Wrestling Dynamic Warm-Up
The goal in wrestling is to beat your opponent. It’s all on you. There is no one to blame or depend on. Wrestlers must be explosive and move their opponent with power. A wrestler with explosive power has the ability to utilize maximum strength in a short time frame. Explosive power and being successful in wrestling go hand in hand. A more explosive wrestler has the ability to overpower, outwork and outlast their opponent. Being explosive weighs on the body and the muscles must be warmed up properly to prevent injury. A great way to do this is by completing a dynamic warm-up which will loosen the muscles and increase blood flow through movement. Take a look at the video below for visual examples of a good starter dynamic warm-up.
Wrestling Moves | Wrestling Stretches
Wrestlers must warm up all their muscles to achieve maximum performance on the mat. Wrestlers must work to stretch their hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, calves, trunk, glutes, IT bands, groin, and upper body. Each and every muscle throughout the body is used to maximize a wrestler’s skill potential. In the video there is a sequence of exercises that will prepare a wrestler’s body for explosive power training.
*Set up the following exercises 8 to 10 yards apart
RDL Exercise: This RDL exercise is a body control exercise that helps wrestlers increase balance and flexibility in the hamstrings and glutes. As stated above, complete repetitions continuously for 8 to 10 yards apart and then turn around and continue the same exercise on the way back. This RDL exercise is to be done nice and slow in order to control the body while touching the floor.
During this exercise the body moves similar to a teeter totter. Begin at the starting line; swing the front leg forward while the body maintains an upright position. Next, allow the leg to swing back past the midline and on up behind the body. As the leg moves behind the body the wrestler must drop his chest towards the floor to maintain a flat back. The entire purpose of an RDL is to stretch the lower body while maintaining balance and body control. Wrestlers must be sure to keep their weight centered so that their weight does not shift onto their hands when the leg reaches maximal height on the back side. The wrestler's weight should be centered over his base leg controlling every movement. When the wrestler's hands reach the floor he then should then begin moving his body back to the upright position while keeping a flat back the entire time. This is a exercise that should be done controlled. Racing through this sequence will defeat the entire purpose of the drill.
Caterpillar Exercise: This is a Caterpillar with a twist. Stand with feet hips width apart. Bend at the waist until fingertips reach the floor and walk the hands out to a comfortable position where back is flat. When the wrestler reaches this position he then must challenge his core strength by walking his hands above his head. As the hands reach max distance above the head the wrestler should then begin walking his feet back into the hands. Wrestlers need to make sure to take hands up above the head as high as possible. This will increase core activation and will strengthen the midline. Keep the body flat as a bridge and when walking forward make sure to keep legs as straight as possible. Really work to squeeze the core. This is a dynamic movement that will again stretch the hamstrings and glutes. If the wrestler bends the knees when walking the hands forward they will not allow the body to stretch through their hamstrings and glutes. Wrestlers need to challenge themselves and extend hands out. This sequence should be completed for about 5 to 8 yards. A little less distance is necessary because it is a rather strenuous exercise.
Over the Fence Under the Fence Exercise: This exercise will warm up the hips and glutes. Wrestlers will stand sideways and lift their lead leg high, lower it and then drop in the hips and shift their weight underneath an imaginary object. The wrestler must drop in the butt not in the chest. When the wrestler sinks his hips he will stretch his lower half. Hip flexibility is a major problem with young wrestlers and this drill is a great way to help increase hip flexibility. Wrestlers need to sink in the hips and get the body as low as possible to increase range of motion in the hips. As young wrestlers grow their hips are very tight. This is one of the most beneficial exercises that a wrestler can do to warm up and continue to gain range of motion throughout the hips.
Resisted Warm Up with Leg Bands
Kbands High Knees: This is a simple exercise where the wrestler will begin driving the knees up in a running motion while keeping the body as upright as possible. The key is to drive knees up repeatedly as many times as possible in between 8 to 10 yards, not to see how fast you can get to the other side. Often wrestlers will race to the other side because they feel they are moving faster, but in all reality they are gaining too much ground forward or linearly. Also notice the arm action. The goal is for wrestlers, or all runners, to work with 90° angles at the elbow and drive the hands forward to eye height with no wasted movements from side to side. It is important to work on arm action during this drill. This is an exaggerated running exercise and the hands should be exaggerated as well. Incorporate Kbands in this sequence of the warm up to stimulate hip flexor, glute, core activation.
Karaoke Dynamic Kbands Warm-Up Excersice: Begin this warm-up standing sideways. The back leg will drive up across the body and legs will weave back and forth as the wrestler moves laterally. If the wrestler is going to the left he will be driving his right knee up every time it comes to the front half of the staggered lateral shuffle. Continue alternating legs and swinging the hips through the movement. By driving the knee up, wrestlers will learn how to control their body while exploding through the hip flexors. This exercise will also loosen the core and lower back. The Kbands will help stimulate hip flexor activation while the base leg will be required to work harder to stabilize due to the resistance. This exercise is great for strengthening hips and teaching athletes to move laterally rather than linearly.
Push-Up Walkers Kbands Exercise: The key to this exercise is staggering the fists or hands and staggering the feet. Make sure to stay low to work the same muscles that are used while wrestling. Athletes that are wrestlers must be strong in a 4 point position. 90% of wrestling is done in disposition. Athletes must be able to explode up, spin around in circles, and grapple with their opponent on all fours.
To complete this exercise lead with the right leg and right arm. Get in a push up position with hands in a fist or flat. In the video you will notice that one side is leading the other side. Wrestlers will place one foot staggered out in front of the other so that the wrestler will be able to crawl forward. Each wrestler must stay on the balls of his feet to develop power from the 4 point position. The sequence is push up, crawl, and push up crawl while alternating the staggered foot to gain ground. Wrestlers should stay on the balls of their feet. As the wrestler completes a push-up, maintain a flat back with butt low and shift through hips leading with the opposite leg and arm. The key here is to stay low. If the wrestler raises his butt he will then lose the hip flexibility and core stability section of the movement. Learning how to move and be strong through a low bridge position will help wrestler’s core strength and greatly improve their wrestling skills.