Specialized Wrestling Workouts
The typical wrestling workout session involves spending about 50 percent of the time in the neutral position perfecting takedown skills. This is a smart workout approach because of the great importance takedown superiority has for winning matches. Next, both bottom and top mat wrestling would be equally divided for the purpose of polishing escape or reversal and ride or pinning combination skills.
Likewise, for a change of pace you will sometimes want to incorporate workouts that add variation to the traditional wrestling session. Chain wrestling, situation wrestling, round-robin wrestling, and blindfold wrestling are excellent alternatives described in the following pages.
Too often in contemporary scholastic matches, the bottom wrestler will attempt to escape or reverse his opponent by using only one or two moves. If they don’t work, his opponent ultimately ends up riding him. We seem to have forgotten a lost art—chain wrestling, a fast-paced bottom maneuver and top countermaneuver wrestling activity. After perfecting the moves and countermoves that follow, you can incorporate chain wrestling. The most common chain wrestling skills include the following multiple moves:
Standard Chain Wrestling Workout
Step 1 Sit-out to turn-in (bottom wrestler)
Follow sit-out to turn-in (top wrestler)
Step 2 Sit-out to turn-out (bottom wrestler)
Follow sit-out to turn-out (top wrestler)
Step 3 Switch (bottom wrestler)
Reswitch (top wrestler)
Step 4 Side roll (bottom wrestler)
Re-side roll (top wrestler)
Step 5 Granby roll (bottom wrestler)
Granby roll follow-through on head (top wrestler)
Step 6 Stand-up (bottom wrestler)
Back heel trip to mat (top wrestler)
Wrestlers repeat this chain wrestling process as many times as you instruct (usually three to five cycles) with wrestler W1 on the bottom. Then wrestler W2 would assume the bottom position, repeating the cycle the same number of times.
Of course, you may develop variations to this chain wrestling format to suit your particular mat wrestling concerns. No matter how you plan your chain wrestling activity, the key purpose of the workout is to train the bottom wrestler not to stop after one or two moves.
Another benefit of chain wrestling is that it teaches the top wrestler how to follow moves performed by the bottom wrestler. Likewise, it is a superb conditioning tool for workout sessions. You may even want to create a practice competition out of chain wrestling, timing the wrestlers to see which pair is fastest in completing the cycles.
In recent decades, coaches have placed so much emphasis on takedowns that many have ignored the importance of moving on the bottom. Chain wrestling is a snappy workout activity that doesn’t take much practice time and leads to improved mat wrestling.