Must Have Exercises for Wrestlers

As wrestlers, there's a few basic motions that translate into the variations of movement needed for wrestling technique. Focusing on a few basic body weight exercises can make a huge difference in your wrestling game. Not having any gym equipment isn't any excuse! Use your body, get outside, and sharpen up your skills off the mat.

Sit through

The sit through is a staple in the wrestlers workout. It requires core stability as well as stamina. It mimics positions found in both folkstyle and freestyle, and works on the hip rotation that is needed in both. The sit through should begin with facing the ground, and then turning to look at the ceiling. For a wrestler, it is important to understand your surroundings and your body placement at all times. This helps work on that coordination. 

Squats and Stance work

The more I've traveled and trained around the world, I've come to notice a pattern. Wrestlers in the U.S. rarely focus on having strong legs in order to stay low in our stance for the entire match. This requires much more than focusing on stance in motion drills. You have to get creative with increasing leg strength. It needs to apply to how you stay in your stance, and how you attack your opponent. Lunges, low sideways walking, and movement drills are all a necessary part of getting your stance stronger. See my previous blog on improving your stance-strength here.


There is such a huge variety of push-ups, you should never get bored! This exercise challenges the wrestler's power, strength,  and ability to get up and out of many wrestling-specific positions. Push-ups are so diverse, you can even modify them for lower body injuries to keep your strength up. Find multiple ways to challenge strength through increasing reps, speed, arm position, and adding weight. Try going wide, narrow, fast, slow, incline, decline. There are endless way to keep challenging yourself with push-ups.

Pull Ups and Rope Climb

Body control is very important to a wrestler. With exercises like pull ups and the rope climb, you'll gain the shoulder and back muscles necessary to feel more in control of your opponents and become more competitive. By building up those micro muscle fibers that weights in the gym can't always do, you'll see a huge difference in your confidence on the mat.

How to make a workout

Using an interval timer (download an app!), set 1 minute working time and 30 seconds rest for 12 intervals. This will give you 3 rounds through each exercise. Record how many reps you completed during your 30 second rest, and try to beat your reps the next time you repeat this workout! Shorten or lengthen your rest time depending on the time of the season and the conditioning shape you are in. Longer rest time for off season, and shorter rest time as you get into better conditioning. Good luck!