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The Ultimate Wrestling Playground Workout
By John Gaglione


      Wrestling season is coming up very soon and it is extremely important not only to work on your skills, but also your strength and conditioning. Many wrestlers may not have access to a quality gym, or trainer in their area or may be limited on time or money. Body weight training is a great way to get in shape for the upcoming season.  One great way to get some quality training in is to take a run or drive to the nearest playground in your area.  There is really no excuse not to get a quality workout in when all you are doing is body weight training.

     Shown below is the ULTIMATE playground workout to help improve your wrestling performance for this upcoming season! I will show you why this exercises our important for wrestling and the proper technique on how to perform the exercises properly. For this workout all you need is a swing set found at almost every playground for a full body strength and conditioning session.

A1) Swing Bulgarian Split Squat perform 3-4 Sets of 6-8 Reps per leg

C:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing RFESS Frame - 100.jpgC:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing RFESS Frame - 83.jpg

Movement Category: Knee Dominant
Technique Tips:
Keep Chest Tall, Drop Back Knee Straight Down, Drive Through Front Heel
Wrestling Benefits:
  Bulgarian splits squats are an awesome exercise because they work both hip mobility and leg strength. Single leg strength is important for developing a powerful drop steps as well as finishing takedowns and hip mobility is important for improving your overall positioning in wrestling and other athletics.

A2) Swing Atomic Push Up  perform 3-4 Sets of 8-10 Reps

C:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Atomic Push Up Frame - 23.jpgC:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Atomic Push Up Frame - 69.jpg

 Movement Category: Upper Body Push and Core Hip Flexion
Technique Tips:
Abs and Glutes Tight, Tuck Elbows toward body, keep spine neutral
Wrestling Benefits:
Push ups are a great way to gain relative strength and get the upper body strong for wrestling. This is a great way to increase the challenge and also get some core work in at the same time. Hip Flexor strength is important when lowering level when attempting takedowns.

A3) Swing Tall Kneeling Roll Outs perform 3-4 Sets of 3-5 Reps with a 10 second static hold

C:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Tall Kneeling Roll outs Frame - 112.jpgC:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Tall Kneeling Roll outs Frame - 73.jpg

Movement Category: Core Anti-Extension
Technique Tips:
Keep abs and glutes tight, initiate movement with hips, stay tall and tight
Wrestling Benefits:
In wrestling your opponent is always trying to break your posture. Core stability moves like this one helps the athlete learn how to resist movement at the spine, which will put them in a more optimal position in various maneuvers.


B1) Pole Pull Ups & Swing Rows Combo perform 4-5 Sets of 6-8 Reps per movement

C:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Rows Frame - 437.jpgC:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Rows Frame - 383.jpg 

Movement Category: Grip Emphasis Upper Body Pull
Technique Tips:
Chest proud, crush the bar, pull elbows to the ground
Wrestling Benefits:
Pulling strength is king in wrestling. Pull strength help you set up takedowns as well as get in better positions on top and in neutral. By performing pulling exercise on a thick implement this also improves  open hand grip strength, which is important when grabbing your opponents wrists or forearms when hand fighting.

Swing Rows

C:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Rows Frame - 63.jpgC:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Rows Frame - 159.jpg

Movement Category: Grip Emphasis Upper Body Pull
Technique Tips: Keep hips up & chest out, squeeze grip tight, shoulders pulled down & back
Wrestling Benefits:
This is another great exercise to improve pulling strength. If you canít perform a lot of pull ups these swings inverted rows are a great place to start. The swing is unique because by utilizing a pinch grip the wrestler can also improve finger and forearm strength, which is necessary for holding opponents down or riding when in the top position.


B2) Swing SHELC & Body Curls perform 2-3 Sets perform 6-8 Reps of each movement

C:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing SHELC Frame - 110.jpgC:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing SHELC Frame - 133.jpg

Movement Category: Hip Dominant Hip Extension with Knee Flexion
Technique Tips: Keep hips up high, drive through heels and curl in, keep abs tight
Wrestling Benefits:
Posterior chain strength is crucial for all power combat athletes. The muscles of the glutes, hamstring and low back are extremely important for hard sprawls for defending takedowns and overall power development. The Supine Hip Extension Leg Curl(SHELC) is a great way to accomplish this.


Body Curls

C:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Body Curl Frame - 268.jpgC:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Body Curl Frame - 314.jpg

Movement Category: Hip Dominant Hip Extension with Knee Flexion
Technique Tips: Keep hips up high,  drive through heels and curl in, keep abs tight
Wrestling Benefits: 
If the swing SHELC is too advanced the body curl is a good place to start as many athletes will not of the glute strength initially to perform the SHELC properly. As stated before the muscles of the glute and hamstring are very important for becoming explosive, which is important in many situations such as finishing takedowns, throws, and developing an explosive stand up.


B3) Swing Body Saw perform 4-5 Sets of 6-8 Controlled Reps perform either bent or straight arm

C:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Body Saw Frame - 157.jpgC:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Swing Body Saw Frame - 183.jpg

Movement Category: Core Anti Extension & Shoulder Stability
Technique Tips: Keep abs and glutes tight, neutral spine, saw body back and forth
Wrestling Benefits:
The body saw is a great exercise for core stability, which will help wrestlers maintain proper stance when opponent are trying to put them out of position. The saw can be perform with bent arms or straight arms to also work shoulder  stability while working the abs. Shoulder stability is important because shoulder are often in a vulnerable position when a wrestler is on bottoms defending pinning combinations such as bar arms.

C) Finisher Monkey Bar Climbing (if parallel bars available)  3-5 Trips or timed sets 20-45 seconds

C:\Users\John\Desktop\VHW movies\Play Ground Workouts\Playground monkey bar climbs Frame - 18.jpg

Movement Category: Grip Strength and Upper Body Pulling
Technique Tips: Hold on Tight, keep hands dry to prevent calluses from tearing, keep chest proud
Wrestling Benefits: 
All types of climbing activities are amazing for develop the grip strength for wrestlers.  If you donít have access to a climbing ropes check out your local playground and try to find some monkey bars. You can also substitute this for pole climbing on the swings. Grip strength will help in controlling your opponent from all positions top, bottoms, and neutral.

     And there you have it the ULTIMATE playground workout to drastically improve your wrestling performance!  The first three movements are performed one after another to also improve the conditioning of the wrestlers. Only rest as needed between rounds and exercises. You can move as fast as you want as long as the quality of the exercise is high. Never sacrifice technique to get extra reps in or to move faster through the workout. This will help prevent injuries, improve core stability, and also will make sure you are getting the most out of each exercise. This workout can be performed two to three times a week and can serve as a great full body strength routine when you are in a pinch and need a workout and canít get to the gym.

Here I will leave you with a video of the Ultimate playground workout. I hope this workout inspires your to take your training to the next level!




Good luck!

 If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at gaglionestrength@gmail.com or check out my website www.gaglionestrength.com

 

 

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. Johnís 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.