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Explosive Power Training for Wrestlers
By John Gaglione

Lower body plyometrics are extremely valuable for all wrestlers. Whether you are hitting an explosive double leg or firing off a powerful stand up off of the whistle wrestlers need to produce a maximal amount of force in a short period of time.

Make sure all of your wrestlers understand proper lower body alignment during these drills and that no orthopedic limitations prevent them from doing high speed drills. The athletes should also have a solid foundation of relative body weight strength before attempting any plyometric drills. For all types of jumping drills the athlete should strive for a soft landing in a good stance. The knees should not cave in and the chest should not collapse.

As stated in the upper body power article all exercises should be down with high intensity and lots of rest in between sets. Lower reps are used to increase power and moderate reps can be used to increase power endurance. If movement quality diminishes and the speed slows down cut the set.

Here are some of my favorite lower body power drills to use with my wrestlers. All you need is a box or a bench to jump on for these drills. If you don’t have anything to jump on simply perform a vertical jump or broad jump for these variations listed.

Box Jumps are a great way to start introducing power training to wrestlers. As a rule of thumb the athlete should be able to take off and land in the same position they jump from. This helps eliminate any danger from using too high a box. We don’t want our athlete to simply bring there knee up to get on the box, we want to train the athlete to get into the triple extension position (extend hips, knees, ankles) in order to develop max power. This ensures they will use an appropriate box height as well.

This can be done from a static position to really increase starting strength. Starting strength is when the athlete moves from a static position to a dynamic one. This would help being explosive to finished a stuffed takedown or an explosive escape from bottom off of the whistle.

A depth jump is when the athlete will jump on a box land and jump immediately onto another box. In wrestling it is important to be reactive and flow from one movement to the next. The depth jump will help increase the wrestler’s reactive ability.  This will really help a wrestler “flo” from one movement to the next in seamlessness transition. This variation should be used sparingly since it is quite demanding on the nervous system.

This is my favorite variation for developing the starting strength and reactive ability necessary for explosive stand ups from the bottom position. The athlete will assume a kneeling or referee’s position and jump to their feet and then jump to a second box. This is the ultimate drill if you want to be an explosive wrestler from the bottom. If you want to be one of those guys who can get an escape off the whistle with ease you need to add this drill into your routine!

Those are my top power drills for wrestling. If you want to be a top wrestler in your area you need to have an explosive lower body. These drills will help you become a more explosive athlete and help improve your wrestling performance from all positions.

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.

Coach John Gaglione is a Sport Performance Specialist out of Long Island New York. He is a certified "Underground" Strength coach who specializes in training combat athletes. John’s work has been featured in Elite Fitness Systems, Testosterone Nation , One Result & local wrestling site Long Island Wrestling Association. If you would like to learn more about John you can reach him at www.gaglionestrength.com or e-mail him at gaglionestrength@gmail.com.