Core Strengthening Exercises for Judo

Nearly all Judo throws require you to rotate in order to complete the technique. Therefore It is crucial that all Judokas have rotational strength to finish throws and drive through any resistance you may encounter from your opponents defense. This rotational strength can also be labelled as core strength. Having good core strength will give you the ability to transfer power from the lower body into the upper body as well as protecting the spine from a potential injury.

Throughout my years as an international competitor I always tried to have a good, strong core. To develop a good core u have listed some of the best exercises below.

Russian twists

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Grasp a weight (a dumbbell, medicine ball or kettlebell) and proceed to rotate the weight from your left side to the right side and back again. If this is too easy lift your feet slightly off the ground and repeat for 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

Wrestler twists

While standing grasp a round weight plate (or kettlebell) and begin to rotate around your head. Repeat in both directions for desired number of repetitions.

Note: if you have or have previously had a shoulder injury the do not attempt this exercise.

Core hold

Ab brace, prone hold, plank or bridge. This exercise has so many names and most the time it is performed incorrectly. To perform a core hold properly simply assume a pushup position but rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Your hips should be parallel to the floor do not drop your hips or raise them too high. Concentrate on your abdominal and lower back muscles and slowly bring your shoulder blades together. Hold for desired time limit. If this becomes to easy slowly raise an opposite arm and leg off the flood resulting in you having to adjust your hips accordingly.

Hanging leg raises

This seems like a simple exercise but is actually very difficult. Hang off a chin up bar and hang your feet slightly off the floor. Contract your core muscles, slightly bend your knees and raise your feet as high as you can towards the bar. Try to avoid any excess swinging. If this is too difficult raise your knees to your chest instead. Perform 4 sets of 15 repetitons

Back extensions

Using a back extension machine perform 4 sets of 15 repetitions. It is important that you don’t hyperextend you back, only go until you are parallel to the floor.

Spartan bench press

Lay on the floor and hold a barbell above you as if you have just finished a bench press. Be sure not to have your elbows locked out, keep them slightly bent. Contract your core and begin to raise your feet off the ground. Touch your feet to the collar on one side of the bar before returning to the starting position. Repeat on the other side for desired number of repetitions.

Pelvic floor muscles

Your pelvic floor is something that has only flooded the fitness industry in the last decade. The pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that help you stop urinating mid flow. To get your pelvic floor muscles stronger you must consciously contract your pelvic floor muscles until they contract without you thinking about it. The best way i can describe your pelvic floor is to suck your belly button into your lower back or spine.

For more help on pelvic floor stee the ing exercises you will have to see your local strength and conditioning specialist or Physio.

By consistently performing these exercises in your strength program will greatly increase your core strength resulting in you having a more powerful rotation when throwing.