First we must understand the muscles and the planes of motion the body goes through to effectively perform a solid takedown. For the most part the muscles of the posterior chain (back, glutes, hamstrings) come into play on almost every takedown of you do not have a strong backside you will not be able to produce force going forward or have the stability to maintain balance and produce explosive throws. We also have to take a look at the anterior oblique sling (Obliques, Serratus Anterior, TFL, Psoas, QL) this allows for improvement on throws and trips. Transverse abdominals which allow for rotational power to initiate hip tosses (Judo, Greco, and freestyle) dominating positions or the ability to stabilize for a pin, and transitions into strikes or submissions. Neck and grip strength are also important for controlling the opponent we do this through Isometrics and quasi isometrics to increase the strength but not the overall circumference of the arms and neck that can hinder movement quality. Of course if this is a goal then we can train through isotonic or even isokinetic repetitions.

First we must start with a base, improving on overall strength, joint integrity, and stability will be key when setting a platform for the rest of the qualities to be efficiently worked. Compound exercises such as, squat, deadlift, bent over barbell rows, chin/pull ups, and pressing movements need to be worked in mid to low repetitions to increase absolute strength and strength speed. This is particularly important for the younger athletes looking to improve on their inter/intramuscular coordination and overall technical efficiency. This can be done in a 4-6 week block depending on time and the abilities of the athlete along with experience levels inside the weight room.

Once that’s accomplished we can start to move on to movements that yield higher correspondence to the takedowns in the athletes game. Here are some exercises that have been used by myself in the past that has yielded the greatest response..

  • Rack Pulls
  • Sumo Deadlift
  • Zercher Squat
  • Zercher Box Squat
  • Trap Bar Deadlift
  • Split Squats
  • Goodmornings
  • Pendlay Rows
  • Hip Bridge
  • Pallof Press
  • GHR Sit Up

These can be done first in your workout to ensure greater intensity throughout the set. Once you have worked in your strength you then want to start to improve on your velocity and power this will allow for greater explosive movement into the particular takedown. Using speed strength and explosive strength exercises and tempos to elicit the greatest response is key. When it come to increasing velocity you must move weight very fast with the maximal amount of intent. This can be done with several different exercises and movements. The exact speed on a movement for explosive strength should be around 1.2-1.5 m/s this can be done with about 30-40% of your 1rm. For speed strength you should move load around .75-1.0 m/s and should be around 70-85% of 1rm. Olympic style lifting can be done if the athlete has the proper structural and functional prerequisites to those higher technical based movements. You also can implement accommodated resistance, ballistics, and plyometrics to improve on true explosiveness. Here’s a list of my go to exercises to improve on velocity and the higher rate of force development…

Speed Strength

  • Power Clean
  • Power Snatch
  • Hang Clean
  • Hang Pull
  • Snatch Grip Hang Pull
  • Clean Grip Hang Snatch
  • Hang Snatch
  • Dumbbell Hang Snatch
  • Dumbbell Clean
  • Push Press
  • Dumbbell Push Press
  • Single Arm Push Press with DB
  • Single Arm Snatch with DB
  • Landmine 2 Arm Push Press
  • Landmine 1 Arm Push Press
  • Landmine 1 Arm Snatch
  • Landmine 1 Arm Hang Snatch
  • Kettlebell Swings

Explosive Strength

  • Box Jumps
  • Single Box Jump
  • Depth Jump
  • Box Squat Box Jump
  • Drop Jump to Box Jump
  • Hurdle Jumps
  • Broad Jump
  • Single Leg Broad Jump
  • Single Leg Lateral Jump
  • Medicine Ball Chest Overhead Throw
  • Medicine Ball Underhand Overhead Toss
  • Medicine Ball Slam
  • Medicine Ball Rotational Slam
  • Medicine Ball Rotational Toss

Improving speed and explosiveness is key once you’ve developed strength. With that being stated we must look at the body as a whole training the muscles that cross the joint to allow for the production of strength and power to occur. So we must simply identify and assess the weak links throughout the kinetic chain. We do this through watching the athlete train in their sport also watching the breakdown of specific muscles while performing compound exercises. Once that’s established we then can hit the muscles with more volume to allow for higher strength and some muscle activation to be present allowing for an overall increase in performance.

For more info on how to properly program strength, power, speed into a training block checkout my online mentoring program where I go over all of my methods and protocols I use for my elite level athletes.

So in the end it comes back to understanding the sport acquiring a sound systematic approach while properly analyzing the situation. Making sure to incorporate all qualities of physical performance keeping in mind to drill and train takedowns in practices.

​​Also If you want to learn more and start training you can get my training templates on sale now – $20 each: