Recently, I was asked a question via twitter about writing an article on speed and explosiveness for shooting in wrestling. This got me thinking. I want to interact more with this social media so if you have questions, click here to throw them on my Facebook fanpage. Or you can ask them on Twitter. I will try to respond on twitter or if I really like the question and I don’t have anything planned for my newsletter, I will answer it via my newsletter/blog.
The question that was posed to me today was asked by @RJaniceUSMC. I want to give credit where credit is due and thank you for following me. You gave me some props, but I need to give you a bunch more props and kudos for doing what you do to protect our country. I have good friends and former athletes I have trained in the military, so I appreciate what you guys do.
Now on to your question.
I am a speed coach, but I usually don’t train people for the type of speed they need in wrestling. They usually spend their money on private coaches and work on their wrestling moves. I did work with wrestlers from a strength training/conditioning component when I was head strength coach at Columbus Academy and one of my wrestlers ended up being a state champion. Upon researching an answer for this question, it boiled down to two items. To improve your speed and explosiveness in wrestling, you need to train with Olympic style lifts and do plyometrics.
The clean and jerk, snatches, and pulls are all total body lifts (working every muscle group) that train the fast twitch fibers. You are working on total body strength and power, but the speed at which you have to perform those lifts is what helps your speed when you wrestle. It really stimulates those fast twitch fibers so you can be quicker to make your moves.
I’ve even done these movements at the END of a workout. I know, I know. Normally, because of the physical demand of these exercises you want to do them first while your energy levels are at their best. But, wrestling is such a demanding sport that doing these lifts at the end will train the body to be explosive even when you are fatigued.
Caution: Those lifts are very technical, so make sure you have a good coach teaching you how to do those lifts. Once you get them down though, you will really start to reap the benefits.
Plyometrics are the other exercise you should do. These explosive movements help with the lunging forward that you will do (at a fast speed). They train the muscles to unload and explode. Horizontal plyometrics are what’s going to be really beneficial. Doing standing long jumps (off two feet and/or one foot) and tuck jumps, really train those legs to be explosive in movements that are similar to what you would perform when you wrestle.
There you go. You implement those two items into your exercise program and you should be a lot quicker and more explosive for your moves in wrestling. Thanks again to @RJaniceUSMC for the question. If you have a question that you want me to answer about speed in your particular sport or other athletic questions, please give a holler.