7 Essential Judo Warm Ups & Exercise Routines
Get Stronger with these Judo Exercise Routines
Welcome to your source for essential Judo exercises at Teach to Fight. Today we’re providing you with some Judo routines straight from a strength and conditioning coach who’s equipped with the tools to get you guys started on your Judo journey.
We’re going to be going over a session that covers both beginners and more advanced Judo athletes for both general and specific exercises. So hopefully after reading this article, you guys can have a good idea of how to get yourself in the gym and build your body to enhance your Judo.
So firstly, we’ve got to warm the body up and the protocol we use for this is known as a ramp protocol. We like to start by raising the heart rate. Secondly, we need to activate any specific muscles we’ll be using during the session. Thirdly we will mobilize specific joints and tissues with the user (which is you!) and finally potentiate.
The RAMP Protocol for Warming up
- Raise Heart Rate
- Activate Muscles and Tissues
- Mobilize Joints & Tissues
- Potentiate Muscles & Tissues
WARM-UP 1: SKIPPING
- RAMP / GOAL: RAISE HEART RATE
WARM-UP 2: FROG SQUATS
- RAMP / GOAL: ACTIVATE LOWER BODY
WARM-UP 3: SPIDER-MAN LUNGE
- RAMP / GOAL: ACTIVATE LOWER BODY
WARM-UP 4: Y, T, I
- RAMP / GOAL: ACTIVATE UPPER BODY
WARM-UP 5: DROP LANDINGS
- RAMP / GOAL: POTENTIATE LOWER BODY
Judo Exercise Routines
EXERCISE 1A: BACK SQUATS
- GOAL: DEVELOP LOWER BODY POWER
EXERCISE 1B: SEATED BOX JUMP
- GOAL: DEVELOP EXPLOSIVE LOWER BODY POWER
EXERCISE 2A: BENCH PRESS
- GOAL: DEVELOP UPPER BODY POWER
EXERCISE 2B: NECK ANTI-FLEXION / EXTENSION
- GOAL: DEVELOP NECK STRENGTH AND RESISTANCE
EXERCISE 3A: GI PULL-UPS
- GOAL: DEVELOP GRIP STRENGTH & PULLING POWER
EXERCISE 3B: FACE PULLS
- GOAL: INCREASE PULLING POWER
EXERCISE 4A: ZERCHER CARRY
- GOAL: STRENGTHEN CORE
What does it mean to potentiate for exercise? Potentiate means we will go through a transitional exercise before we start the session.
Okay then, let’s get going! We’re going, to begin with skipping. It’s a really good exercise just to increase the heart rate, and get a general benefit with nice elastic ankles. So what we’re looking for is being nice and quick off the ground, coordinated, and rhythmic throughout.
After we’ve raised our heart rate, we can move into the activate and mobilized section of the warmup.
RAMP WARM-UP FROG SQUATS: 10 REPS
Okay, for the first part of the mobilize and activate, we’re going, to begin with a frog squat.
To begin the frog squats, we want our arms out in front of us as we sit deeply into a squat position. Then we grab underneath our toes, allowing us to pull our chest nice and tall, and upright before moving into the hamstring stretch. Then we come back down into the squat reaching overhead and standing up. This is a really good exercise to mobilize the hips, hamstrings, quads, and upper back.
RAMP WARM-UP SPIDER-MAN LUNGE: 8-10 REPS
Now we’re going to be moving on to the Spider-Man lunge, also known as the world’s greatest stretch because we mobilize so many different parts of the body.
We begin in the push-up position with a straight line from the top of our heads down to our heels. We then bring the foot as far forward as we can before we rotate around, looking up at the hand and rotating the body.
We then move back into the push-up position, head to heel in a straight line, bring the foot forward, and rotate around as much as we can.
RAMP WARM-UP Y, T, I: 5 REPS EACH
Finally, for the activate and mobilize series, we’re going to be moving on to Y, T, and I.
To begin this exercise, we want to make sure again with a straight line from the top of our head to our heel, from here we’re looking to squeeze the shoulder blades together as we point the funds towards the sky.
This is our “T”. So we raise, squeeze them and we’re retracting the shoulders as if we’re crushing a pencil between our shoulder blades.
Then we move into the “Y”. It’s getting slightly more challenging now. You want to shrug your shoulders but try to keep them set down as we continue to crush that pencil between them.
Then the final position is the “I” position and this is the most challenging. Most people won’t be able to get the full range of motion to begin with, but we’re still looking to squeeze those shoulder blades back and get a nice spinal position.
RAMP WARM-UP DROP LANDINGS: 5 REPS
The final part of the warm-up is potentiation. So we’re going to be doing drop landings and these teach us how to absorb force before we learn to produce it.
So keep that in mind. We’re looking for a nice soft landing. We don’t want to hear excessive noise and land towards the balls of our feet. Stand nice and tall through the torso. We can place our arms out in front of us so we can keep our base of support central and try to execute it with a nice soft landing.
