The "Big 10" In-Season Workout for Wrestling Conditioning

The "Big 10" In-Season Workout for Wrestling Conditioning

Throughout the duration of the winter season, wrestlers' sacrifice their bodies on a daily basis, which can obviously take a serious physical toll on them. Most experts consider the sport of wrestling to be the most physically demanding out of any, as a good wrestler is skilled in a wide-range of fitness areas like agility, balance, strength, endurance, flexibility, etc. While it may seem like it's impossible to stay in peak position throughout the season, there are definitely ways to help keep wrestlers conditioned and loose for their next match.

Bill Welker, author of The Wrestling Drill Book, has praised the effectiveness of the "Big 10" workout designed for wrestlers in-season. This workout not only helps to boost strength and endurance, but also enhances all of the other muscle groups that are commonly used while actively wrestling. This workout should only be done once a week at the end of a practice, and should be done using a "buddy-system" with two wrestlers in the same weight class (or with wrestlers with close enough similar weight). Let's take a look into the "Big 10" workout:

  1. Piggyback Carry: One partner carries the other partner "piggyback-style" around the mat twice, then switch. This helps with strength in arms, back, and legs.
  2. Belly-to-Back Carry: Just what it sounds like. With this carry, partners only go around the mat once. This helps with proper lifting techniques and back strength as well.
  3. Buddy-on-Back Squat: One partner is on the other's back "piggyback-style," while the other is squatting 15 times, making sure that they're deep squats. This helps with balance and strengthens the legs.
  4. Reverse Body Lifts: One partner is in the standing position, and initiates the drill by facing opposite the other partner with arms around the back of the body and hands locked in front. At this point, the drill partner would lift his partner off his feet from side to side, completing 8-10 lifts each. 
  5. Handstand Push-Ups: One partner does 8-10 push-ups while the other holds their legs up in the air for them. This helps to bolster arm and chest strength while in random positions.
  6. Pull-Ups: One partner is on their back while the other is standing over and straddling them. Each grabbing onto each others' wrists, the partner on their back proceeds to pull themselves up 15-20 times. This assists with grip strength.
  7. Head-Between-Legs Lift: One partner is on all fours with his head between the other partner’s legs. This partner is lying over the drill partner’s (the one on all fours) back. The drill partner then lifts his partner off the mat for 6 to 10 reps. This drill strengthens the back muscles for lifting.
  8. Four-Way Neck Exercises: One partner is on all fours with the other partner behind him. The partner standing up then forces the drill partner’s neck down, up, and from side to side. The drill partner should give moderate neck resistance. Both partners perform about 8 reps in every direction.
  9. Abdominal Drill: One partner is lying down and has their hands around the ankles of the other partner, who is standing above their head. The standing partner throws the legs of the other partner back down to the mat, as well as left and right. Both partners should complete 30 reps each. This helps develop the abdominals as the partner lying down raises their legs back up.
  10. Fingertip Push-Ups: No need for the buddy-system here, just have every wrestler complete about 50 reps of push-ups on their fingertips. This helps to strengthen the arm and chest muscles.

 

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