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Beyond Grappling fitness & Conditioning | 1

Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Disclaimer
The exercises and information contained within this book may be too difficult
or dangerous for some people, and the reader(s) should consult a physician
before engaging in them.

The author and publisher of this book are not responsible in any manner
whatsoever for any injury which may occur through reading and following the
instructions herein.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1. I am aware that Beyond Grappling Fitness & Conditioning and its member
Matthew D’Aquino, is not a medical doctor and does not qualify to determine
a participant’s physical capability to engage in strenuous exercise.
2. Medical clearance from my physician may be required prior to participation
in any exercise program and/or engaging in any of the exercises contained
within this manual.

WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY:

(Read carefully before performing any exercises in this manual)


I understand and acknowledge that there are risks involved in participating in
any exercise program and/or any exercises contained within this manual. In
consideration for being allowed to utilize the information within this manual, I
agree that I will assume the risk and full responsibility for determining the
need for medical clearance from a physician and obtaining such clearance, the
safety and/or efficacy of any exercise program recommended to me, and any
and all injuries, losses, or damages, which might occur to me and/or to my
family while utilizing the information in this manual and to the maximum
extent allowed by law I agree to waive and release any and all claims, suits, or
related causes of action against Beyond Grappling Fitness & Conditioning,
Matthew D’Aquino or their employees, or affiliates for injury, loss, death, costs
or other damages to me, my family or assigns, while utilizing all information or
partaking in the exercises contained within this manual.

I further agree to release, indemnify and Beyond Grappling Fitness &


Conditioning from any liability whatsoever for future claims presented by my
children for any injuries, losses or damages.
Beyond Grappling fitness & Conditioning | 2
Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Copyright
Matt D’Aquino’s Maximum Grip Training for Judo

A Matt D’Aquino Book/Manual 2011

All rights reserved.


Copyright © September 1st, 2011 by Matthew D’Aquino

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any


means, mechanical or electronic, including recording, photocopying, or by
any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing
from the publisher.

Email: Support@workoutsforjudo.com

Websites: www.workoutsforjudo.com

Blog: www.beyondgrapplingandfitness.com

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

About Me
My name is Matthew D’Aquino. I am 25 years old, a 3rd
Dan Black belt and I am passionate about all forms of
grappling. I have been studying Judo for 20 years and have
represented Australia at 8 Continental Championships, 4
World Championships and competed in the 2008 Beijing
Olympic Games. I have also competed in various World
Cups, Grand Slams and Grand Prixs all over the world. I
have trained in some of the hardest dojos in the world,
including Yong Inn University in Korea, Tokai University in
Japan, INCEP in France, Pollymunka in the Czech Republic and Sankaku Club in
Slovenia.
My best results include:
 Being the first and only Australian Male to win the Pac Rim
Championships in 2009
 1st Place St Gallen Tournament in Switzerland
 3rd Place USK Cup Prague, Czech Republic
 Multiple Oceania Champion
 Multiple Australian champion
 World Cup Champion
 17th 2010 World Championships Tokyo
 7th Miami World Cup, Us Open and El Salvador World Cup 2011
I also compete in Freestyle Wrestling and Brazilian Jujitsu competitions in and
around Australia. My best results include:
 1st No-Gi Purple-belt Submission Grappling National championship -67kg
 1st Royler Gracie Cup Purple belt 2009 -74kg
 2nd National Freestyle Wrestling Championships. -60kg

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

My Philosophy:
I am passionate about teaching and passing on my knowledge and experience
to others. My philosophy is simply “If I haven’t done it, I won’t teach it.” I
believe this is a crucial element to my teaching. It means that in everything I
teach, I am familiar with and have a deep understanding of how to complete
each exercise, workout or technique.
The reason why I have been so successful in my Judo career is due to the fact
that I have significantly better fitness and conditioning than my opponents. I
put this down to the demanding workouts I put myself through week in, week
out. I train using a variety of bodyweight exercises as well as barbells,
kettlebells, tyres, rowers, dumbbells, ropes, bands and medicine balls but I
always try to make sure that I work on my grip strength. When you get a good,
strong hold of your opponent’s gi and they do not let go you do feel a sense of
dominance. There is nothing worse than having someone who has a stronger
grip than your gi, because if they grip it they will throw you. That is why it is so
important to have a strong grip.
I know this manual is going to educate you on how to get a stronger grip and in
doing so have a more dominating Judo game.

