The Best Single Leg
Exercises for Improving Wrestling Performance
Leg strength is extremely important quality to develop in any wrestling strength and conditioning program. But while popular leg exercise such as squats and deadlifts have for a long time have been the foundation of my programs, the problem is they never work one leg at a time.
Single leg work will help improve any asymmetries you have
while developing strength in more wrestling specific positions such as the drop
step. Skills in wrestling such as a variety of penetration steps for takedowns
and throws all require single leg strength and stability.
Bulgarian Split Squat (Video)
Reverse Lunge (Video)
The reverse lunge a great variations of the lunge specifically for wrestling. By stepping behind you can need to accelerate through the entire range of motion just like in a penetration step. When you perform in a forward lunge you need to decelerate your body weight as you step forward so this movement is still valuable, but it is not as specific to the movements found in wrestling. This also makes the reverse lunge much more knee friendly since you donít have any forward weight shift at the knee. Wrestles often have beat up knees from constantly drilling so this is a perfect modification for all grapplers.
The step up is a great exercise because it gives you the strength and balance needed to start progressing toward one of the most challenge single leg exercises called the single leg squats. It is important to limit the contribution of the back leg in order to really work your stability and balance.
The single leg squat is the king of all single leg exercises. Itís great for strengthening the quads, which will help prevent any future knee injuries that could occur on the mat. As with all of these single leg variations itís important to ensure you keep your heels on the ground the whole time in order to maximize the benefits of this exercise and help keep stress off of the knees. Single leg squat and step up are great variations for wrestlers who need to improve their balance. This will help in situations where the athlete is forced to balanced on one leg such as when defending a single leg takedown.
Iím sure you know by now that single leg strength is essential for all wrestlers. It will help to correct imbalances you may encounter from side to side, and provide sport specific strength and stability that will carry over onto the mat. That being said bilateral exercises are still important and should be a foundation of any wrestling strength program, but single leg exercises are more specific to the movement found in wrestling and should be a staple in your wrestling performance programs. These exercises will drastically improve your strength and stability on and off the mat and help you get ready for your upcoming competitions!
To take your wrestling to the next level and ensure this coming wrestling season is your best one ever go to GaglioneStrength.com and e-mail Coach Gaglione for more information on wrestling training.