Wrestling summer training program by Sam Craven, strength and conditioning coach for the North Carolina State University wrestling team, which has produced a national champion heavyweight in each of the past two years.
A wrestler must be able to move in any direction at any time. The world's best wrestlers are strong and athletic enough to generate power in any situation, including when an opponent has a firm grip on them. Sometimes escaping a hold and gaining the upper hand requires you to pull off a fairly complex movement. To help you improve those movements, this program starts with the basics, challenging your body's primary movement patterns—like extending at the hips, which is important for producing power in attacking moves. After you complete this four-week summer program, you'll have a stronger foundation of wrestling-specific strength so you can devote the months leading up to the season to mastering your skills.
- Start each workout with a 10-minute dynamic warm-up and finish with a 10-minute cooldown.
- If possible, work out with a partner and have him check your form.
- Perform grouped exercises consecutively with no rest between them. Rest for one minute before moving on to the next group.
- Use light to moderate weight in weeks one and two, and gradually increase the weight in weeks three and four.
- Days 1 and 3 look similar, but they are designed to reinforce technique and movement patterns on fundamental lifts.
Challenge yourself with a finisher at the end of each workout. This will be the hardest part of your routine, but it will prepare you for your season mentally as well as physically. Alternate the two moves without rest, performing the number of listed sets without a break.
- Farmer's Walks – 3x50 yards
- Body Saw – 3x8
- TRX Row – 4x7
- TRX Push-Ups – 4x7
- Split Squat Hold – 3x30 sec.
- Weighted Plank – 3x1 min.
Benefits: Increases lower-body strength and teaches perfect squat form.
How to: With your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell vertically with two hands. Keeping the dumbbell in contact with your sternum, squat until your elbows touch your knees, then stand up.
Benefits: Develops strong glutes similar to a Deadlift.
How to: Hold a cable handle or resistance band in front of your body with the cord passing between your legs. Hinge at your hips until your torso is nearly parallel to the ground. Drive your hips forward to stand up. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.
Dumbbell Single-Arm Row
Benefits: Increases back strength and balances strength on the left and right sides of your body.
How to: Assume a staggered stance, bend at your waist, place your left hand on a bench and hold a dumbbell with your right hand. Keeping your back straight, drive your elbow behind you to row the dumbbell to your armpit. Slowly lower the dumbbell to return to the starting position.