Kind regards,

2008 Beijing Olympian


Beyond Grappling fitness and Conditioning

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Table of Contents
Grip Strength Page 9

Finger and Forearm Injury Prevention Page 10

Open Shuts Page 12

Farmers Walk Page 13

Pinch Grip Farmers Walk Page 14

Brick Pinch Page 15

Rope Climbs Page 16

Mat Carries Page 17

Lapel Chin ups Page 18

Sleeve Chin Ups Page 19

Rope Pull ups Page 20

Moving Rope pull ups Page 21

Wrist Reverse Curls Page 22

Doorway Hang Page 23

Dead Hang Page 24

Bar Walks Page 25

Forearm curls (front of body) Page 26

Forearm curls (behind body) Page 27

Wrist Roller Page 28

Grip Changing Page 29

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Table of Contents
Pushup Bar Rotations Page 30

Bodyweight hang rotations Page 31

Wet Towel Squeezes Page 32

Newspaper Scrunches Page 33

Kumi-Kata (Grip fighting) Page 34

Dumbbell Rotations Page 36

Dumbbell Up/downs Page 37

Bottoms up Press Page 38

Bouldering Page 39

Bench Forearm curls Page 40

Sled Drags Page 41

Rope rotations Page 42

Captains of crush Page 43

Grip masters Page 44

Bucket of rice Page 45

Add some weight Page 46

Foam on bars Page 47

What about straps and chalk? Page 48

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Table of Contents
Grip strength Circuits

Grip strength circuits Page 51

Before you get started Page 52

Warming up Page 53

Wrist, elbow & forearm warm up Page 54

Gym circuits Page 55

Home circuits Page 59

Dojo Circuits Page 63

Cooling down (static stretching) Page 66

Forearm stretches Page 67

Homemade wrist roller Page 69

Single license agreement Page 70

Notes: Page 73

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Grip Strength
Grip strength and gripping in general is crucial to success in Judo. Grip strength
will help you dominate grips, have stronger Kuzushi (breaking of opponents
balance) as well as be able to finish any gi choke you have applied.

Many people believe that grip strength can be defined by how strong your
forearms are, but in actual fact grip strength is a combination forearm, finger
and wrist strength.

It is important to note the particular style of grip strength Judokas want and
need. For example rock climbers have fantastic grip strength but more often
than not climbers hang off rocks at a slow pace while Judo players are opening
and shutting their fingers and hands at a fast pace.

Many Judokas have experienced having their forearms blowing out. Once your
forearms blowout you will be unable to grip resulting in either a penalty, or
your opponent throwing you for Ippon. It is important to never let this happen
in competition. This is what this manual will help you do. It will give you the
exercises needed to do in order to strengthen your forearms, fingers and wrists
to prevent them fatiguing at training, or in competition.

Your forearms are made up of muscles that have a variety of different roles.
Muscles in the forearm are used to rotate your wrist face up or face down,
while others are used to flex and extend the wrist. You hands are made up of
intrinsic and extrinsic muscles that assist in gripping while your wrist also has
muscles and tendons that are used while gripping as well. All of these
movement are used when gripping, grip fighting as well as entering for
techniques.

Each exercise in this manual targets one of the following:

 Finger strength
 Forearm strength
 Hand and finger speed
 Lactic Acid tolerance

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Finger and forearm injury prevention


Your fingers and forearms are so important for determining how much Judo
you can do week in, week out. If you sustain an overuse or acute injury within
the forearms muscles or fingers you can off the mat for quite some time.
It is very important that you include a few finger and forearm injury prevention
strategies into you weekly schedule. These include:
Elastic Band open/shuts
Judokas are constantly clenching the gi and therefore utilizing the flexor
muscles in the forearm a great deal more than the ones used to open the fist.
Elastic bands open/shuts will strengthen the opening muscles and tendons
thus creating a balance between the two muscles.

Wrapping an elastic band around your fingers, begin to open and shut your
fingers for desired number of repetitions.
Tips:
 Start with 1 elastic band and build up
 You can also perform this exercise by exercising each finger individually,
e.g. index finger and thumb only.
Stretch your forearms
Make sure you stretch your forearm muscles, especially after an intense
training session. So many Judo players finish Randori, bow off and head home
without stretching. Stretching will help loosen the muscles in the forearms and
prevent any future injuries.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Tape your fingers


There are a few things you can do that will prevent finger injuries when doing
Judo. Care for your fingers by:
- Warming them up before practice
- Keep your nails cut short
- Don't entwine your fingers within your opponents gi
- Do finger strengthening exercises
- Tape them every session.

