Why is fitness for Judo so important?
If you’re interested in building up your fitness for Judo, you’ve come to the right place. Judo is all about an athlete gaining leverage over his opponent and tossing him onto his back, using a powerful and highly dynamic throwing technique.
A perfectly executed throw is enough to finish a match. If you cannot do a perfect throw on your opponent, you can win a Judo match by pinning him on his back or using a submission hold or arm lock to force him to give up. For around 5 to 10 minutes, you and your opponent are in constant contact and it is physically exhausting for both of you.
As Travis Stevens, a judoka from the United States who took part in the 2012 London Olympics, says, Judo is actually more physically taxing than most other contact sports.
As Travis explains, “In [judo], you are required to engage with your opponent constantly using everything you have physically to score.“In Olympic-style wrestling it’s three two-minute periods with one-minute breaks between rounds… For boxing, you have to be in great shape but it doesn’t have that physical contact like wrestling and judo. In boxing, you can just stand in front of your opponent or just dance around.”
That’s why it is so important to work hard on your fitness for Judo. Let’s talk about the exercises that help you do that.
Windshield wipers are excellent body weight exercises that build amazing rotational core strength, and in particular strengthen the obliques. Basically, you lie down on your back, with your legs straight and arms stretched at shoulder height. Now, balancing yourself with your arms, turn the lower body and touch the right outstretched hand with your feet. Repeat the same on the other side as well. At no point your legs should fall to the floor and remain in the air always. Do as many reps as possible for 5 intense minutes.
Pull-ups are one of the oldest exercises known to man, which basically involves pulling up yourself over a bar up to the chin level, using nothing but the strength of your arms. Pull-ups can be extremely difficult if you haven’t done them before. You will have to practice a before you are able to do even one pull-up. You should keep trying till you’re able to do 10 pull-ups quite comfortably. This will take months of hard effort.
Bridging builds the strength in the neck and the back, which is so important in Judo for both offensive and defensive moves. Basically, the exercise involves first lying on the back with your legs bent and feet next to the butt. Then you lift your body off the floor and arch your neck backwards, so that the top of your head rests on the floor. Always keep your hands in place so as to reduce the load on the neck as much as possible and remain in this position for as long as you can – around half-a-minute is recommended – before lowering yourself down. Perform as many reps as possible within a 5 minute period.
Burpees are highly effective exercises that build endurance, explosive strength and superior fitness for Judo athletes. They involve the following steps. Stand with your hands by your side and feet together. Squat down, place your hands on the floor, jump your feet back and get into a pushup position. Do a single pushup, jump your feet back between the hands and leap as high as you can with your body straight. Burpees are terrific all-round workouts that combine so many exercises together. For maximum impact do three push-ups instead of just one. Do as many burpees as you can in 60 seconds, repeat after a 30 second rest. Do 5 sets.
I wish you all the best, and remember that if you have any questions or comments you can post them in the comments section at the bottom of any blog post. It’s great to hear from you.
Founder of Mixed Martial Arts