Plyometric moves have become a mainstay for serious athletes around the world. With just a few moves, you can enhance your wrestling abilities and gain an edge over your competition on the mat. For wrestlers, these moves improve quickness, speed, coordination, body control and balance. This style of training develops muscular endurance, and eventually you'll be able to exert high levels of power even when your muscles are fatigued.
Plyometrics are a high-impact, sport-specific style of training that teaches your muscles to contract not only faster but stronger. During these exercises, you lengthen your muscle prior to quickly contracting it. An example is squatting down before you jump. Over time, your training improves your quickness and power. This is essential for wrestlers because the sport requires you to be explosive. You need to have the power to forcefully take your opponent down and pin him to the mat to win the match.
When you are on the mat, your ability to switch angles determines who ends up on top. Various plyometric exercises can help you excel at this skill. Jim Zielinski, head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Illinois, recommends lateral box jumps to master this skill because they improve your hip explosion both vertically and horizontally on the mat. To do this move, stand with a box to your right. Jump upward and onto the box. Step off the box and repeat for 90 seconds for one repetition. Do four to six reps. Repeat on the opposite side.
By including a partner and a medicine ball in your box jump exercise, you build upper-body strength to help with takedowns and submissions. Do this drill as quickly as possible to maximize its benefits. Squat down and use your arms to help you explode onto the box. Land on your feet with your arms full extended so you can catch the ball immediately upon landing on the box. Quickly throw the ball back to your partner and then jump forward off the box. Repeat five times.
Although plyometrics can help take your wrestling skill to the next level, they definitely come with some risks. In a properly trained athlete, plyometrics can help you reach peak physical condition in a short amount of time, but if a solid fitness base does not exist, plyometrics can injure joints and ligaments. Before starting any plyometric workout, you should be able to do one squat with a weight that is 1.5 to 2.5 times your body weight.