A layered anatomical drawing detailing the abdominal muscles.

The Grappler is one of my favorite core exercises. In fact, I included it in top 4 post- Exercises for Wrestlers- Core Strength and Stability.

It builds incredible stability in the core. Specifically, it trains anti-rotation stability. This type of bracing strength is needed to resist tight waists and gut wrenches (for you Freestyle and Greco fanatics out there). Additionally, you will improve your ability to keep a strong, upright posture when you get in on a shot.

On top of that, along with the Standing Ab Wheel, it’s probably the most challenging core exercise out there. And what wrestler doesn’t like a good challenge?!

Unfortunately, most gyms don’t have a grappler machine. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s a video of me performing the exercise with handles using the machine.

While you may not have access to the ideal equipment, you can still perform this exercise at any gym that has walls. All you need is a corner.

Simply put the end of a barbell in the corner of the gym. From there, grab the other end and perform the arm action shown below.

I know, this video shows me using the machine again. But, it’s pretty much the same as putting a bar in a corner. The big thing is the arm action. In order for this exercise to be executed properly, the movement needs to occur entirely from the arms. There should be no motion through the core.

The Grappler is meant to train stability, so when you move at the core, you defeat the purpose of it. You can rotate slightly from the shoulders. However, make sure your shoulders and hips stay in line. What I mean is that if your shoulders rotate slightly, so should your hips. That’s the bracing effect you’re supposed to be training with this exercise.

Does this make sense? If not, shoot me an email-

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion

Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.


Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.


Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.


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