By Matt D'aquino
There are a few exercises that I recommend that all elite Judoka should be lifting on a regular basis. These lifts include squats, dead lifts, sumo dead lift high pull and power cleans. These exercises are full body exercises and will give you the strength needed to compete at a high level in Judo.
-Place a barbell on your upper back/trapezius muscle
-Keep your eyes looking forward and chest up throughout the entire movement, position your feet shoulder width apart
-Maintain a slight curve in your lower back
-Keeping the weight on your heels, inhale as you begin the squat by moving your hips backwards as if sitting on a chair
-Lower yourself until your knees are at a 90 degree angle
-Exhale as you return to the starting position and repeat
-Do not lock out your knees at the top of the movement, keep a slight bend at all times.
-Contract your abdominals throughout the movement
-Keep your head facing forwards
-Don't let your knees travel in front of your toes
-If you have never performed squats I suggest you ask a qualified fitness professional to assist with your technique
-Squat down, keep your head up and back straight. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip (slightly wider than shoulder width).
-Drive with your legs and lift the bar from the floor.
-Exhale when lifting the weight and inhale when lowering the barbell
-Once the bar is clear of your knees, drive your hips forward and squeeze your shoulder blades together to finish the lift.
-Lower the bar and repeat.
Dead Lifting Tips:
-Dead lifts are an advanced exercise and can be harmful, especially to your back, if performed incorrectly.
-If you have previously never performed Deadlifts ask a qualified fitness trainer to assist you in your technique.
-Keep your neck straight throughout the movement
-It is important to keep your back flat and straight throughout the entire lift.
-Do not lift more weight than you can handle. Do not sacrifice technique in order to lift a heavier load.
-Contract your abdominals throughout the entire dead lifting movement
Sumo Dead Lift High Pull:
-With a wide stance, grasp the barbell in between your legs with palms facing towards you
-Make sure your back stays straight throughout the entire movement
-Using your legs, lift the bar off the floor and using your arms begin an explosive lift upwards
-Keep your back straight and weight on your heels
-As the bar passes your hips thrust forward to assist the bars movement upwards
-Finish by completing an upright row movement with the bar at shoulder height
-With a controlled movement return the bar back to the starting position.
Sumo Dead Lift High Pull Tips:
-Make sure you do not compensate by leaning backwards while lifting
-Do not sacrifice technique by attempting to lift a heavier weight
-Bend your knees and bend at the waist so your shoulders are just over the bar
-Maintain a slight curve in your lower back
-Straighten your arms so they are not bent
-Using your legs begin driving through the floor, lifting the bar off the ground and exhale
-When the bar passes your knees continue the next part of the movement by thrusting your hips forward and simultaneously contract your trapezius muscles
-As the bar continues to travel upwards start the 'catch' by bending your knees to get under the bar.
-While keeping a grip on the bar rotate underneath and finish with the bar resting on your upper chest with elbows high
-Slowly lower the bar and repeat
Power Clean Tips:
-If you have never performed power cleans I highly suggest you ask a qualified fitness professional to assist you in learning the technique
-Depending on your gyms rules you may be allowed to drop the bar from chest height opposed to lowering the barbell down, ask the manager on duty before dropping the weights on the floor
If you can implement any of these exercises into your Judo strength training programs you will become fitter and more powerful on the Judo mat. If you have never completed these exercises before I suggest you see a fitness professional to make sure you are lifting correctly.
Author: Matt D'Aquino
Matt is the founder of Beyond Grappling fitness and conditioning. He is a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian as well as nationally ranked freestyle wrestler and National Champion in Brazilian Jujitsu. Matt has a passion for teaching all aspects of grappling especially the fitness and conditioning aspect. Recently he has been traveling the world aiming to qualify for his second Olympic Games.
To learn more about Matt and his fitness and conditioning training visit http://scrnch.me/6boel