Instructional Video Blog:Wrestling Warm-up
There are different theories and techniques out there on the wrestling warm-up. All I can tell you is what worked for me through years of trial and error. It wasn’t until I was a junior in college before I found the right mix. And in the years since, I belief I have improved on it. At the conclusion of a good wrestling warm-up you should be ready to wrestle your best possible match. If you are not a believer in a wrestling warm-up or someone you know isn’t, try the following test:
Wrestling Warm-up Experiment
Wrestle a match in the beginning of a typical two-hour practice. Let your coach or whomever, run a normal practice after the match. Midway through practice, stop and wrestle another match. Again after that match concludes resume the normal practice. Finally, wrestle a third match right before practice is about to end. When practice is over, evaluate your performance in all three of the matches. Which one did you feel the best in? The worst?
I would be willing to bet that you felt the best in match #2, followed by the match at the end of practice. The first match that you wrestled without any warm-up was probably your worst. Now if you did feel the best in the first match when you were cold, disregard the following advice. You have to figure out what is best for you.
My wrestling warm-up is a three-part process. Its purpose is to get me to the point where I felt my best, usually midway through a practice. However you have to do it in a much shorter time frame.
My Wrestling Warm-up
First, it involves cardiovascular activity. This could be some sprints, jumping rope, etc… Whatever I did I made sure I did not stop until I was sweating.
From there I would move to conventional stretching which meant holding a position for 10 seconds and then switching to different muscle groups. And while I used it throughout my competitive career, I now use dynamic stretching instead as part of my grappling and wrestling warm-up.
Below is my brother, a NASM-certified personal trainer, talking a bit about dynamic stretching:
Whatever method you chose for your stretching make sure you hit your hips, neck, back, and legs.
The last phase of my wrestling warm-up was walking around in my stance and drilling my takedowns with a partner. Again I did this until I was sweating. Two weight classes before I was to go on the mat I started to take my clothes off slowly. Taking off your warm-ups quickly will make you cold before you go on the mat. That will cause you to tighten up and you will lose all of the previous benefits we have been talking about. I learned this the hard way. Trust me and take off your wrestling warm-up clothes in stages. Then go out and do what you set out to do.