Strength Training for Judo: Part 1 – Training Grip and Cardio

Strength Training for Judo: Part 1 – Training Grip and Cardio

Training grip and cardio are two very different things. If you want to build strong hands, then you need to train both. However, if your goal is to get stronger in general, then it’s better to focus on one or the other.

There are many reasons why you might want to do one over the other. Maybe you’re trying to increase your hand size, maybe you just like doing them together, or perhaps they’re simply complementary exercises. Whatever the reason, there’s no wrong way to train grip and cardio; however, some people have weaker grip than others (or even none at all).

Grip Strength vs. Cardio Strength

When talking about grip strength, what exactly does that mean?

Basically, it means how much force you can apply with your fingers. For example, let’s say I grab a pencil and try to pull it back from my palm.

How hard am I pulling on the pencil? And how much force am I applying to the pencil when I do so?

These are two very different questions!

The first example is how much grip strength you’re using.

The second example is your actual strength.

Even if I train my grip a lot, I still need to train my strength as well. If I’m going to be pulling on something really heavy, I’m going to be using all of my body’s strength. That means my grip might not be strong enough to pull it back.

Sources & references used in this article:

Judo training is more effective for fitness development than recreational sports for 7-year-old boys by D Sekulic, S Krstulovic, R Katic… – Pediatric exercise …, 2006 –

Hand-grip strength of young men, women and highly trained female athletes by D Leyk, W Gorges, D Ridder, M Wunderlich… – European journal of …, 2007 – Springer

Cardio-Judo in Long-term Cardiac Rehabilitation. A Feasibility Study for Clinical Practice and Heart Support Groups. by W Mastnak – Journal of Combat Sports & Martial Arts, 2017 –

Judo combat: time-motion analysis and physiology by E Franchini, GG Artioli, CJ Brito – International journal of …, 2013 – Taylor & Francis

Physiological profiles of elite judo athletes by E Franchini, FB Del Vecchio, KA Matsushigue… – Sports Medicine, 2011 – Springer

Strength training for young athletes by WJ Kraemer, SJ Fleck – 2005 –

Training and Conditioning for Judo by A Broussal-Derval – 2020 –