5 Off-Season Training Tips for Wrestlers
Your wrestling season is officially over which means it’s time to start your off-season training. From dietary requirements to the workouts you should include, read the top 5 off-season wrestling tips from Champion powered by GTM Sportswear.
Strength train 3 times a week
Training 3 times a week may seem low for a wrestler, however, according to wrestling performance specialist Steve Preston, wrestlers that strength train 4 to 6 days per week make less progress compared to those who reduce their frequency to 3 times a week. Reducing your training time per week is essential to gain strength and muscle during the off-season.
Dynamic warm ups over static warm ups
Implementing dynamic stretches into your warm ups can provide long-term results. Dynamic warm ups focus on the core muscles, improving your mobility and overall performance. According to Mike Clayton, manager, National Coaches Education Program for USA Wrestling, “Using a dynamic warm up helps move key joints and improves mobility and will help your athlete reduce risks of injuries that can frustrate, set back, or even destroy future opportunities in sport.” Five dynamic exercises to implement into your off-season warm ups are:
- Lunges with a twist
- Toe touches
- Side squats
- Shoulder and neck rolls
- Knee pulls
Increase weights not reps
Improve your strength by reducing your reps and increasing your weights. This combination will build up strong, lean muscles allowing you to increase the amount of weight you can lift overtime. To prevent this workout from becoming monotonous, switch out your free weights with dumbbells or resistance bands.
** Strength training tip: Reduce injuries by making sure your rep range is between 1 and 6. **
Strengthen key muscles
Your arms, abdomen and lower back are the key muscles you should strengthen during the off-season. An easy and effective way to achieve this is to implement workouts that replicate common wrestling moves. By replicating common wrestling moves and techniques, you will build up muscle memory that is often lost once the season ends. Three exercises that can strengthen these muscles are:
- Bicep curls
Want to include more strength training exercises into your routine? Try these strength training workouts.
Maintain a healthy diet and workout
Maintaining a healthy diet and training routine during your season is crucial, however, continuing this during your off-season is just as important. According to sports nutrition expert Matt Pikosky, “It’s important to continue to eat healthy and stay active in order to minimize large gains in body weight and more specifically body fat.” In addition to minimizing weight gains, off-season diet and conditioning can improve a wrestler’s overall performance, “This time of year provides a great opportunity for wrestlers to focus on gaining muscle, improving strength, endurance, quickness and agility by following a balanced nutrition and training program, without the stress of trying to make weight for competition,” Pikosky said.
An off-season nutrient-rich diet will help you build up and repair muscles for the next season. To successfully implement a nutrient-rich diet you will need to include the following:
- High-quality protein (lean meats, eggs)
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Complex carbohydrates (100% whole wheat items)
- Sufficient fluids (to maintain hydration)
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