I tape my fingers every session, whether it is with one my clients, a technical


session or a Randori session. For me personally I feel stronger when I'm taped
up, and if something as simple as taped fingers makes me feel stronger when
fighting, then I'm going to do it.

Above: Make sure you tape your fingers properly or the tape can rip skin off

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Open/shuts
1 2

Exercise Description:
Hold your hands outstretched at shoulder height. Begin to open and shut your
fingers for desired number of repetitions.

Tips:
 Perform these immediately after Randori when your forearms and
shoulders are already fatigued to really build up your lactic acid
tolerance or
 Perform these prior to randori to fatigue shoulders and forearms
 Do this exercise in high numbers eg 1000 after each Judo training session
of gym workout

Rep range:
 200-1000

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Farmers Walk
1 2

3 4

Exercise Description:
Grasping a pair of heavy dumbbells, walk for desired for desired time.

Tips:
 Have a goal when performing the farmers walk, eg 2 laps of the gym
floor or 1 minute of walking.
 Don’t drop the dumbbells onto your toes.
 Bend your knees when picking up and putting down the dumbbells.

Rep range:
 30 seconds-2 minutes

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Pinch Grip Farmers walk


1 2

Exercise Description:
Similar to the farmers walk but instead of dumbbells this exercise requires you
to hold a weight plate ‘pinched’ between your fingers.

Tips:
 Have a goal when performing the farmers walk, eg 2 laps of the gym
floor or 1 minute of walking.
 Don’t drop the dumbbells onto your toes.
 Bend your knees when picking up and putting down the dumbbells.

Rep range:
 30 seconds-2 minutes

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Brick Pinch

Exercise Description:
Simply hold a brink between your fingers for desired time limit.

Tips:
 Great exercise to do at home

Rep range:
 30 seconds- 2 minutes

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Rope Climbs
1 2 3

Exercise Description:
Climb the rope for desired number of time or repetitions.

Tips:
 If you are just starting out, use your leg to assist you climb the rope
 For advanced climbers perform the exercise without using your legs,
 Advanced climbers be sure to start and finish in the seated position
 Use a weight vest for extra resistance
 Stimulate your core more by climbing using the L-Sit (Pic 3)
 Make sure you don’t fall.

Rep range:
 I like completing 5-8 sets of climbing the rope up and down as many
times as I can.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Mat Carries

Exercise Description:
Holding a Tatami mat in your outstretched hands, at shoulder height, begin
walking for desired number of time of reps.

Tips:
 Have a goal when performing mat carries, eg 2 laps of the gym floor or 1
minute of walking
 If you don’t have a spare Tatami to carry use a weight plate
 If you don’t have room to walk the mat around you can just stand still
and hold it at shoulder height
 Great exercise to perform if your dojo is unlucky enough to have to put
away your mat area

Rep range:
 30 seconds-2 minutes

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Lapel Chin ups


1 2

Exercise Description:
Using a gi looped over a chin up bar, grasp both lapels and begin performing
chin-ups.

Tips:
 If you don’t have a gi use a towel

Rep range:
 If lifting bodyweight 5 sets of maximum repetitions
 If lifting extra weight 5 sets of 5 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Sleeve Chin ups


1 2

Exercise Description:
Harder than lapel chin-ups, grasp both sleeves of the gi and begin performing
chin-ups.

Tips:
 If you don’t have a gi use a towel

Rep range:
 If lifting bodyweight 5 sets of maximum repetitions
 If lifting extra weight 5 sets of 5 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Rope Pull ups


1 2

3 4

Exercise Description:
Using a rope looped over a chin up bar, grasp both ropes and begin performing
chin-ups.

Tips:
 If you don’t have a gi use a towel

Rep range:
 If lifting bodyweight 5 sets of maximum repetitions
 If lifting extra weight 5 sets of 5 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Moving Rope pull ups

1 2

Exercise Description:
Wrap a rope around a chin up bar. Hang of the rope and keep a hold of each
side. Begin pulling one of the ropes down, and then the other (as if you were
trying to saw the chin up bar in half.

