Don’t Let Neck Pain Ruin Your BJJ Training

BJJ Prehab

BJJ Prehab

Neck pain is one of the most common injuries in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It can be caused by a number of things, and if left untreated, neck pain can seriously impact your training and cause long-term health problems. Don’t let BJJ neck pain keep you off the mat!

BJJ neck pain

Don’t Let Neck Pain Ruin Your BJJ Training – Here’s What to Do About It

In this article, I’ll discuss what causes BJJ neck pain and how you can prevent it from happening. I’ll also provide some tips for treating neck pain if it does occur.

What causes BJJ neck pain?

BJJ neck pain can be caused by a few different factors. For starters, improper technique and body mechanics can place unnecessary stress on the muscles and joints of the neck. In addition, muscular imbalances may lead to BJJ related neck pain. When certain muscles are stronger than others, they can pull the head out of alignment and cause strain in the neck area.

Additionally, some of your off-the-mat habits can contribute to neck pain while rolling. Poor posture such as slouching or hunching over (anyone here sit at a desk all day?) are also common contributors to BJJ neck pain.

How can I prevent BJJ neck pain?

The best way to prevent BJJ neck pain is to focus on proper form when training. Make sure you are using good body mechanics and engaging your core for stability so that your spine is properly aligned. Additionally, make sure you are performing exercises to strengthen the muscles of your neck, shoulders and core.

If you participate in BJJ regularly, it is important to take breaks between sessions. We all love jiu jitsu and generally speaking, more time on the mat will help you get better faster. But there are limits. Most injuries happen when you are tired, either at the end of a session, or if you are fatigued from going hard for days on end. It’s important to give your body the break it occasionally needs. This will allow your body to recover properly and decrease the risk of injury due to overuse.

Finally, make sure you are engaging in regular stretches before and after each training session to keep your muscles flexible.

What can I do if I already have neck pain?

If you’re already suffering from neck pain, there are a few things you can do to reduce discomfort.

First, start by resting for a few days and see if the pain subsides on its own. During this time, use ice packs or heat pads to help reduce inflammation. Additionally, make sure to avoid any activities that cause pain or discomfort in the neck area.

Next, take a look at your posture and mechanics when rolling. Make sure you are not placing unnecessary strain on your neck by looking up or down during certain moves.

If necessary, consult a physical therapist (ideally one who specializes in BJJ and understands the mechanics of the sport) for exercises that can help strengthen the muscles of the neck and upper back.

3 exercises to help relieve neck pain caused by Jiu Jitsu

Here are our three favorite exercises to help cure neck pain caused by BJJ:

Neck rotations: This exercise helps relax tight muscles and improve range of motion. Stand or sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed and your arms at your sides. Slowly rotate your head to one side as far as possible and then to the other side. Repeat this movement for 10 repetitions on each side for best results.

Shoulder rolls: Rolling out the shoulder area can help reduce tension in the neck and upper back areas. Begin by gently rolling both shoulders forward several times, then backward several times, then in a circular motion 5-10 times clockwise and counterclockwise respectively.

Chin tucks: This exercise strengthens neck muscles while maintaining proper posture alignment of the spine. Start by sitting up tall with your head facing straight ahead; slowly tuck your chin towards your chest as far as possible without causing any discomfort before returning it to its original position; repeat this movement 10 times for best results.

If you are interested in learning more about how to prevent BJJ injuries, check out the full BJJ Prehab program, which provides personalized workouts designed by a BJJ Black Belt and Doctor of Physical Therapy.


BJJ neck pain can be a major bummer and it’s important to take steps to prevent it before it starts impacting your training. Start by focusing on proper form and technique when rolling. Make sure you are taking regular breaks between sessions and engaged in stretches to keep your muscles flexible.

Finally, if neck pain does occur, make sure you take the necessary steps to rest and recover before getting back on the mat. With a few small changes, BJJ neck pain can be quickly taken care of so that you can get back to training without any problems.