At Cincinnati Functional Fitness, we use an exercise called the Power Curl to develop our wrestlers’ total body power. This exercise develops the posterior muscles (hamstrings, glutes and paraspinals), which are responsible for decelerating spinal flexion and accelerating spinal extension. Wrestlers need both during a takedown.
With Power Curls, unlike Olympic lifts, athletes avoid the rack position that can lead to shoulder, elbow and wrist issues. Power Curls are much easier to learn than Olympic lifts, yet they still promote triple extension at the ankle, knee and hip joints.
This exercise will not only increase your wrestlers’ explosive power, it will give them unbelievable clinch strength in the single and double underhook position. It is a must in a wrestler’s strength training program.
When teaching the Power Curl to your wrestlers, start with instruction on a proper Romanian Deadlift. Once they know how to do an RDL, they can progress to the Power Curl.
- Perform an RDL until the bar is right above your knees.
- Drive your heels into the ground.
- Extend your hips forward so they are in triple extension. The bar should fly right up to your chest.
- Very briefly clinch the weight and lower it back down.
- Use weight heavy enough to ensure that your hips (not your arms) do the work.
Sets/Reps: 3-5 x 5
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