Tips:
 Go at a nice, steady pace
 This may destroy your rope so cut a slit into a piece of PVC pipe and
wrap that over the chin up bar.

Rep range:
 5 Sets of maximum repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Wrist Reverse curls


1 2

Exercise Description:
Sit down holding a barbell with your forearms resting on your thighs. Start with
your wrists fully flexed and then extend them up as far as they can go. Go back
to the starting position and repeat.

Tips:
 Go at a nice, steady pace
 If you don’t have a barbell you can use a dumbbell as well.

Rep range:
 If 5 sets of 50 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Doorway hang

Exercise Description:
Simply hang off your doorway for desired time limit,

Tips:
 If your fingers are not stronger enough leave your feet on the floor but
put as much weight as you can through your fingers

Rep range:
 1 minute

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Dead Hang
1 2

Exercise Description:
Simply hang off a chin up bar for desired time limit,

Tips:
 A fatter bar is more difficult
 You can hang off the bar with either your thumbs on top of the bar in a
‘c’ grip or grasping the bar with your thumbs underneath, the choice is
yours.

Rep range:
 Maximum time limit
 If you are really good, try hanging off with only 1 hand (Pic 2)

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Bar Walks
1 2

3 4

Exercise Description:
Shuffle across a chin up bar for desired time limit.

Tips:
 The fatter the bar is the harder this exercise become
 If you don’t have a long enough chin-up bar just perform the dead hang
instead

Rep range:
 30 seconds – 1 minute

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Forearm Curls (front of body)


1 2

Exercise Description:
Hold a barbell in front with your palms facing away from your body, begin
curling your wrists upwards. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Tips:
 You can perform this exercise either quickly or slowly

Rep range:
 If 5 sets of 50 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Forearm Curls (behind body)


1 2

Exercise Description:
Hold a barbell behind you with your palms facing away from your body. Place
the bar as far down into your outstretched fingers as you can manage. Begin
closing your fingers into a fist as you curl your wrists up. Return to the starting
position and repeat.

Tips:
 Go at a nice, steady pace

Rep range:
 5 sets of 50 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Wrist Roller
1 2 33

Exercise Description:
Hold the wrist roller at shoulder height and begin rolling the weight upwards.
Once the rope has reached its limit, in a controlled matter, start unravelling the
rope back to the starting position. Repeat for desired number of repetitions.

Tips:
To make a wrist roller follow these steps

1- find a broom handle


2- tie a bit rope around the stick
3- Attach a weight plate to the other end of the rope
4- You now have a Wrist roller

Rep range:
 If 5 sets of maximum repetitions

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Grip Changing
1 2

3 4

Exercise Description:
Place a barbell high enough so you can pull your body slightly off the ground
(pic 1). While you are off the ground begin changing your grip on the bar
between under hooking and over hooking. Continue for desired time

Tips:
 You can also perform this off a chin up bar.

Rep range:
 5 sets of 50 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Pushup Bar Rotations

Exercise Description:
Rest a barbell on a few weight plates or aerobics steps. Place your hands
shoulder width apart and assume a pushup position. Begin rolling your wrists
by flexing and extending them in both directions.

Tips:
 Using a fatter barbell is harder (eg pvc piping)

Rep range:
 3 sets of maximum repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Bodyweight hang Rotations

Exercise Description:
Similar to the push up rotations except I am hanging off a rotating bar. Simply
roll you hands back and forwards for desired number of repetitions.

Rep range:
 3 sets of maximum repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Wet Towel Squeezes

Exercise Description:
Completely soak a hand towel with water. Using as much force as you can
begin wringing out all of the water. Re-soak the towel and repeat.

Rep range:

 1-5 Minutes

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Newspaper Scrunches
1 2

3 4

Exercise Description:
Open up a newspaper and lay it out on the floor. Using your fingers from one
hand, scrunch up the entire page. Repeat on the next page etc.

Tips:
 Time yourself and see how long it takes to scrunch up 10 pages.

Rep range:
 10 pages per hand

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Kumi-Kata (Grip fighting)

Exercise Description:
Grip fighting (Kumi Kata) is essential to all Judokas. I am a strong believer in
grip fighting and grip breaking and will organise for my students to undergo
several different scenarios of grip fighting and grip breaking each training
session.

Grip breaking:

Is an exercise when your opponent starts with a particular grip and after the
instructor yells “Hajime” are you allowed to begin stripping off your
opponents’ strong grip.

