Reply To: strength training for judo

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Eric Falstrault

Hey Gaelle, when you look at judo, most of the moves are primarly posterior chain and pulling, so low back, hamstrings, LAts, shoulders and all scapular chain, and of course grip strength. With that being said, the high risks of injury for the knees and shoulders arent to be taken lightly so the need to focus on injury prevention is key.

For conditioning, judo is highly explosive, from a fight that could last a few seconds to a few minutes. So basic strength endurance is key and this base could be done very early in preparation and kept with concurrent conditioning training. Most time would be spent working on Anaerobic alactic and lactic.

My focus when training judo athletes is pulling but there is also the element of push/pull. There is always a type of extension prior to a pull. So training both is primordial. Pressing such flat and incline press, one arm rows, etc. Deadlifts, cleans and power cleans are my go to for lower body power. Judo is highly explosive so olympic lifts are a plus if done properly.

Like i said, injury prevention in the first phase of prep is key. Aim at finding the weaknesses before going into the main lifts. We often see unilateral discrepancy so the first phase would mainly include unilateral work. Look at an Uchi Mata or O soto gari, one false move and the knee could suffer tremendous damage. Your best ally for strong knees are your hamstrings. All types of leg curls with the foot pointing in and out, Good mornings and unilateral work should be prioritized.

Low back is what i see the most as injuries and well as knees. Training low back is a must of course, but deep core activation such as tranverse and internal/external obliques are to be considered in order for the core to fire when needed with all the rotationnal forces involved in judo.

The strength sensei team is presently working into bringing all that into courses. How to evaluate athletes and in depth program design. Should be up and running in the next few months. Hope this answers your questions.