With wrestling season coming to a close, there is no better time to start thinking about your off-season strength and conditioning program. The problem with most programs however, are that they are designed more for football and basketball players, not wrestlers. Lucky for you, Arsenal Performance Academy has put together our four most important exercises that any off-season program should include:
- The Deadlift:
There is arguably no better exercise out there for a wrestler than the deadlift. Not only does it activate more muscles than any other lift (the core, hips, glutes, hamstrings, back, and grip), but these major movers are all also extremely applicable to wrestlers specifically. Strong hips help us sprawl and hold a base on bottom, a strong back and core are essential on bottom, lastly out grip strength helps control our ties, fight for wrist control, and work our pinning combinations on top.
- Horizontal Broad Jumps
Who doesn’t want to become a more explosive athlete? The broad jump can be performed in a variety of different ways (Standing, Seated, Triple), all of which can directly benefit a wrestlers explosion and shot speed. The standing and seated jump translates directly to taking our penetration step into our double or high-c, the more explosive we become, the more power we will have to blast through our opponents. Watch Jordan Burroughs double for example and you will know exactly the explosion I am talking about. Our triple jump also helps teach us to keep knee sliding in after our initial shot may be stuffed. If the benefits from neutral weren’t enough for you to start broad jumps, then the direct benefit of exploding to your stand-up should be the icing on the cake to get started.
- Prowler Push
The prowler push is a great exercise to help wrestlers improve from both neutral and on top. It requires repetitive leg drive through the quads and glutes, cardiorespiratory endurance to keep going, and a tight midline (core). It goes without saying that if you are in on a shot in good position and can keep running your feet that you will more than likely finish your shot. Same thing from the top position, if you drive with that knee in the but while chopping forward you will more than likely get your breakdown.
To add an added element to the prowler push, have your athlete down blocking on your whistle prior to exploding into the sled push.
- Med Ball Slams
Throws and Mat Returns are a major part of all three styles of wrestling. Without explosive hips and overall strength a wrestler will fall behind to someone who he might have similar technique to. The med ball slam is a great way to teach a wrestler to fully open their hips all while driving the ball (their opponent) into the ground. This exercise requires your shoulders, lats, quads, glutes, and core to all be engaged.
Including these four exercises on top of a well rounded strength and conditioning program will not only increase performance, but also it will continue to build a foundation for wrestlers to compete at the next level.
For more information on wrestling specific strength and conditioning program please contact me at [email protected]