Different grip breaking scenarios include when your opponent grip you with:

- Standard sleeve and collar grip


- Strong top grip
- Russian style (2 on 1) grips
- X-guard grips
- Double lapel grips
- Double sleeve grips
- Double armpit grip

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Grip fighting:

Is when both you and your opponent are fighting to gain the upper hand and
attain a dominant grip. This grip is usually a grip of utter domination such as a
top grip or a grip where your opponent will receive a penalty.

Different grip fighting scenarios include:

- One person in front fighting a fresh partner every 10 seconds for 1-2
minutes
- One person is surrounded by 3-4 people and must continually break off
their grips for 1-2 minutes.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Dumbbell rotations

1 2

Exercise Description:
Holding on to some dumbbells begin rotating your wrists from palm up to palm
down.

Repeat for desired number of repetitions.

Tips:
 Don’t go too heavy. Make sure you use a moderate weight

Rep range:
 3 sets of 30 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Dumbbell up/downs
1 2

Exercise Description:
Hold on to a dumbbell in each hand and place your hands by your side and lift
your index finger to the sky.

Tips:
 Don’t go too heavy. Make sure you use a moderate weight

Rep range:
 3 sets of 30 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Bottoms up Press
1 2

Exercise Description:
If you own a kettlebell a great grip strength exercise is to try to keep the
kettlebell stable in your palm while the kettlebell is upside down (Pic 1).

If this is easy try doing some overhead presses with it (Pic 2).

Tips:
 Make sure you don’t hit yourself in the head with the kettlebell

Rep range:
 Maximum repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Bouldering

Exercise Description:
If you have a Rock climbing place nearby simply pay a casual visit and climb
along the bottom of the course. This is great cross training and great for grip
strength.

Tips:
 If you really enjoy this you may like to invest in some rock climbing shoes
to make it more fun.

Rep range:
 30-40 minutes

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Bench Forearm curls


1 2

Exercise Description:
Rest your forearms on a bench with your palms facing towards the sky. Place a
barbell in your fingers. Let the bar roll down into your finger tips and then roll
the bar back up and form a fist. Repeat for desired number of repetitions.

Tips:
 Make sure you don’t go too heavy or you may injure your fingers.

Rep range:
 3 sets of 30 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Sled Drags
1 2

3 4

Exercise Description:
Attached a weight to the end of a long rope and begin pulling the rope towards
you. Sitting down really makes you work only your arms besides letting your
back and legs assist in pulling the weight

Tips:
 If you don’t have a weight sled simply pull a weight plate or an old car
tyre with 1 or 2 kilograms worth of weight in it.

Rep range:
6 sets of pulling the weight towards you

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Rope rotations
1 2

Exercise Description:
Lay beside a rope, reach up and grasp the rope with one hand. Using all your
strength pull yourself up.

Lower and repeat

Tips:
 If this exercise is too hard simply bring your legs closer to yourself.
 Use some chalk to assist in gripping the rope

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Captains of crush

Exercise Description:
Simply grab the Captains of crush in your hands and try to touch both ends
together. Repeat for desired number of repetitions.

Tips:
 Make sure your hand is in a comfortable position.

Rep range:
 Repeat for desired number of repetitions

Leave your Captains of Crush in the car and use it at intersections and red
lights. Make sure you still drive safely and responsibly though.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Grip masters exercise

Exercise Description:
If you happen to own a grip master they can be pretty useful. This is because
you can strengthen each individual finger. Above are some different exercises
you can do with the grip master.

Tips:
 Make sure you spend time strengthening your weaker fingers

Rep range:
 5-10 minutes

Leave your Grip Master in the car and use it at intersections and red lights.
Make sure you still drive safely and responsibly though.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Bucket of rice
1 2

Exercise Description:
Buy a standard sized laundry bucket and fill it with rice. Place your hand inside so
that the rice covers half your forearm. Begin opening and shutting your hand for
desired number of repetitions. (Pic 1&2). You may also like to simply rotate your
arm back and forth. (Pic 3&4)

3 4

Rep range:
 50-100 repetitions

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Add some weight


The Lapel chin ups, Sleeve chin ups and Rope pull ups are fantastic exercises
that will really increase your grip strength. Adding some weight onto yourself
and doing 5 sets of repetitions will strengthening your grip immensely.

