Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Increasing Throwing Strength and Explosiveness

If you view some Olympic Judo videos, one thing which will become immediately noticeable is the strength that the fighters have when performing throws. They explode into position with maximum speed which helps create the momentum needed to pulley there opponents up, and then down on there backs. So what are the core leg exercises to develop this explosiveness?

In the same way a 100 meter sprinter explodes of the starting blocks, the judo fighter explodes into his/her throwing position. Weight training exercises which are recommendable for this, are squats, calf raises and leg presses. These help in developing the strength of the leg muscles, but these alone are not enough.

For explosiveness the following exercises are recommendable.

Jump squats – Holding light dumbbells at your side, bend down and then jump as high as possible. On landing, try and land again in the bent knee position. Carry on jumping up and down in a smooth manner, concentrating on form. This can be carried out for ten, twenty or thirty seconds. Its advisable to rest after thirty seconds so as not to place to much stress on the knees.

Straight Leg Calf jumps - Using just your body weight, keep you legs straight and concentrating on not bending them, push with your legs (mainly your calves) and try to take your feet completely off the floor. By not bending your knees before pushing, you use no momentum and it becomes very hard to push off the floor. As with the jump squats, rest after thirty seconds of this movement to give your leg muscles a chance to recover.

Duck Walks – Without any weights, you simply lower you body so your thighs are no lower than 90 degrees to the floor and walk. Its simple effective and can be done anywhere. Again no more than thirty seconds of walking each set so as you do not wear your knees out.

These exercises are great because you strengthen the exact leg muscles used for nearly all throws, pickups and takedowns, but nothing should be practised more than uchi komi/nage komi. By practising the actual techniques themselves you shall expand your muscle memory. You shall get your muscles used to moving in certain ways, so you are able to explode with full power in the blink of an eye without even thinking. By practising these, along with the exercises listed above and many others that are available, you shall build the strength and explosiveness needed for fast and furious throws.


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