Martial Arts Training Drills – Part Three

We are looking at a variety of solo, partner, and class drills that Grace Martial Arts students can do to improve their training and performance goals. We started with Judo in the last newsletter.

Judoka (Judo participants, players) need to be flexible and strong. Stretching is important as is developing both upper and lower body strength. Let’s start with stretching.

Stretching

There are hundreds of sitting, prone/supine, kneeling, squatting, and standing stretches in Judo. Here are some of my personal favorites to do prior to solo falling (ukemi), and partner throwing (nage-waza).

Sitting stretches include ..

Rolling ankles in circles to left ten times, then to right ten times .. repeat both sides five to ten times

With legs extended forward, grab toes with both hands .. you should feel stretch in legs, arms and torso .. hold stretch for ten seconds.. repeat five to ten times

With legs extended forward and apart from each other, grab toes with both hands .. you should feel stretch in legs, arms, and torso .. hold stretch for ten seconds.. repeat five to ten times

With legs extended forward and apart from each other, grab toes with both hands until your forehead is on the floor .. you should feel stretch in legs, arms, and torso .. hold stretch for ten seconds.. repeat five to ten times

With legs extended forward and apart from each other, grab toes on left foot with left hand while right hand stretches over your head toward your left foot .. you should feel stretch in legs, arms, and torso .. hold stretch for ten seconds.. repeat five to ten times

With legs extended forward and apart from each other, grab toes on right foot with right hand while left hand stretches over your head toward your right foot .. you should feel stretch in legs, arms, and torso .. hold stretch for ten seconds .. repeat five to ten times

With legs extended and apart from each other, place both hands behind your back and raise your bottom off the floor while arching your back and moving your head backward .. hold stretch for ten seconds .. repeat five to ten times

With legs extended and apart from each other (as far as you can comfortably), place both hands on the floor in front of you, and slowly walk your hands forward as far as you can comfortably .. your goal is to eventually place your forehead or chin on the floor (that will increase the spread of your leg stretch) .. hold stretch for five to ten seconds .. walk your hands back toward your body until you are sitting up straight .. rest for ten seconds .. repeat five to ten times

Extend one leg forward and the other leg backward .. lean forward and place your head on your knee while grabbing the toes of your forward leg .. hold stretch for ten seconds, then raise your body up and place your hands on the floor behind you and stretch backwards while looking up at the ceiling .. hold stretch for ten seconds .. repeat entire forward/backward stretch five to ten times

Sit up straight and extend your left leg .. bring the bottom of your right foot to the inside of your left knee .. stretch forward and touch your forehead or chin to your left knee while grabbing the toes of your left foot with both hands .. hold stretch for ten seconds .. repeat entire forward/backward stretch five to ten times .. you can also change the stretch by looking up toward the sky as you do the same stretch .. another version of the stretch is bend forward over the extended leg, place left hand on the floor while looking to the sky and reaching up with the right hand .. hold the stretch for ten seconds .. repeat five to ten times

Sit up straight and extend your right leg .. bring the bottom of your left foot to the inside of your right knee .. stretch forward and touch your forehead or chin to your right knee while grabbing the toes of your right foot with both hands .. hold stretch for ten seconds .. repeat entire forward/backward stretch five to ten times .. you can also change the stretch by looking up toward the sky as you do the same stretch .. another version of the stretch is bend forward over the extended leg, place right hand on the floor while looking to the sky and reaching up with the left hand .. hold the stretch for ten seconds .. repeat five to ten times

Sit up straight and extend right leg backward as you bend left leg so left foot is close to your body .. bend forward over your left knee touching your knee with your forehead with arms extended forward .. hold stretch for ten seconds .. repeat stretch five to ten times

Sit up straight and extend left leg backward as you bend right leg so right foot is close to your body .. bend forward over your right knee touching your knee with your forehead with arms extended forward .. hold stretch for ten seconds .. repeat stretch five to ten times

Sit up straight and extend both legs forward and both arms above your head .. stretch your body to the right and hold for ten seconds .. stretch your body to the left and hold for ten seconds .. repeat right/left stretch five to ten times

Sit up straight and extend your right leg .. bend your left leg and move your left foot to the other side of your right knee .. place your left hand on the ground behind your left hip .. move your right hand over your left knee .. use your right elbow to slightly push on your left knee .. look to your left and hold the stretch for five to ten seconds .. repeat five to ten times

