Train Like a Judo Master

by Mackenzie M. | April 25th, 2013 | Core, Strength Training

coreJudo is a modern marital art that finds its origins in late nineteenth century Japan. Judo features a competitive element where the objective is to take down the opponent to the ground or immobilize them. Judo is an incredible exercise of the mind and of the body, as it uses almost all of the core muscles, as well as all the muscles of the legs and arms. Judo focuses on balance, strength, and agility. This being said, training like a judo master, or actually participating in judo, can build anyone’s core muscles. Similarly to the Japanese sword fighting technique of kendo, judo forced its practitioners not only to develop core strength, but to build agility and speed.

Some judo techniques include the nage-waza (throwing techniques), katame-waza (grappling techniques), and the atemi-waza (striking techniques). For those who are looking to train like a judo player without actually getting hyper involved in the sport, the most important thing is to practice the exercises used by the players when preparing for a meet. These exercises use a variety of muscles in the body and can build strength in only a few months.

One of the most well known of judo’s training exercises is the judo pushup. This exercise is much more intense than a regular pushup and uses all of the core muscles. To perform a judo pushup, begin in the traditional pushup position, but make sure your feet are hip width apart and forward. Raise the hips so your body forms an upside down V and then lower the front of the body until your chin nears the floor. Next, lower the hips as you raise your head and shoulders. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position to complete the exercise. This pushup will contort the body in unfamiliar ways, but trains the core muscles, glutes, legs, arms, and even shoulder and back muscles. Five to ten reps is best at first, expanding further with practice.

Another exercise predominantly used by judo players is the v-sit up. This intense exercise works most of the abdominals and the hips. To complete this exercise, lie on your back with your shoulders on the floor. Contract the abdominal muscles and simultaneously lift your legs off the ground to a 45-degree angle while reaching forward with your arms reaching for your toes. Hold the v position for five seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. A set of eight to ten reps is best for beginners, while three sets of fifteen is for advanced players.

The crab position targets the abdominals and obliques directly. To complete this core building exercise, sit on the ground with the knees bent at a 45 degree angle and your hands behind your back, shoulder width apart. Thrust the pelvis into the air so that you are supporting all of your body weight with hands and feet. Hold for twenty seconds. With practice, players can hold this position for one minute. This will give you a well defined core and strong obliques.

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