The Best Wrestling Workouts to Help with Fitness

The Best Wrestling Workouts to Help with Fitness

Do you recall what it was like wrestling with your friends and family for fun? The adrenaline pumping through your veins as you tried to break free of your opponent pinning you to the ground? The feeling of triumph washing over you after your opponent finally gave up after a hard-fought struggle? Whether you practice regularly or not, wrestling has appeal because it is an enjoyable yet intense sport that tests the limits of your strength. Even when you are not the one wrestling, you may have felt a sense of euphoria watching wrestlers going head-to-head on the T.V. 

While wrestling is most associated as a competitive sport, it also has application as a fitness program. Professional wrestlers have to be bulky enough to hold onto their opponents and keep themselves from being thrown onto the mat. The training required to get to that level of strength would have to be difficult enough to promote muscle growth and fat reduction. This type of training would be suited for both longtime wrestling practitioners and individuals who are just looking to get in shape. 

If you have an interest in wrestling or want to try a different way of exercising, then this article will help you figure out how to plan your workout program. You will be informed of the muscle groups you will build up to the point where you would be able to lift another person. Then, you will have a list of workout programs and exercises to look over that you may end up deciding to follow or use certain details from to create a routine of your own. Finally, you will learn about wrestling gear you may need to help your body better handle the workout process.

1. Muscles Exerted in Wrestling:

In wrestling, you cannot rely on punches, kicks, or strikes to land decisive blows to weaken your opponent. You have to be able to figure out how to use both your own weight and your opponent’s mass to get him or her onto the mat. As most of the action takes place while you are lying down, you may need more than just raw strength. You need good stamina as well since your muscles have to be able to keep holding on even when they are strained. Below are the muscle groups that are worked on and each of their purposes in wrestling: 

1.1. Arms:

Arm muscles such as the biceps and the triceps help you to execute throws and pin opponents. These muscles also aid in pulling opponents towards you or onto the mat.

1.2. Shoulders:

Along with the arm muscles, shoulder muscles such as the deltoids help you to execute throws, pin opponents, and pull opponents towards you or onto the mat.

1.3. Legs:

Leg muscles such as the glutes and the hamstrings help you to push opponents away from you or lift them off the ground during throws.

1.4. Back:

Back muscles such as the laterals help you to push off the mat and escape being pinned by your opponent.

1.5. Neck:

In collaboration with the back muscles, neck muscles help you to push off the mat and escape being pinned by your opponent. When lying on the mat, they also aid in maintaining your center of balance.

1.6. Core:

Core muscles such as the abs and the obliques are the most active of the muscle groups as they are being exerted constantly during either offense or defense. They distribute strength throughout the rest of your body, aid in executing takedowns, and help you to escape being pinned by your opponent. 

2. Wrestling Workout Programs:

Most wrestling workout programs can be divided into 3 categories: conditioning training, off-season training, and strength training. Conditioning training is suited for beginners who want to start wrestling but need to reach minimum physical fitness before starting. Off-season training is intended for current or longtime wrestlers who need to keep their skills sharp outside of competitions. Strength training is suited for anyone since it helps build and strengthen muscle so that you can gradually endure more weight. When picking out a workout program, you may want to review them carefully so you can determine their level of difficulty. Depending on the list of drills, number of reps/sets, and the length of the program, you should be able to gauge which ones are suited to your needs. Here are some wrestling workout plans to give you an idea of what to expect:

2.1. Wrestling Workout Plan #1:

Focused on off-season training, this wrestling workout plan is done over the course of 12 weeks. It is split into two parts, each covered within 6-week intervals. The first part helps you start building up strength and muscle while getting used to the movements in the exercises. The second part ramps up the pace you complete the exercises so as to bring out your full strength and encourage fluid movements. Work days are from Monday to Friday and rest days are from Saturday to Sunday. Each work day strengthens different muscle groups combined with cardiovascular exercises. In between Weeks 6 and 7, dedicate a week to a lighter workload so to help with recovery while maintaining your strength as you transition. 

For Weeks 1 to 6:

Monday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Arms

Tuesday: Lower Body

Wednesday: Back, Biceps, Forearms, Traps, Abs

Thursday: Upper Body

Friday: Legs, Calves

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

For Weeks 7 to 12:

Monday: Chest, Shoulder, Triceps

Tuesday: Full Body Workout

Wednesday: Back, Biceps, Forearms

Thursday: Full Body Workout

Friday: Back, Legs, Calves

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

For both parts, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will have cardiovascular exercises done at a mild pace alongside working the muscle groups. Tuesday and Thursday will have cardiovascular exercises done at a rapid pace alongside working the muscle groups.

2.2. Wrestling Workout Plan #2:

Focused on strength training, this wrestling workout plan is a standard routine that you can do weekly at any gym. It will not only help you be as fit as the average wrestler but also contribute to your physical health. To bring out the full strength of your muscles, it is suggested you engage in a number of intense exercises done within a few reps. These will be done in collaboration with cardiovascular exercises to help improve circulation so enough oxygen can reach every section of your body even during exertion. To help support the extra weight of newly acquired muscle mass, you will need to work on building muscle endurance as well. To simulate this, you will need to engage in lighter exercises done within a large number of reps. For either strength or endurance, any drills that require dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells will help the process along. Work days are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while rest days are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.  

Monday: Back, Legs, Shoulders, Abs, Biceps, Forearms

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, Traps

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Neck, Back, Legs, Shoulders, Abs

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

2.3. Wrestling Workout Plan #3:

Focused on conditioning, this wrestling workout program works on your stamina and recovery as if preparing you for a wrestling match. To improve your body’s condition, both aerobic and anaerobic exercises are employed. Aerobic exercise helps improve circulation as a better flow of oxygen throughout your body will help you stay conscious. Anaerobic exercises prepare you to overcome pain and hold tight when initiating grapples. This plan is very flexible because you determine which muscle groups you work out per day and the number of work days per week. It is suggested you start with at least 3 work days per week then adjust it as you see fit.       