Sit up straight and extend your left leg .. bend your right leg and move your right foot to the other side of your left knee .. place your right hand on the ground behind your right hip .. move your left hand over your right knee .. use your left elbow to slightly push on your right knee .. look to your right and hold the stretch for five to ten seconds .. repeat five to ten times

Sit up straight and bring the bottom of both feet together in front of you (also known as a butterfly stretch) .. place right hand on right knee and left hand on left knee .. gently push downward on your knees until you reach a comfortable stretch .. hold for five to ten seconds .. stop pushing on your knees and relax for ten seconds .. repeat stretch five to ten times .. your goal is to eventually push both knees to the floor and hold them comfortably for five to ten seconds, but don’t rush to reach the goal or you might over extend muscles in the inner thigh

Sit up straight and bring the bottom of both feet together in front of you (also known as a butterfly stretch) .. place right hand on right knee and left hand on left knee .. gently push downward on your knees until you reach a comfortable stretch .. lower your body forward as far as you can comfortably .. hold stretch for five to ten seconds .. return to a sitting position, stop pushing on your knees and relax for ten seconds .. repeat stretch five to ten times .. your goal is to eventually bend forward in the butterfly stretch until you can place your forehead on the ground .. not everyone is that flexible, so just enjoy whatever you can do

Prone/Supine stretches include ..

Lie down on your stomach (prone position), arms extended so hands are next to your legs (palms down) and relax for 30 seconds .. lift hands off floor and extend to each side .. lift hands as high as you can without straining and hold for ten seconds .. slowly lower to floor and repeat five to ten times

In a prone position, with your arms extended so hands are next to your legs (palms down) lift your head and upper body off the floor and hold for ten seconds .. slowly lower your body to floor and rest for ten seconds .. repeat stretch five to ten times

In a prone position, extend above your arms forward in front of your head (palms down) .. lift your head and upper body several inches off the floor with arms extended (like flying) and hold for ten seconds .. slowly lower your body to floor and rest for ten seconds .. repeat stretch five to ten times

In a prone position, place your palms on the floor and push your head and chest upward while looking straight ahead (another variation is to look at the sky) .. keep the top of your feet and legs on the floor as you hold the stretch for ten seconds .. slowly lower your body to floor and rest for ten seconds .. repeat stretch five to ten times

In a prone position, extend above your arms forward in front of your head (palms down) .. lift your head and upper body several inches off the floor with arms extended (like flying), and lift your feet and legs several inches above the ground at the same time .. hold for ten seconds .. slowly lower your body to floor and rest for ten seconds .. repeat stretch five to ten times


Lie down on your back (supine position) and relax for 30 seconds .. lift hands off floor and extend to each side .. lift hands straight above your head until the back of each hand touches the other .. slowly lower to floor and repeat five to ten times

In a supine position, lift hands from sides of legs with palms down and extend hands over head until backs of palms are touching the ground above the head .. slowly bring hands over head and return to palms down next to legs .. repeat stretch five to ten times

In a supine position, bend both legs so that knees are pointing up as feet are flat on the floor .. fully extend right leg upward, then slowly move the extended leg with foot behind head .. hold that stretch for ten seconds, then slowly bring the right leg back to a bent position with foot on floor .. fully extend left leg upward, then slowly move the extended leg with foot behind head .. hold that stretch for ten seconds, then slowly bring the left leg back to a bent position with foot on floor .. repeat right/left leg stretch five to ten times

In a supine position, bend both legs so that knees are pointing up as feet are flat on the floor .. fully extend both legs upward, keeping your arms on the floor with palms down .. slowly move both legs behind your head and, if possible, touch your toes to the floor behind your head .. hold the stretch for five to ten seconds .. return both legs to an extended position above your waist and repeat the stretch behind your head five to ten times

In a supine position, extend hands to each side even with shoulders (palms down) .. with legs extended, lift right leg above waist and slowly touch toes to the left side of the floor .. hold stretch for five to ten seconds .. return right leg above waist, then slowly return to the floor .. lift left leg above waist and slowly touch toes to the right side of the floor .. hold stretch for five to ten seconds .. return left leg above waist, then slowly return to the floor .. repeat right/left leg stretches five to ten times

In a supine position, extend arms so that your hands are next to your legs (palms down) .. slowly lift your head and chest several inches off the floor and hold for ten seconds .. return your head and chest to the floor and relax for ten seconds .. repeat ten times

Next Time

We will share several kneeling, squatting, and standing Judo stretches in the next part of our special series.

Enjoy!

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