- Perform chin ups using a


weight belt.

- If you don’t have access to a


weight belt make one yourself
by using a old Judo belt.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Foam on bars
While working out in the gym there are times when the bar is rather easy to
get a hold of. If you want to really work the forearms muscle when doing
exercises such as chin ups, Deadlifts and seated rows then add a piece of foam
around the bar in order to make it thicker.

This will really make your grip work as the bar is no fatter making it harder to
hold. You can use any sort of foam to achieve this you may use a pool noodle
or a bit of foam insulation like the one picture below.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo & BJJ

What about straps and chalk?


There are many different types of lifting aids used to lift weights. You may have
seen various muscle bound gym-goers using Figure 6's, Figure 8's and chalk to
assist in lifting heavy weights? Have you ever wondered what each one is
designed for? What do they do and which ones would suit you and your type
of training?

Straps:
The 2 most common straps used in the gym are the figure 6's and figure
8's.When training muscles such as back or traps the forearm muscles play a
vital role in being able to grip or hang onto a barbell or dumbbell. But in some
cases halfway through a session the forearms become so pumped resulting in
the fingers not being able hold onto a barbell or dumbbell.

When training with straps the load is reduced considerably because instead of
the forearms taking all the weight it is distributed through the strap and wrist
resulting in your forearms not getting fatigued as quickly.

Exercises where Figure 6's and figure 8's are needed are exercises such as
farmers walk, chin ups, dead-lifts, rows and shrugs.

There are two distinct differences with the 6's and 8's.

Figure 6's are designed so that you not only use more of your forearm muscles,
but if the weight is too heavy and you must drop it, the weight will slide out
from the strap. On the other hand when using figure 8's you stimulate even
less forearm strength and rely on the figure 8 strap to hold the weight. Not
only this but if you drop the weight, the strap will remain leaving your arm
connected to whatever it was you were lifting. This can become dangerous if
performing some exercises.

I recommend using figure 6's for all lift but if you like using figure 8's do not use
them with dead-lifts and rows, in case you drop the weight.

Chalk:
Chalk is used mostly by power-lifters and weightlifters. A lot of gyms don't
allow the use of chalk because it can cause quite a mess on the floor as well as
get all over the weight plates and barbells.

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Chalk is mainly used on rope climbing, Deadlifts, power cleans, snatch and
squats. Its main role is for the trainer to be able to grip as easily as possible
while still using natural grip strength.

The benefit with using chalk is that you can lift heavy weights (mostly on
Deadlifts) and continue to use the muscles in the fingers and forearms without
having to rely on straps (which tend to take a lot of the load off the grip.)

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Grip Strength Circuits


You can choose whenever you like to perform these grip strength circuits.
Some of these circuits are more suited to when you are working out, at home
or in the dojo. It all depends on where you are training at the time. If you are
doing these circuits at the gym I suggest you do them at the end of your
workout and if you are going to complete these on a Judo day I would advise
you to do them after Judo practice, (unless of course you want to fight with
extremely fatigued forearms.)
Obviously there may be some pieces of equipment that you do not have but
you can swap and change some of the exercises to suit you and your individual
needs.
The whole aim of these circuits is to not only increase the strength of your
forearms and fingers, but also raise the lactic acid buffer. Lactic acid occurs
when you exercise at a high intensity and it feel like your muscles are on fire
and very lethargic. Put simply the muscle or muscles that are full of lactic acid
will fell like they weigh 100 pounds.
These grip strength circuits are designed to put as much lactic acid into your
forearms as possible which will assist in raising the lactic acid buffer. If you
complete these 2-3 times a week you will begin to see that your forearms can
not only last longer, but you can grip harder and break grips easier in intense
grappling sessions
Gym Circuits:

These are forearm circuits that use equipment commonly found in most
commercial gyms.
Home Circuits:

These circuits use equipment you can make or use at home or at work.
Dojo Circuits:

Dojos have different pieces of equipment such as ropes and partners so try to
do these circuits after training to really strengthen the forearms and fingers.

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Before you get started


WARNING: The Workouts contained in this manual are very very difficult. To
make sure you are physically fit enough to handle these workouts I recommend
you follow the workouts contained in Workouts for Judo for a MINIMUM of 4
weeks.

These workouts will push you harder than ever before and it is important that
you are physically prepared for the intensity of these workouts.