3. Wrestling Exercises:

If the wrestling workout plans mentioned above seemed too intense for your taste or were unclear about their instructions, do not get frustrated. The beauty of workout programs is that there are plenty to choose from. The types of exercises employed in each one may differ. Depending on the goals you set for yourself, you may find yourself doing exercises that are more familiar. Others may suit your current weight class while guaranteeing you work out each muscle group. As the purpose of your workout program is to build muscle and improve your physique, less emphasis will be placed on wrestling techniques. However, that does not mean you cannot find some way to include them if you wish. Listed below are exercises that may pique your interest and how to do them:

3.1. Push-Ups:

Lie flat on your stomach on level ground. Position your arms so that they are on opposite sides of your chest. Lay your hands flat and point your feet so only the tips of your toes are touching the ground. Lift yourself up by using your arms until your entire body is elevated. The only parts of your body touching the ground should be your hands and feet. Lower yourself so that you are still slightly elevated above the ground.  

3.2. Dips:

Grabbing two elevated bars firmly positioned at opposite sides of your hip, lift yourself up so that your entire body is elevated off the ground. Straighten your arms until the bars are level with your hips. Bend your arms as you lower your body slowly until your shoulders are below your elbows. With your knees bent, make sure to stay off the ground. Lift yourself back up using your arms until they are straight.

3.4. Dumbbell Front Raise:

Stand straight while holding dumbbells in both hands. The dumbbells should be resting opposite of each against both of your legs. At the same time, briskly swing both dumbbells in front of you until they are level with your chest or neck. Bring them back down to your thighs while slightly bending your arms so they do not accidentally hit you. 

3.5. 4-Way Band Neck:

Loop a large elastic band around a fixed position. Stretch the band but give it enough leeway for you to loop it around your forehead. Using your neck, pull the band in any direction until it is taut and keep moving your head back and forth while keeping tension.  

3.6. Mountain Climbers:

Start in an elevated push-up position. As if running in place, alternate between lifting your knees up towards your chest. Make sure that only your hands and feet are touching the ground.

3.7. Pistol Squats:

Stand straight while balancing on one leg. Stretch the other leg until it is straightened in front of you. Bend the knee of the leg you are balancing on while keeping your arms and the other leg straight to maintain balance. Lower yourself until your bottom touches the heel of the foot you are balancing on. Lift yourself back up until you are standing straight again.

3.8. Knee Tuck Jumps:

Start in a squatting position with your heels elevated off the ground. Lower yourself slightly and then jump straight up while swinging your arms. As you jump, tuck in your knees so they reach up to your chest. Land with your feet flat then lift up your heels again before resuming.

4. Wrestling Workout Clothes:

Even if you do not have any plans for wrestling beyond just a workout routine, you may want to consider readying the appropriate workout clothes anyway. While it may not seem that way, wearing a training outfit suited to wrestling maneuvers will improve your performance. You will find that your body will feel better during rest periods, you will mitigate ways that you could accidentally hurt yourself, and your limbs will move completely unhindered. Listed below are wrestling workout clothes that contribute to your workout experience in small ways: 

4.1. Wrestling Singlets:

Wrestling singlets have been the official uniform for professional wrestlers in recent years. Their form-fitting appearance is designed to eliminate places that wrestlers could grab, but they follow your movements without getting caught in uncomfortable places. Due to having good breathability, heat and sweat can escape the body easily.

4.2. Wrestling Rash Guards:

Wrestling rash guards are form-fitting clothing that aid in circulation, muscle recovery, and ease of movement. The materials ensure that bacteria and fungus cannot accumulate which lessens the chance of infection.

4.3. Wrestling Shorts:

Wrestling shorts have slits on the sides of their knee-length legs to allow full freedom of movement. Its waistband can be adjusted with a Velcro seal and the fabric is made to be durable to resist tearing. 

4.4. Wrestling Spat Pants:

Wrestling spat pants are made of lightweight, tough, and breathable materials which allow them to have a combination of functionality, comfort, and durability.

4.5. Wrestling Ankle Guards:

Wrestling ankle guards cover most of your feet up to your lower shins, but have an opening to allow your toes to move freely. The padding on the top of your foot and your lower shin help absorb impacts so as to negate potential harm to your lower body. Rougher pads on the soles of your ankle guards help your feet maintain their grip when shifting on the mat.

4.6. Wrestling Foot Grips:

Wrestling foot grips cover the entirety of your feet to your lower shins. As no skin is exposed, you run less of a chance of cutting yourself or getting mat burns. Its materials ensure that bacteria and fungus cannot accumulate which lessens the chance of infection. They also help your feet maintain their grip when shifting on the mat.

5. Takeaways:

As you prepare to dive into your wrestling workout program, try to approach it with a positive mentality. Enjoy overcoming obstacles as you become stronger but also be careful about your personal well-being. It is okay to push yourself for the sake of giving yourself a challenge, but not to the point of hurting yourself. Going too far will end up being detrimental and undo any progress you have made. Throughout the process, be mindful of every aspect of the workout beyond just your physical health. Making sure that every muscle group is given the attention they need ensures that your entire body will be well-rounded. Being honest about what exercises you can and cannot do will result in you spending time productively. Putting on the workout garb may not make you an actual wrestler, but you will at least be safe while you train like one. Keep at your workout long enough, who knows? Wrestling may soon become second nature.   

Reading next

Best Martial Arts Equipment to Promote Your Children’s Safety
Best Martial Arts Equipment to Promote Your Children’s Safety

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.