Amateur wrestling in high school and college is a wintertime sport, but matches really are won in the spring and summer. That's when wrestlers need to build the strength and stamina for tough matches and a long season on the mat. A wrestling match is one of the most intense activities in sports, draining energy at a rapid pace. It takes hard work in the offseason to prepare for those grueling minutes on the mat.
Run and Lift
Running and lifting are the basics for offseason wrestling training. Running builds aerobic and cardiovascular functions, boosting the heart and lungs to provide the energy needed for wrestling workouts and matches. Lifting weights or doing similar resistance exercises will build muscular strength for takedowns and holds. Add stretching, which loosens muscles for running or lifting but also builds flexibility for wrestling moves.
Run at least two miles a day. If that is too much at first, start with shorter runs and build up distance. Try to get to a level of running at least two miles every day, four or five miles at least once a week. Don't jog; run at a good pace. Run hills to build leg strength. Do intervals -- short sprints interspersed with slower pacing -- to build speed, quickness and aerobic activity. One routine is to sprint 10 seconds every two minutes.
Lift weights two or three days a week. Concentrate on heavy weights, not high repetitions, to build strength, not mass. Use enough weight that the last repetition takes maximum effort. Use free weights, dumbbells, weight machines or resistance bands, but make weight training sessions intense, although they can be brief, usually under an hour. A Monday-Wednesday-Friday routine is ideal, but schedule long runs around weight sessions.
Build the Core
Concentrate strength training on core muscles such as abdomen and lower back. Use exercises that replicate wrestling activity. Dead lifts, squats, lunges and presses build the muscles wrestlers need to lift an opponent for a takedown, hold him during a ride or turn him for a pin. Curls and other arm exercises strengthen biceps for holds. Don't forget hands and forearms; squeeze a ball or spring devices to strengthen hands to grasp with.
Flexibility and Stability
Do flexibility and stability drills. Stretching is vital before running but also will help in escapes and reverses during the season. Stability drills can be done with an exercise or medicine ball. Hold a balance bar and stand on an exercise or stability ball; bend your arms to roll back and forth while maintaining balance on the ball. Lie face down on the ball with feet against a wall and roll the ball back and forth under your body. Do medicine ball lunges by holding the fall in front of you and stepping forward and to one side until your back knee touches the floor; alternate legs.