1- Before you get started on these make sure you warm up properly.
Follow the warm up on the next page.
2- Never start an exercise program when you are cold as this will lead to
injury.
3- Take note of how you are feeling. If you are feeling dizzy, light headed or
faint stop exercising immediately and seek medical attention.
4- If you have or have had a previous wrist or elbow injury I suggest you
seek medical attention before starting any forearm strengthening
workouts or exercises.

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Warming up
Warming up is essential when doing any sort of physical activity. A warm up is
designed to:
 Increase heart rate
 Increase core temperature
 Increase breath rate
 Increase blood flow resulting in increase in oxygen transfer
 Increase range of movement
 Increase the speed of muscle contraction
 Warm up muscles (through increase in blood flow)
 Mentally prepare participant for exercise
 Lubricate joints through joint mobility exercises
I have not included warm up exercises such as forward rolls, backward rolls,
hip escapes, cartwheels etc, because these workouts are designed to be
completed at a general fitness facility that may not have soft mats. If you are
completing these workouts in a dojo then add in a variety of rolls, hips escapes,
wrestler walks, etc.
If you are completing these strength programs in a fitness centre I recommend
the following warm up program:
 5-10 minutes of low impact aerobic exercise on a treadmill, stationary
bike or rowing machine.
 5 minutes dynamic stretching

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Wrist, elbow & forearm warm up


Wrist rotations

Clasping your hands and fingers


together rotate your wrists in all
directions.

Elbow rotations

Supporting your elbow in one hand,


rotate your elbow in circles. Be sure
to rotate in both directions.

Shoulder rotations
Swing your arms in circles in both
directions.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Gym Circuit 1
30 Seconds Grip Changing

30 seconds Open/ shuts

*Repeat 5 rounds

Gym Circuit 2
30 Seconds Farmers Walk

30 Seconds Pinch Grip Farmers Walk

30 seconds Dead hang

*Repeat 3 rounds

Gym Circuit 3
1 Minute Wrist roller

1 Minute Bar walks

*Repeat 2 rounds

Gym Circuit 4
Rope Climb

Wait 4 mins

*Repeat for as many rounds as possible

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Gym Circuit 5
30 Repetitions Forearm Curls (front of body)

30 Repetitions Forearm Curls (behind body)

(Place the bar on the floor)

30 Pushup bar rotations

Gym Circuit 6
Maximum hold Dead Hang

Rest 5 minutes

*Repeat 4 more times

Gym Circuit 7
100 Pushup rotations

100 Grip changing

50 Dumbbell rotations

Gym Circuit 8
100 Dumbbell Up/downs

100 Dumbbell Rotations

50 Dumbbell Up/downs

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Extreme Grip
Maximum GripStrength
Trainingfor
forJudo
Judo& BJJ

50 Dumbbell Rotations

25 Dumbbell Up/downs

25 Dumbbell Rotations

Gym Circuit 9
30 Bench Forearm Curls

30 Wrist Reverse Curls

30 Repetitions Forearm Curls (front of body)

30 Repetitions Forearm Curls (behind body)

Gym Circuit 10
1 Minute Farmers Walk

30 Repetitions Forearm Curls (front of body)

30 Repetitions Forearm Curls (behind body)

30 Seconds Pinch Grip Farmers Walk

*Rest 2-3 minutes and repeat

Gym Circuit 11
1 Minute Dead Hang

30 seconds Pinch Grip Farmers walk

30 Seconds Dead Hang

1 minute Pinch Grip Farmers walk

*Rest for 1 minute and repeat 3-4 times

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Home Circuit 1
Time how fast it takes to complete 10 pages of a Newspaper

Rest for 1-3 minutes

*Repeat 3-4 sets

Try to beat your best time

Home Circuit 2
Fill a basin full of water and place a towel into the water. Remove the towel
and squeeze all the water out as fast as possible. Repeat continually for 5
minutes

Rest 2 minutes

*Repeat 4 rounds

Home Circuit 3
1 minute Wrist roller

30 seconds off

*Repeat until you can no longer move your forearms.

