One of the more intimidating parts of wrestling is that beginners think that they'll need someone to spar with to improve their skills. While it is true that practicing your technique with a partner is the ideal way to enhance your skills and prevent mistakes, it is entirely possible to create a solo wrestling training routine.
Over the course of this guide, we’ll be looking at various ways to improve your wrestling training, ranging from workouts to diets. If you’re expecting nothing but a list of exercises, then you’re in the wrong place, as this will be a complete guide to the aspiring wrestler’s training program.
What is Important to a Wrestler?
Of course, before getting started with the specifics, you should probably have an idea of the most important physical aspects to focus your training on. Let’s take a look at the fundamentals of wrestling training and what parts of your body need the most care if you’re going to succeed.
By far the most important aspect to focus on as a wrestler is your strength training, as bouts tend to be short and intense. Muscular strength is the most critical consideration for a wrestler because you'll be able to get your opponent to tap out faster with more power, precluding the need for endurance.
Of course, this does not mean that endurance is worthless, but it has to take a backseat to strength when assembling your workout regimen. On that note, it is essential that you create a personalized workout plan to improve your weaknesses and maintain your advantages, as with any sport.
Strength training is responsible for building up explosive muscular power, which is defined as the amount of force that your muscles can output in a single twitch. This means that strength training will typically consist of high-intensity workouts with fewer reps than endurance training.
While you may be surprised to learn that cardio is integral for a wrestler, it makes more sense after closer consideration. Cardio is fundamental in any intense physical activity, and the same is the case for wrestling, especially if you want to be able to last several bouts in succession without ending up winded.
Your cardio doesn’t have to be too intense as a wrestler, considering you won’t be doing much running in your sport, but a healthy program of jogs and runs throughout the week should be followed. Don’t underestimate the importance of cardio, as you will need the oxygen to perform.
While strength is by far the most critical consideration, muscular endurance is what will allow you to win multiple bouts instead of fizzling out after a single one. If you've never heard of it, muscular endurance is the amount of force your muscles can exert over an extended period.
As you can imagine, you wouldn’t want your muscles failing on your halfway through a bout, as that will be a quick way to lose precious points. Your muscles are the most important part of your body to train if you want to improve your wrestling abilities, and both power and endurance are critical.
Of course, you won't want to mistakenly train your strength when trying to improve your endurance, so you will need to stick to lower-intensity workouts with higher reps. A longer workout will ensure that your muscles can output a steady amount of force over a longer time.
Finally, the last thing you will need to focus on to improve your wrestling performance is your flexibility. Being more flexible will allow you to make it out of trickier holds that would otherwise have resulted in a tap-out, but you’ll find that there is a far more crucial reason to train this discipline.
Being flexible in wrestling is one of the best things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of an injury. As in any other sport, avoiding injury is one of the most crucial things that you can do to keep improving your skills as you won't be missing out on any part of the wrestling season.
Improving your flexibility is possible in a variety of ways, including performing static stretches (as a standalone exercise), yoga, gymnastics, and much more. If you choose stretches as your method, make sure that you perform them separately from the rest of your training, as you may end up pulling something otherwise.
Wide Pull Ups 3 x Max Reps
Iso-Row 3 x 8/8Curl/Hammer Curl Combo 5 each for 4 sets
Iso-Chest Press 10/10, 8/8, 6/6, 4/4, 4/4
Standing Iso Press 3 x 8 each side
Barbell Shrugs 5 x 10Bodyweight Skullcrushers 3 x max reps
Front Squat - 3 x 5
Split Squat 4 x 10 each side
Body Weight Hamstring Bridge 3 x 5
Barbell Roll Outs 3 x 10Neck Plank 3 x 10 seconds
The Right Gear
Another thing to consider when assembling your wrestling training regimen is the gear and equipment that you will use. In this section, we’ll be covering the exercise machines which are most useful for a wrestler as well as whether or not you should train in your equipment.
Should You Train in Your Gear?
One of the more common questions that we get from our readers is whether or not they should do their wrestling training in their equipment. As with most other sports, practicing in the gear that you’ll use during an actual match is one of the best ways to improve your performance.
For example, getting used to the confines of your wrestling shoes over the course of training means that your footwork will be ready during a real bout. A lot of the time, training with your equipment on can make the exercises more of a challenge, and a greater challenge often means superior results.
As with any other sport, a treadmill is an integral training machine as it gives you an efficient and easy way to improve your cardio performance. Going for a jog or a run on your treadmill every so often will help keep you oxygenated and improve your overall health as well as your wrestling performance.
Another basic set of training gear for wrestlers is a set of weights, as they will help you improve both your muscular endurance and your strength.
We hope that this guide has provided you with all of the necessary info for becoming the best wrestler you can. Ensuring that you couple the right exercises with the proper gear is one of the most critical things that any wrestler can do to refine their skills.