Strength Training for Combat- Easy way to keep your teeth
Mount, Side control, close guard, sweeps, chokes, arm bars, leg locks, underhooks, double under take downs – does this sound all familiar to you? If it does, make sure you continue reading because in this 5-part series I will be covering all things BJJ and physical performance.
BJJ has to be one of the most physically demanding sports, and the top athletes possess an array of physical qualities to ensure they perform at the highest level on the mats. Some of these qualities include, flexibility, power endurance, quick reflexes, strength, strength endurance and a high level of aerobic fitness.
One of the main qualities and one that provides the foundation to improving other physical qualities is Strength.
When any athlete develops strength, they will see a positive transfer to their speed and endurance. On the other hand, a strength program designed to just improve maximal strength will negatively affect aerobic fitness and skills training. Similarly, a training program designed exclusively to aerobic endurance or skills training will negatively impact strength and therefore power development.
Some/not all grapplers get caught up in the mindset of exclusively training on the mats and neglecting any form of Strength or Conditioning training. This results in a higher risk of injury as stronger athletes are able to withstand more force/impact and are able to produce MORE FORCE RAPIDLY = POWER. This is not to say that you must spend hours on in lifting a barbell, their needs to be a balance to ensure the athlete is performing and ticking off all aspects in their training.
Today ill cover one of the most underutilised exercises in the S&C world, but one that provides the biggest bang for your buck for any grappling athlete; the ZERCHER SQUAT.
This squat variation is often overlooked as it may seem uncomfortable. However, the zercher variation has got to be one of my favourite squat variations as it provides a huge carry over to the combat world. Here’s why…..
The primary muscle groups include: quadriceps, hamstrings, glute complex (maximus, medius, minimus)
The secondary muscle groups include: anterior and posterior core musculature, Rear deltoids, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi
The bar positioning forces you to use the upper back in order to maintain a neutral spine whilst driving and pushing the ground away during the squat.
This transfers directly into any double under takedowns
Escaping a close guard in a standing position whilst being held with a collar grip.
Most grappling sport athletes are either a) tight in the hips or b) weak in the posterior chain due to their sport specific training.
The zercher squat addresses both of these issues by forcing the athlete to control load in deep hip flexion and using the glutes to drive out of the bottom position of the squat.
1 – un-rack bar at sternum level
2- find your preferred squat stance
3 – spread the ground apart with your feet
4 – push the ground away
**drive your fists to the ceiling and show off your logo on your shirt to maintain your torso position during the entire movement.
**Go as deep as your hip and ankle mobility allows you to.