Keeping in Shape with Wrestling Drills
As with any sport, it’s important for wrestlers to perform a series of wrestling drills to keep them in their finest form on and off the mat. Since wrestling is a sport that requires brute force and agility, the repetition of these drills not only builds strength in the necessary areas, but also helps to build muscle memory which can be essential in winning wrestling matches. Try these wrestling drills during practices or as a part of the pregame warm-up.
Aim for the Knees
First, here’s a drill called “Knee Grab” that’s appropriate for wrestlers of all ages. To begin, two wrestlers of comparable strengths stand facing each other in their regular stances. Both wrestlers should have their hands facing downwards and extended out near their knees.
In this drill, the wrestlers will attempt to use their hands to grab their opponent’s knees while trying to keep their opponent blocked on the outside. Make sure the wrestler really grab for their opponent’s knees as opposed to just a mere tap or slap. Run this drill for 2 or 3 sessions of 20-30 seconds in length, allowing the wrestlers a 10-20 second rest between sessions.
When performed correctly, this drill can be quite physically demanding. Since performing countless wrestling drills can become monotonous, some coaches like to inject a little competitive spirit into their drills. This is one of those drills that functions really well as a mini-competition, with the winner of each pair facing off with a winner of another pair until only one wrestler remains victorious.
Next is the “Grabber” drill, which is great for building upper-body strength. To begin the drill, two wrestlers stand facing each other in their regular stances. At the sound of the coach’s whistle, both try to get their opponent in a body lock or to get behind their opponent while remaining in an upright, standing position.
The best moves for winning this drill are the duck under, arm drag to body lock, or the wrist lock. Some coaches will allow head locks for this drill as well. Perform this drill for 3 sessions of 30 seconds in length, allowing at least a 10-20 second rest between sessions.
A Fine Balance
This next drill called “Hopper” is a simple yet effective way of helping wrestlers develop and maintain their balance. To begin the drill, two wrestler stand facing each other in their regular stances. At the sound of the coach’s whistle, one wrestler grabs and holds their partner’s foot at waist level. They are permitted to move the foot as much as possible without bringing it above chest level.
The goal of this drill is for the wrestler on one foot to constantly readjust their balance to avoid falling to the mat. Run this drill for 2-3 sessions of no more than 20 seconds, as it is quite tiring for the wrestler on one foot.