having symptoms of the cold or more infections such as staph etc.

Seek Professional Advice

If you're unsure whether or not it's safe to train, always consult a doctor. They will be able to give you specific advice on whether or not training Jiu-Jitsu is right for you. And if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of becoming seriously ill while training, always stop training and seek medical attention immediately.

Taking a few days off from training to recover is much better than risking your health by continuing to train when you're not feeling well.

So, is it safe to train BJJ when you're sick? In most cases, the answer is no - but it's important to weigh the risks and benefits before making a decision. If you're feeling under the weather, with a cold, be sure to take it easy in training and listen to your body. And if you have any doubts, always consult a doctor.

Train jiu jitsu safely and respect your martial arts training partner and class!

Summary

In general, it is not recommended that people train with a cold. However, there are some things that you can do to minimize the risks associated with training BJJ when sick.

First of all, try to avoid close contact with other people in the academy. This will help reduce the chances of transmitting any germs or viruses.

Secondly, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. Finally, if possible try to lighten up your training regimen. This will help reduce the stress on your body and make it less likely that you'll get injured.

Training hard with high intensity has its advantages but going two weeks or even the whole week to a few months with close proximity to another person during flu season is the perfect environment for cold viruses and other diseases to spread throughout the gym.

Grappling is a fun sport that everyone in the class can enjoy but it's important to practice respecting other's comfort zone and taking a class or week off until the symptoms and sickness are gone.

5 Things You Can Do While Sick As A BJJ Practitioner
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