Developing Your Judo #29
#29: Strength Exercises For Judo
In order to have good explosive power, you need first of all to have good basic strength
There are many great strength training exercises with weights but if you are limited in time and energy, it's best to stick with a few basic whole body-type of exercises. You need to cover upper body, lower body and pulling, since it's the most basic of judo movements (kuzushi or breaking balance).Upper Body - Bench Press
There are some good machines for building pushing power but the free-weight bench is more beneficial because it recruits more muscles fibres which are needed to help stabilize and control the weight. Use a medium grip, not too narrow or too wide, one that is comfortable. Bring the weight down across the nipples or just below. Too high across the neck can be more stressful on the shoulders and cause
injuries. In addition, if the weight is too heavy and you don't make it, you wouldn't want it coming down on your neck, especially without a spotter (which is never recommended when going heavy).
Lower Body - Squat
You can do either a back or front squat, although you will need to use much less weight with a front squat because it forces you to stay in a complete upright position (so the weight doesn't fall). Some back squatters get their butts in the air first and then do a Good Morning with the weight. Needless to say, they have very strong backs but they are not working their legs as much as they should. The front squat relies on good flexibility and posture, so learning to perform it well will improve you in these respects. The lower back, in particular, will develop
stability. Next time, two more strength exercises for powerful judo.
By: Rainer Fischer (Canadian Olympian)