The Importance of Wrestling Off-Season Strength and Conditioning

With the PIAA wrestling tournament coming to an end this weekend many wrestlers have accomplished life long goals, while others have fallen short and left with a sour taste in their mouths. No matter which of these categories you fall into, a well-rounded off-season consisting of Freestyle/Greco-Roman wrestling and a wrestling specific strength and conditioning program will help you get to the next level.

Wrestling is a demanding sport that is especially hard on an athlete’s body. Daily practices beat you up and put pressure on joints. Maintaining weight is also physically and mentally challenging, and if done improperly can substantially weaken the body. Many high schools do not utilize a Certified Strength and Conditioning coach. These duties are generally assigned to a physical education teacher or a sports coach. This can put your wrestlers at a disadvantage, as these types of professionals do not know the specifics of muscle anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and sport-specific training.

In order to avoid these injuries, prevent muscle breakdown, and maximize productivity in season, we’ve put together a guide of what you should be looking for in a wrestling specific strength and conditioning off-season program.

1. Balance of Cardiorespiratory endurance, Muscular endurance, explosive power, and overall strength.

2. Flexibility/Mobility program performed before and/or after.

3. Footwork and Agility drills

4. Lots of posterior chain work

5. Basic Nutrition, which will assist in muscle gain and future weight cuts.

6. Lots of technique work with light weight in order to make sure that exercises can be performed safely and correctly.

These pieces are just the tip of the iceberg that an off-season program should address. For more information or to set up your team for a program contact [email protected].