Now once we’ve done that, we are going to move into the main session where we’ll be beginning with back squats.
JUDO EXERCISE BACK SQUATS: 5 SETS X 5 REPS
the first exercise of the program, we’re going to be doing is a back squat and this is a good exercise for developing general lower body strength, but to make it more specific to do though and something to consider, is the number of reps we do.
We want to aim to be below 5 repetitions so we don’t build excessive muscle mass but develop the strength of the muscles we currently have.
Okay, we want to grab a barbell around the shoulder width, position the bar on the upper trapezius, and pull that elbows down, and forward embracing the torso.
We then take a slight step backward and position the feet just outside hip width as we descend into the squat we push our knees out and drive up through three points of contact, the heel, the big toe, and the small toe.
During the entire exercise, you want to make sure the torso is braced and that you’ve continued to maintain posture.
Once we’ve done the back squat, we can immediately move into our following exercise, a more power-based exercise called a seated box jump.
JUDO EXERCISE SEATED BOX JUMP: 5 SETS X 4 REPS
So immediately following our first set of back squats, we move into seated box jumps. This is a really good exercise for judo because it teaches us to produce power from a static position.
When performing the seated box jump, we want to be looking to get the head up to the ceiling with an aggressive arm drop. Another key point is looking for full extension of the hip, knee, and ankle as we come up.
Finally, we’re still looking for those nice soft landings that we did during the drop landing part of the warm-up.
Now the second pair of exercises we’re going to be moving on to is more focused on the upper body, but like the squats, we want to focus on the lower rep ranges under five repetitions so we’re increasing strength without building too much muscle and gaining weight.
JUDO EXERCISE BENCH PRESS: 5 SETS X 5 REPS
So with the bench press, we’re looking to grab the bar with an outstretched palm on the edge of the knurling area of the bar and then we’ve retracted the shoulders like we’re squeezing a pencil between them before pulling the bar off the rack.
We want it just through the nipple line as we bring the bar down and keep our feet pressed down into the ground the entire time. We want it controlled as we lower it, and nice and explosive on the way up.
Following the bench press, we’ll move immediately into a neck-strengthening exercise with a band. So following our first set of bench presses we’re going to move immediately into our next round of exercises.
JUDO EXERCISE NECK ANTI-FLEXION / EXTENSION: 20 – 30 SECONDS EACH
These are good for resisting chokes, preventing injury, and moving between positions during our groundwork. Throughout these exercises is important we maintain good posture, keeping our heads in line throughout.
So take a small step forward. You want to make sure the chin’s in a good position and we’re going to maintain this position throughout 20 seconds.
Now once we’ve done that, we can turn around and move into the extension version. So, it’s the same with the flexion exercise, we’re looking to resist the tension of the band, keeping it nice upward posture throughout.
Next, we’re moving into our pulling exercises. So what we can do, we can use a GI on the chin up to increase our specific grip strip and increase our strength for pulling up our opponents.
JUDO EXERCISE GI PULL-UPS: 3 SETS X 8 REPS
We want to grab onto the GI in a neutral grip, we want to make sure we’re starting in a full hang position and bring the chest up to the bar.
So as you do these, you’ll do a full hang and bring your chest up to the bar, and we will pair this with a face pull which we will do next.
JUDO EXERCISE FACE PULLS: 3 SETS X 10-12 REPS
Following the first set of chin-ups, we move immediately into a face pull. This is a really good exercise, but it’s not only for shoulder health because we have an external rotation of the shoulder which is good for any pulling motion within judo.
What we’re looking to do is keep those elbows above our shoulders as we pull the road toward our faces. We don’t want to see the chin or the body come forward during the motion. You want to see a nice smooth motion throughout keeping the elbows nice and high.
The final exercise of the session and what we’re going to finish with is a Zurcher carry. Now this is a really good exercise to strengthen our core as we try to resist extension.
JUDO EXERCISE ZERCHER CARRY: 4 SETS X 10 METERS
It’s a really good exercise for judo as well because we have to use all upper body and an isometric fashion. So what I want us to do is clasp our hands together, and make sure we’re not excessively leaning it back by keeping our rib cage down.
This is an exercise we can load up really heavy to perform for around 10 meters.
Okay, guys, I hope you enjoyed the session. I just want to say thanks to everyone for helping us put this training together to help you try and develop your Judo.
If you go outside of the dojo, I hope this gives you a small insight into what we do at performance training when it comes to increasing Judoka’s performance.
If you’re interested in finding out more about training like this, there will be some links down below.
Thank you again for reading and be sure to leave a comment to let us know what kind of things you do outside of your Judo dojo to help develop Judo. Share the article and as always please stay tuned and support our site so we can keep on providing this content for you. Thank you again for reading.