Importance of Core Strength for Wrestlers
Once a wrestler steps on the mat there is nowhere to hide. An unprepared wrestler is obvious to anyone watching. That is why it is vital for wrestlers to maintain strength and endurance throughout the entire match. Wrestlers must to able to control their own body and be strong so that no one can move them. A conditioned wrestler will be much more successful than one who it not conditioned. Ultimately core strength will prevail. Without core strength wrestlers are unable to stay centered and prevent their opponent from grabbing them, throwing them to the ground and winning the battle. Core strength is what gives each wrestler the ability to hold their opponent down. Wrestlers without core strength end up on their back and this is not where they want to be.
Wrestling Moves | Core Exercises
Dynamic Push-up: Wrestlers will begin in a 4 point straight-on stance. The starting position is a front bridge where each wrestler will be on their elbows, with a flat back, and core squeezed tight. When the coach or instructor says to go the wrestlers will go up on their right hand or fist then go up on their left hand or fist to hold the position. Then when instructed, the wrestler will drop their body weight down to each elbow without rocking the body from side to side. There should be very little side to side movement on the transfer. The only way a wrestler can truly fire the core is by working to maintain a flat and stable body. If a wrestler’s body rocks from side to side the obliques are given a break so the core is given a break. The transfer is the portion of the exercise that truly works the targeted muscles. This, like all exercises, should be at the instructor's discretion. Coaches need to challenge their wrestlers by taking them to the point where technique begins to fade and then give them a break. To strengthen core strength, athletes must have flawless technique throughout the drill. A suggested timeframe would be 6 to 8 seconds on each of the 4 point push-up position and four-point elbow position and then switch. Do this continuously until the wrestler’s technique begins to fade.
Body Control | Sliding Push-up
This next exercise is a yoga move that wrestlers can greatly benefit from. Begin in the push-up position and walk the feet in just a little bit. This will bridge the butt up and allow for the body to be able to shift forward. If wrestlers keep their feet out in the true push-up position they will not be able to slide forward into the arched back position. So the wrestler needs to have his butt in the air with his feet slightly in from the original push-up position. Next, the wrestlers will lower their bodies as if trying to get underneath a fence. Lower the face, lower the butt, and then take the face up with the upper body swooping down as if going underneath a fence and the back arched. The body should have shifted forward to get underneath the fence. Next, wrestlers will shift their body weight back underneath the fence, lower face back to the ground, and as he slides underneath of the fence have butt back up into the air. If wrestlers are taking their time in moving slowly through this drill then 5 to 10 reps is plenty. No cheating is necessary. Just complete as many reps as the group can handle with perfect technique. The importance of this exercise is to work the core with proper spinal alignment. If wrestlers begin to sway from side to side it will limit the amount of benefit the drill can truly give.
Side Bridge | Core Strength
The Side Bridge is done laying on one wide with the body raised up on the elbow with feet stacked on top of one another. The wrestlers should work to have a straight spine. The butt should be in a straight line from the foot to the shoulder, not sagging towards the mat. Most wrestlers will have a tendency to let their hips rock backwards which will roll their chest down towards the front side areas. This is not proper technique for a true side bridge. The side bridge can be used to strengthen the obliques, lower back, abdominals, and increase body control. A true side bridge can be a little tough to balance. Wrestlers that have problems balancing the side bridge from their feet can modify the exercise by going from their knees and elbow. Again, it is very important to make sure that wrestlers have their hips rolled forward so that they have a big chest and their spine is in line from their neck down to their feet. Coaches need to be conscious of their wrestlers because as they tire they will shift their hips backwards and stick their butt out. This will hinder the exercise because it takes the stress off the core. As soon as the wrestlers shift their hips back they are no longer working the core properly. Coaches and trainers must make sure that the hips are rolled forward for the entire sequence of exercises. It is essential that instructors and coaches look out for this. Coaches and trainers should again read their group. Maintain a bridge position for 20 to 30 seconds and switch. If wrestlers can push it a little farther go head and take them. Repeat until wrestlers have gone for a minute and a half to 2 min.
Ready for the Next Level?
Get ready, get set and get to the next level. Wrestlers who are ready to advance to the next level will benefit from our Kbands Training Athlete Performance pack. Kbands Athlete Performance Pack includes a set of lower resistance Kbands and a speed, agility and core training video. The pack is compact and very affordable. It will help wrestlers improve their strength and improve their mat performance. The lower Kbands allow wrestlers to achieve a greater range of motion and move freely while they are working to improve their wrestling skills. This speed, agility and core training video will help wrestlers become more explosive and powerful in order to fire muscles with every movement. It is like having a professional training camp at home. With the upper level agility drills and speed building training wrestlers will get a glimpse of what next level training is all about.