11 August 2008

How fit must you be for wrestling?

Wrestling greatly emphasises strength and flexibility. You have to be very fit and very strong just to participate.

Wrestling greatly emphasises strength and flexibility. You have to be very fit and very strong just to participate.

Typical build: Wrestlers are muscular, strong, agile and often physically large.

Technique: Wrestlers are generally considered to be the most highly conditioned athletes in terms of muscular strength and physical endurance apart from the skilled knowledge of leverage and use of explosive power.

Training programme: At least three days per week, with a day's rest in between each training session. The aim is to strengthen all the major muscle groups and to develop muscle balance. Special emphasis is placed on hip, thighs and the pulling muscles. Workouts must be as short as possible while working as many muscles as possible, so short and intense.

Cardiovascular fitness: Cardiovascular fitness, while important for all athletes, is less important for wrestlers than strength and resistance training.

Resistance training and muscles: Specifically, wrestlers need hip strength and power since many wrestling moves originate from the hips. Strength is also needed in the muscles responsible for pulling movements: biceps, forearms, mid-back and upper back.

Reaction time: In the ring, quick reaction time is essential.

Endurance training: a wrestler must have strength, power and endurance. Traditional lifts such as bench press, squats and curls are important exercises in a training programme, but they do not mimic the movement occurring in a wrestling match. In addition to cardiovascular training, one needs a high level of muscular endurance and strength - something that can only be achieved through weight training.

Nutrition: Today's athletes follow eating plans that are more scientific than ever before. Many professional athletes have their own nutritionists and certainly all the Olympic teams will have at least one. The pursuit of weight loss by wrestlers before and during the competitive season is a common but unhealthy practice. A combination of food and fluid restriction as well as induced sweating procedures frequently are used to lose weight. Wrestlers should not eat less than their minimum daily kilojoule need.

Mental: Wrestlers need to develop your own mental plans for competition (thoughts, emotions, attitude, intensity, focus).Olympic medalists have to adhere to very systematic plans and pre-performance routines. Visualisation trainingconsists of programming your mind, muscles and emotions for success.

Drugs: Wrestlers may be tempted to use anabolic steroids, such as nandrolone, or the new designer steroid known as THG.


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