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Home circuit 4
Maximum hold Doorway hang

100 Open Shuts

Maximum hold Doorway hang

50 Open/Shuts

Maximum hold Doorway hang

*Rest for 5 minutes and repeat

Home Circuit 5
Using a bucket of rice 1 Minute Open and close you hand

1 Minute Make a fist and rotate you hand around

1 Minute Pull you hand nearly all the way out and punch down

Rest for 3 minutes

*Repeat 5-8 times

Home Circuit 7
1-2 Minutes Bucket of rice rotations

100 Open Shuts

1 Minute Brick Pinch

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Home Circuit 8
100 Open/Shuts

4 Wet towel squeezes

50 Open/shuts

3 Wet towel squeezes

25 Open/shuts

2 Wet towel squeezes

*Rest 2-3 mins and repeat

Home circuit 9
Using a brick pinch carry a brick in each hand for a lap of the house, street or
block.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Dojo Circuit 1
Get a partner and take turns breaking each others grips. Try to mix it up
between lapel and sleeve, double sleeve, double lapel etc. Repeat for 5-10
minutes each and every session. This will strengthen your fingers.

Dojo circuit 2
200 Open/shuts

30 seconds grip fighting

150 Open/shuts

30 seconds grip fighting

100 Open/shuts

30 seconds grip fighting

50 open shuts

30 seconds grip fighting

Dojo circuit 3
Grip fighting for 5 minutes but you receive a fresh partner every 30-60 seconds

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Dojo circuit 4
Mat carries 3 times across the mat area

200 open shuts

1 minute grip fighting

Mat carries 3 times across the mat area

200 open shuts

1 minute grip fighting

*Rest 2 minutes and repeat 3-5 times

Dojo circuit 5

Dojo circuit 5
Perform 4 sets of mat carries for as long as you can. Rest 3 minutes and repat
3-5 times.

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Maximum Grip Training for Judo

Cooling down (Static Stretching)


A cool down only takes 10-20 minutes and is just as beneficial to your training
session as the warm up is. Unfortunately I have seen so many athletes just bow
off the mat, take their gi off and drive home. These athletes need to
understand that when you constantly contract your muscles through exercise,
they need something to stretch back to normal. If you continue to only
contract the muscle you are just going to get tighter and tighter muscles. This
can potentially cause an injury.
A simple cool down with 5-10 minutes of light, low impact exercise followed by
static stretching is a great way to return your body back to its normal state
(homeostasis).
Benefits of a cool down include:
 Removal of by-products in the muscles
 Reduces the amount of adrenaline in the bloodstream.
 Helps relax your muscles.
 Prevents blood pooling in your muscles which gives you that sense of
tiredness, dizziness or even nausea.
 Gives you time to reflect on the session you have just completed.
Static stretching guidelines are as follows:
 Hold each stretch for 15-40 seconds.
 Do not bounce or jerk.
 Do not hold your breath, remember to breathe and relax.
 Remember to stretch your whole body.

The following stretches are the best stretches to do following a grip


strength circuit. If you completed a Judo or gym session first DO NOT
forget to neglect the other muscle groups

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Forearm stretches

- Kneeling down turn both your


hands towards you and press
your fingers into the ground.

- Kneel down and place the palm of


your hand out at right angles to
your body
- Pull your fingers back towards you
head
- You should feel a stretch of the
biceps and forearms

- Place your right hand’s little finger


against your sternum
- With your left hand grab your right
hand thumb and pull it to the left
- This will assist in rotating your
hand further gaining a stretch

- Stretch your arms out beside


you and bend your hands back
towards your head

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Forearm stretches cont..

- Place your hands together (as if


you were praying)
- You should feel a stretch of the
forearm muscles

- Outstretch one hand and with


the other hand push your hand
downwards

- Outstretch one hand and with


the other hand pull your
fingers back towards your head

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Homemade a wrist roller


Wrist rollers are fantastic bits of equipment that are so beneficial for grapplers.
Using the wrist roller every few days can really build up your forearm muscles
and will really assist in decreasing the onset of lactic acid in the muscles
Today I thought i would show you how to make a wrist roller.

Use a small round pipe, PVC piping, broom


stick (or in my case, a vacuum cleaner pole)

Attach a piece of rope to the pole. Use some


strapping tape to hold the rope in place. This
will stop it from spinning around the pole
once the weight is connected.

At the other end of the rope attach a


small weight such as a weight plate or a
rock.
Note: Make sure the weight is not too
heavy 1-3kg should be sufficient

Now perform 3-6 sets of the wrist roller.


I always count down and up as 1 repetition
and i try to do this 3 times a week.

You can even have it next to your


computer at work and do 2 sets every half
an hour.

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Notes:

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