Build Muscle for Wrestling With 3 Isometric Combo Exercises

October 30, 2012 | Jim Carpentier

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Whatever season of training they're in, wrestlers know the importance of strength and endurance conditioning. Often overlooked, though, is the need to enhance arm and hand strength, which are critical for holding and pinning opponents. (Check out What Your Wrestling Workout Needs.)

The best way to strengthen your arms and hands is with isometrics, a form training in which the joint angle and muscle length remain fixed during contraction, meaning isometric exercises are performed in a stationary position instead of moving through a full range of motion.

Try the following three muscle- and endurance-boosting combo exercises both before and during the wrestling season to increase your grip strength with isometrics.

Swiss Ball Push-Ups, Hold, Run in Place

The first two movements in this sequence target the outer and inner pectoral muscles, core, arms and shoulders—muscles needed for pushing away and/or holding an opponent. The third taxes the legs and shoulders to promote the lower- and upper-body muscle endurance needed for the long wrestling season.

Sets/Reps: 3x10 of A-B-C sequence

A

  • Place hands on sides of  Swiss ball in push-up position
  • Stay on toes with back straight and abdomen tight
  • Slowly lower half way (three seconds), then explosively press up (one second) for 10 repetitions
  • Hold push-up position (arms slightly bent on ball) for 15 seconds; this is the isometric phase of the exercise

B

  • Without rest, continue isometric phase by standing up (knees slightly bent) and holding ball at chest level
  • With arms slightly bent, squeeze ball hard for 30 seconds
  • Naturally inhale and exhale throughout hold
  • C
  • Release tight grip
  • Raise ball overhead and run in place as fast as you can on your toes for 45 to 60 seconds
  • Drive knees up toward waist

Inverted Rows and Hold

An wide overhand grip works the middle and upper back, core, forearms and biceps. A close underhand grip especially stresses the biceps while strengthening the back, core, and forearm muscles, all used in pulling and holding opponents.

Sets/Reps: 3x10 of A-B sequence

A

  • Set barbell in squat rack about three feet above ground
  • Lie underneath bar with legs straight, hips off ground
  • Stay on heels
  • Grip bar overhand with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width
  • Quickly pull up (one second) and lower (three seconds) for 10 reps
  • Perform isometric hold for 15 seconds

B

  • Rest 15 seconds
  • Perform same exercise with a close underhand grip (hands spaced about two inches apart) for 10 reps
  • Perform isometric hold for 15 seconds

Wall Squat and Hold/Burpees

An effective lower-body exercise combination for key components of wrestling success—leg strength and power, muscle endurance.

Sets/Reps: 3x10 of A-B sequence

A

  • Assume athletic stance with back against wall
  • Perform 10 squats
  • Perform isometric hold in squat position for 15 seconds

B

  • Without rest, immediately do Burpees for 45 to 60 seconds
  • Burpee is squat thrust from push-up position followed by jump for maximum height

Topics: WRESTLING
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
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