Wrestling is the martial art that uses grappling techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, and pins. Strength is especially important for this discipline since the goal of wrestling is to gain and maintain superior position, and subdue or unbalance the opponent. Building the upper body strength is especially good, since the wrestler uses his hands and pushes with a lot of force to keep the opponent on the ground. Strength exercises can help the wrestler to improve the performance on the mat, to develop and move faster to the higher levels of competition. The exercises are also fantastic for overall strength, cardio-vascular conditioning and endurance. Here are some of the greatest exercises that should be incorporated in any serious upper body strength training for wrestlers.
Push-ups are excellent exercises that engage pectoral muscles and triceps, performed in a prone position by lowering the body using arms. There are several variations of push-ups but the wrestlers should perform the full-ups variation with the back and legs straight and off the floor. The elbows are pointed towards the knees. The greatest benefits are accomplished when the hands and feet are raised onto elevated surfaces, which builds the upper and lower pectorals. Another great way to practice push-ups is to make hands unbalanced, placed on uneven surfaces, to work the body core. The exercise starts with arms at shoulder-width apart and positioned under the chest. Elbows should always be in, and one should avoid pushing them outwards when lowering the body.
Pull-ups are another great exercise for building the upper body strength. The core of the exercise is to suspend the body by the arms, while gripping something and pulling up with a muscular effort. The wrists should remain in the neutral position. In some of the variations of this exercise, the grips even rotate throughout the movement. Pull-up bars are easy to find in city parks and gyms but one can be very creative as it comes to this exercise, since even the monkey bars or a jungle gym at a local school or park can be used as a grip. The goal is to find a bar that is taller than the wrestler is, and try not to rock, jerk or use the legs to help lift the body. The arms should do all the work.
The dip is yet another great way to build the strength. This exercise focuses on triceps, anterior deltoid, pectoralis muscles, and the rhomobiod muscles of the back. The exercise is performed by supporting the body weight with the hands while hanging between two objects or two dip bars. The goal is to lower the body until the arms are bent at 90 degrees, and then lift the body, again returning to the starting position.