Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 7(26), p. 1863-1871
Judo is a combat sport in which the athletes attempt to hold and control their adversary through gripping techniques (kumi-kata) to apply opportune throwing techniques (nage-waza). Twelve male judo athletes, representing national teams, were recruited to investigate the changes in the maximal isometric strength in both hands before (pre) and after (post) 4 judo bouts and its relationship with the maximal blood lactic acid concentration. The subjects performed a maximal isometric contraction with each hand immediately before and after each bout. A blood sample was taken at 1, 3, and 14 minutes after each bout, and the lactic acid concentration was determined. An overall effect of the successive bouts on the maximal isometric handgrip strength of prebouts was observed for both hands (p < 0.05) but not in that of postbouts (p > 0.05). The dominant hand showed an overall decrease in the maximal isometric strength because of the bout, with the decrease being significant for the first, third, and fourth bouts (p < 0.05). The nondominant hand only showed a significant decrease in the first prebout and postbout (p < 0.05). We observed an inverse relationship between the maximal isometric handgrip strength of postbouts and maximum lactic acid concentration (Lacmax), and between the maximal isometric handgrip strength of postbouts and the lactic acid concentration at minute 14 of the recovery period (Lac14) (p < 0.05). These results show that successive judo bouts significantly reduce the maximal isometric strength of both hands and may suggest that fatigue of each hand depends on different factors. An enhanced understanding of the behavior of the isometric handgrip strength, and the factors that affect grip fatigue during judo bouts in the dominant and nondominant hands, can aid coaches in developing optimal training and exercise interventions that are aimed at mitigating decreases in the capacity of judo athletes to perform a grip.