Changing Levels with Illinois Wrestling

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By Josh Staph

Whether you're taking a shot or sprawling from an attack, your ability to change levels and angles on the mat determines whether it's you or him on top. Jim Zielinski, head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Illinois, uses various plyometric exercises to help his grapplers hone this crucial skill.

The following drill improves hip explosion—both vertically and laterally—to up your threat level from anywhere on the mat.

Lateral Box Jump

• Stand with box to right
• Jump upward and right onto box
• Step off box and repeat for specified reps; perform on opposite side

Sets/Reps/Rest/Frequency: 4x6, 90 seconds, twice per week

Coaching Point: Jump for maximum height and land softly on the middle of the box.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock