After getting those good wrestling sneakers and a fine custom headgear, you might want to know what you need to do in order to get your body fit for wrestling. This is particularly important if you are new to this and you want to do it right from the beginning. Wrestling can get very intense, and the set of moves you need to know require you to be in top shape.
Not to mention that you also need to watch your weight if you want to participate in different weight categories. Therefore, before venturing into more complex practices, take some time to understand what you can do to get the most out of this entire process.
Wrestling requires you to be both flexible and very strong, just to participate. Endurance is one of the qualities that can definitely make a difference between a good wrestler and an amazing one. Even if you face an opponent that is more skilled, stronger or faster, with endurance and the right attitude you can still win the match.
Typically, wrestlers are strong, muscular, agile and many times physically larger than other athletes. In order to build endurance, running is an excellent exercise. You can wake up in the morning before classes or work, and run a distance that pushes your limits.
Of course, as with anything else, it’s best to not exaggerate since you don’t want to hurt yourself in any way, but push yourself to improve. You can alternate this, but at least part of your running should be at a fast pace and don’t forget to add push-ups, sit-ups and some stretching before and after your session.
Moreover, increasing the distance every couple of days will help you improve your results while keeping yourself comfortable but challenged during the process. Endurance also means building your heart’s capacity to maintain intense sessions and levels of exercise, which is crucial if you want to be ready for real competitions.
As a rule of thumb, you need to run or ride a bike, ideally an exercise one, for 40 minutes at moderate intensity.
Besides endurance, a successful wrestler also has to strengthen major muscle groups since this helps in developing muscle balance. Special emphasis must be placed on thighs and hips, as well as on pulling muscles. Moreover, including short and intense workouts in your routine can help you push your limits.
Remember that you need to take days off from training to allow your body to recover and avoid hurting your muscles or joints in the process. On the other hand, you should train frequently enough to enable your muscles to adapt and become stronger.
A balanced and constant training routine is the best approach to enhance your strength. When you develop your training program with your coach, make sure that you push yourself to the point where you cannot accomplish more repetitions of a certain exercise, also known as momentary muscular failure.
This sounds worse than it is, but that point is where you know you are going a bit over your body’s limits, pushing them further. In terms of strength training exercises, some of the fundamental ones include bench and shoulder presses, triceps extensions, pull-ups, leg extensions, upright rows, as well as leg and arm curls.
As we’ve already mentioned, being flexible is one of the main abilities that a very good wrestler must possess. To achieve this, you can start by doing some light dynamic loosening exercises and then some stretching ones.
The latter need to be done before and after each practice anyways. What will happen is that you will increase the ability of your joints and muscles to move in a full range of motions. Some of the main loosening exercises include lunges, high-knee, lateral and carioca jogging, as well as arm circles.
You can approach this by stretching the main muscle groups in your body for about 15 to 30 seconds. These include hamstrings, lower back shoulders, neck, gluteal muscles, and hip flexors.
Consistency and frequency are key when it comes to developing an effective training program. You also need to have discipline and stick to it if you want to bring your best performance on the mat. To achieve this, you need to train at least three days per week, keeping a day’s rest in between each session.
Your main goal is to strengthen the major muscle groups and to develop balance. Wrestlers are considered to be highly conditioned athletes when it comes to physical endurance and muscular strength, besides being skilled in using leverage and explosive power.
Make sure that you develop your training schedule with your coach and that when you do that you take into consideration where you want to be, especially if you want to compete and you need to be in top shape until a certain date.
Nutrition & hydration
The importance of these two factors for a balanced life cannot be stressed enough. Things get even more real when it comes to sports and getting fit for a certain goal. You need to take the time and understand how proteins, fats, and carbohydrates work together and affect your ability to train and wrestle.
Every moment in a day matters, whether it’s before, during, or after exercising and you need to keep yourself fueled to make the desired progress. While it’s true that when it comes to dietary needs, these depend on a number of factors including age and gender, a good rule of thumb says that your diet should consist of 50% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 20% fats.
In terms of hydration, since wrestling includes weight classifications, you have to ensure that you get the optimal amount of liquids throughout your training. For each pound lost during exercising, you need to drink 2 cups of water afterward.
You know best what your needs are, but generally, it’s good to drink 2 – 3 cups of water four hours before the practice session, another 2 – 4 in the following hours, as well as half a cup every 15 minutes as you exercise.