Warm-up Routine for Wrestlers

As the season gets many of our wrestlers will be competing this month and a proper warm-up is critical to a strong performance. The following routine is a guideline and everyone must find what works for them but this information is an excellent starting point for wrestlers of all ages.

  • Don’t gorge yourself after weigh-ins each morning. Slowly take in 20-32 oz. of fluids and eat something small that will digest easily such as a banana, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, bowl of cereal, etc.
  • When able, take a hot shower after weigh-ins. Typically we are cold and maybe even shivering when we eat after weigh-ins. This is because a lot of blood rushes into your stomach to help digest the food that you just ate, taking it away from the rest of your body. Taking a hot shower will help to warm your body up as you digest, and also refresh you for the day.
  • Begin your warm up wearing full sweats about an hour before the competition is set to begin.
  • Start out with a light jog, gradually picking up the pace. Go through our normal pre-practice warm up routine (jogging, skipping, rolls, etc.) ending with 3-5 full out sprints to break a sweat. Warm up should last 10 minutes then give yourself an additional 5 minutes to do a full body stretch.
  • Peel off your sweatshirt, get a good drilling partner and begin some light drilling with a long sleeve shirt and sweatpants on. This will allow you to drill without the hood of a bulky sweatshirt getting in the way, but keep the heat in to warm your muscles.
  • Start out your drilling routine slow, working through offense, defense, top and bottom. Gradually build up to a faster paced drill. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • After drilling through your core positions, you need to open up the lungs and breathe hard. Too many guys get upset or have a bad first match at tournaments because they are breathing hard and it comes as a shock to your body. GET YOUR FIRST MATCH OUT OF THE WAY HERE! Hit some attacks per minute, continuous drills, lift and return, etc. followed with some sprints. Warming up hard like this prepares your body for the intensity of a 6 minute match and then it won’t be a shock to your system in your actual first match.
  • Give yourself about 15 minutes prior to the tournament beginning to get some fluids back in you and recover from the warm-up. This is a great time to sit down somewhere and think about what you plan to accomplish that day.
  • When your matches are called, get yourself up and moving about 10-15 minutes before you wrestle. Crack a good sweat again with some pummeling, jogging, skipping rope, etc. You should have a light sweat started when you go out on the mat.
  • Get a “cool down” in after each match by jogging a few laps around the gym, hallway or lightly skipping rope and stretching your back, legs and neck. This will pay big dividends later in the tournament and the following day when you want to be wrestling your best!
  • Consistently take in fluids and snacks throughout the day. When you eat a big breakfast you fill up your “gas tank”. After each match, you burn some of that fuel off and it needs to be replenished. Eating small, healthy snacks (banana, granola bar, etc.) and sipping on water, Rehydrate, etc after each match and throughout the day will help refuel your muscles so you are ready to keep attacking for a full 6 minute match. Drinking water all throughout the day is also going to help flush your system and remove some of the toxins in your muscles that create soreness.
  • Stay off your feet and don’t get too caught up in the emotions of teammate’s matches. This can be draining and take away from you and your goals.