Being quicker than your opponent on the mat is good, but not good enough to elevate your grappling to the next level. To unleash all of your potential, you need to combine your quickness with explosive power.
Those two qualities helped Andy Hrovat, an Olympic wrestler and three-time NCAA All-American for the University of Michigan, maintain his dominance over the wrestling world.
To refine his quicks and power simultaneously and to prepare for the rigorous competition at the Beijing Olympics, Hrovat performed sport-specific plyometrics, as prescribed by Jesse Miller. “Wrestlers need to be explosive, because a lot of the actions they perform require that,” says Miller, the Wolverines’ assistant S+C coach and Hrovat’s strength coach. “If they are slow with any movement they make on the mat, they won’t have the power that’s needed to forcefully move their opponent.”
The Combination Plyo is an exercise Hrovat does once a week during preseason. Miller stresses that this drill must be performed as quickly as possible to receive its full benefit.
Set-up: Partner: Stand seven to 10 feet away from box, holding med ball
Plyo box: 30 to 36 inches
Med ball: 10 to 12 pounds
• From behind box, perform sprawl
• Quickly get off ground and assume loaded position
• Jump onto box, then receive pass from partner
• Quickly pass med ball back to partner
• Jump forward off box; return to start position
• Repeat five times
Variation: Perform drill with band placed around your legs
Coaching points: Use regular technique when performing the sprawl // Squat down and use your arms when exploding onto the box // Land with your feet flat and arms fully extended to receive pass // Partner should pass the ball as soon as you land on the box // Go through the drill as quickly as possible