Work Out the Kinks

Stop the pain train in its tracks.

If you train hard, you’ve felt more than just sore muscles the next day—and some of those nagging injuries can take a toll. No worries. You can give your body a fighting chance with a few simple moves that will help you alleviate your minor aches and pains.

NECK PAIN

MMA takedowns can mimic the whiplash of a car accident. Add a few choke attempts and eat a punch while sparring, and it’s no wonder you have neck pain.

Chin Tuck
Lie on your back and tuck your chin gently toward your chest. Lift up your head while keeping your chin tucked and your neck long. (Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat five times.)

Chin Tuck

KNEE PAIN

Despite the diverse causes of knee pain, a universal truth is that you need good strength and flexibility in your hips and glutes to allow your knees to stay aligned and decrease abnormal stresses.

Glute Stretch
Lie on your back, and grab your left knee with your left hand and your left ankle with your right hand. Bring your left leg up toward your right shoulder. (Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat twice on each side.)

Glute Stretch

Clams
Lie on your side with your knees and hips slightly bent. Leaving your heels together, lift your top knee toward the ceiling. Keep your abs tight, and don’t let your top hip roll back. (Repeat 20 times on each side.)

Clams

SHOULDER TENDONITIS

After a tough workout on the heavy bag or sparring, have you noticed pain in the front or top of your shoulders? Covering your chin makes sense, but when your shoulders live up by your ears, chances are you’re going to end up with some tightness as the tendons in your shoulders get pinched.

Pec Stretch
Stand in a doorway (or between two heavy bags) and bring your arms up to your side. Draw your shoulder
blades down and in, and let your chest stretch. (Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat twice.)

Back Strengthening
The muscles that attach to the inside base of your shoulder blades are particularly helpful in preventing shoulder pain. Lie on your stomach with your arms at your side and squeeze your shoulder blades together. (Repeat 15 times, holding for five seconds each time.)

Back Straightening

Try this again with your arms straight out. (Repeat 15 times, holding for five seconds each time.)

Back Straightening

LOWER BACK PAIN

The number one cause of missed days of work may also be one of the biggest causes of days off the mat. If you ever have numbness or tingling down your legs, pain shooting below your knees, groin numbness, or any urinary problems (like trouble starting the fl ow of urine), you need to see a doctor right away. If your symptoms are mild, or you’d like to try to prevent back problems, some basic exercises may help.

Back Stretch
Lie on your back with your right leg crossed over your left leg. Rotate both legs to the right, stretching the left side of your lower back. (Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat twice on each side.)

Back Stretch

Plank
Form a plank on your elbows and toes with your abdominal muscles engaged and shoulder blades drawn firmly against your rib cage and away from your ears. Keep a straight line from your head to your tailbone. (Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat five times.)

Back Straightening

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