Friday, March 8, 2013


We have mentioned over and over again how important sport specific training is for grappling. We feel that an essential part of your S&C should be dedicated to not only core strength but grip work as well.

One major muscle group that so many grapplers neglect is the lat. You may be asking what the hell does that has to do with my grip? Well let us drop so knowledge.

Grappling and even martial arts as a whole preaches efficiency and fluidity. When we rely on small muscle groups to do prolonged work, they tire out very quickly. Just check out the next MMA card on TV, I can almost guarantee that you will see a fighter grab a guillotine or front headlock and solely use his biceps to maintain control. What really creates unbelievable gripping power and endurance is the use of your core, and in this particular case your lats.

I have been teaching this concept for a long time, but with more of a subtle approach. I detail the "technique" by first making sure my student obtains and maintains a good grip and secondly and most importantly - closing his elbows. When a grappler closes his/her elbows close to their body, you activate your lats, which allows your core and not your grip and biceps to take the brunt of the load.

Try it people, its for reals.

So todays post is all about building strength in your lats. While not all the work should be focused on power, endurance is another major attribute, the workout provided by Smitty Diesel will nonetheless improve your game for the better.

So don't look like an idiot, hold your breath, and turn purple next time you think your close to finishing a guillotine. Like I stated earlier, keep breathing, maintain a tight grip, relax your biceps and close your elbows for the finish.


  1. franco columbu on the first photo. one of the all time great bodybuilders. huge inspiration.

  2. That's Jim Smith from The Diesel Crew / Diesel Strength and Conditioning. He is freakin' BEAST, really smart, and all around good dude. Nice post.