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Kettlebell For Judo

author
Ellen Grant
• Sunday, 11 October, 2020
• 7 min read

Written by Matt D’Aquino, a multiple Australian and Oceania Champion and a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian. All grapples need to be fit, strong, and agile as well as contain enough mobility in our joints to survive being pushed, pulled and twisted into every direction.

kettlebell judo olympic training squat swings goblet judoka swing kettlebells
(Source: rkcblog.dragondoor.com)

Contents

Movements such as the kettle bell swing and snatch will push your cardio to the limit and get you in the best shape of your life! Due to the ballistic nature of kettle bells you will automatically develop explosive power.

Movements such as swings, snatches, cleans and presses all assist in increasing explosiveness which will help you throw more people, shoot harder for double legs and easily pass your opponents guard Gripping the kettle bell handle for more than five minutes will have your forearms screaming for you to stop.

Kettle bell training helps you get functionally strong which will instantly benefit your grappling game. Those athletes with weak a core will get expose very quickly and will fall behind in training and overall improvement.

Abdominal rotational and anti-rotational strength is important for striking, grappling and in throwing sports like Judo. Having strong and stable muscles is a great way to avoid injury and be able to fight and train to the best of your ability.

Everyone has rolled that guy at training who is super explosive and cuts through your guard with ease. Due to the ballistic nature of kettle bells you will automatically develop explosive power.

judo kettlebell step ippon
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Movements such as swings, snatches, cleans and presses all assist in developing explosiveness which in turn will help you throw more people, shoot harder for double legs and easily pass your opponents guard. Gripping the kettle bell handle for more than five minutes will have your forearms screaming for you to stop.

Kettle bell training helps you get functionally strong which will instantly benefit your grappling game. I am sure you have heard many times that everything you do stems form the core region and that its also true for fighters.

Those athletes with weak a core will get expose very quickly and will fall behind in training and overall improvement. Abdominal rotational and anti-rotational strength is important for striking, grappling and in throwing sports like Judo.

Due to the range of movement you go through when using kettle bells your joints are going to get a lot stronger and more stable. Having strong and stable muscles is a great way to avoid injury and be able to fight and train to the best of your ability.

Colton Brown, age 23, was ranked number 1 in the USA (and 27th in the world) in the Men’s 90 Kilogram Judo Black Belt Division on May 30, 2016. Now, Colton is heading to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to represent the USA.

judo ippon workout seoi nage kettlebell step kettle bell
(Source: workoutdrinkbemerry.wordpress.com)

The road to Rio was not easy, but Colton’s USA Olympic Judo Team qualification was one of the proudest moments in my young career as a strength coach. After four years of hard work, Colton has manifested a dream he’s had since age 12.

Colton had just returned from competing in the World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when I first began working with him in August 2013. As a dominant collegiate Judo athlete and 2-time All American, Colton had his sights set on becoming an Olympian.

After the World Judo Championships, Colton wanted to gain muscle mass. We spent the Fall semester in the weight-room working on a basic hypertrophy program.

With the 2016 Olympic qualification period nine months away, we planned to spend two-thirds of the year on strength and hypertrophy. Even before he began working with me, Colton already had a great dead lift, crushed pull-ups, and push-ups with ease.

At first, I used it as a tool to teach Colton to squat more efficiently, and to build a strong foundation. I believe goblet squats are a great exercise for athletic movement preparation, or as a stand-alone drill for mobility.

squat goblet kettlebell training olympic judoka swings 88kg finally getting colton dragondoor usa
(Source: rkcblog.dragondoor.com)

Push (horizontal and vertical) Pull (horizontal and vertical) Hinge (bilateral and unilateral) Squat (bilateral and unilateral) Crawling (side to side, forwards, backwards) Core training Movement in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes Colton’s programs included balanced workouts with a wide variety of exercises with barbells, Tax, medicine balls, dumbbells, and kettle bells.

Colton continued to train relentlessly both on and off the Judo mat during the qualification period. At the prestigious Pan American Championships in Havana, Cuba in May 2016, Colton earned three wins with one loss, capturing a Silver Medal after finishing in fifth-place for the previous two years.

Now, Colton will be one of only three men representing the United States Judo Team in Rio de Janeiro this August. Daily, Colton spends countless hours on the mats perfecting his judo technique, dialing in his nutrition, practicing mental visualization, planning his recovery, and studying his opponents.

The goblet squat is a staple in almost all of Colton’s strength and conditioning programs for the past two and a half years. After a two to three week hiatus due to travel, goblet squat prying was an excellent choice to help open his hips.

One of the mobility drills I learned at the HK is goblet squat prying, and it is incredibly effective for loosening up the hips. Alternately, I will instruct them to hold the bottom of the goblet squat position for a count of 10 breaths.

judo ippon kettlebell workout seoi nage kettle bell step obi wrap handle around
(Source: workoutdrinkbemerry.wordpress.com)

We often superset the prying goblet squat with the ROC hip flexor stretch. Adding a few sets of mini band activation exercises such as bent knee lateral walks, and mini band glute bridges ensure glute engagement.

They learn better ground force production while building a strong posterior chain (back, butt, abs, and hamstrings). For these reasons alone, the swing is always at the top of my exercise selection list for Judo athletes.

Russian wrestlers have used kettle bells for years and recognized the carryover onto the wrestling mats. I think the kettle bell swing is one of the best conditioning choices for grapples and other combat sport athletes.

Moving comfortably and efficiently from the hip is important for the proper execution of throws and other movements in Judo. A good Judo athlete must be able to properly hinge from the hips when setting up for or defending a takedown.

I have seen a direct carryover from the explosive hip snap action of swinging kettle bells to the mat, especially for throwing. When guys come in and try to throw me forward, I’m able to use my hips to block throws a lot more effectively.” Every time Colton sets up for kettle bell swings, he has to start from an athletic position before hiking the kettle bell back.

judo grappling kettlebells wrestling fitness amazon bjj
(Source: www.amazon.com)

Swings are just one of many kettle bell exercises (loaded carries, heavy get ups, presses, etc.) It is important to note that you can have the strongest grip in the world, but if you’re holding on to the wrong things, it does not help in Judo.

Others aren’t relaxed enough, and they ultimately burn more energy and fatigue more quickly than their opponent during the match. The tension/relaxation principle taught in Hard style kettle bell training is incredibly valuable for the Judo.

One principle from Hard style kettle bell training that I continually drive home with my Judo athletes is the transition between tension and relaxation. Kettle bell swings allow athletes to quickly create maximal amounts of tension followed by relaxation.

Kettle bell training has played a big part in Colton Brown’s physical preparation for the Olympics, and I believe that kettle bell training is of particular benefit for anyone involved in martial arts such as Judo, Brazilian Jujitsu, and May Thai. This also holds true for any other type of combat sport like wrestling, boxing, or MMA.

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Sources
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2 myomyfitness.com - https://myomyfitness.com/a-guide-to-your-first-kettlebell-what-weight-what-style/
3 www.mensjournal.com - https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/how-to-choose-the-right-kettlebell-weight-w447908/
4 www.sportsrec.com - https://www.sportsrec.com/12682475/what-is-the-best-kettlebell-weight