Core strength is an absolute must if you want to maximize your potential as a wrestler.
However, while a lot of people use the word because it’s a “hot” term, I don’t know if wrestlers know why it’s important for wrestling.
While core strength is the focus for today, I have written an extensive post on core stability. So be sure to read that post- Exercises for Wrestlers- Core Strength and Stability.
Anyway, here are three awesome ways to improve core strength using bands.
First, here’s a video I shot the other day of a lying band resisted knees to chest. By the way, whoever has an easier name for this feel free to leave me a comment below.
Anyway, the setup is super easy.
To begin, knot the band around a stable object in the weight room.
You can’t see it in this video, but I knotted the band around the Power Squat.
Once you have it anchored, position yourself so that there is tension in the band when you’re in the starting position.
This will not only keep constant tension on your abs, but it will also prevent the band from moving on your feet as you perform this exercise.
When you are ready to begin, loop the band around your feet and lock your ankles so that your toes are pointing toward the ceiling.
Lean back so that you are laying on your back. Place your hands at your sides to help you stabilize.
When you’re ready to begin, pull your knees to your chest. Once you have pulled them as far back as your body will allow, slowly return them to the start and repeat.
Avoid letting the band forcefully pull you back.
Anyway, check out this video and be sure to give it a shot in place of Hanging Leg Raises some time.
Band Resisted Situp
Here’s a new style of situp my training partner, Mike, and I tried this past Sunday. Focus on staying as explosive as possible throughout your set. Once you begin to slow down, stop the set.
Remember, you’re looking for speed in an effort to train your body to be more powerful (power= strength X speed).
Keep in mind that you want to avoid grinding out reps on power exercises like this. It defeats the purpose of the exercise.
To perform these simply anchor a band to any stable object in your gym. We used one of the Power Racks. But, the ones at my gym are bolted down. If you choose to use a rack, make sure it’s secured to the floor.
It’s scary to say this, but the commercial gyms I’ve been to DO NOT have their racks bolted down. Not only is this unsafe, but it’s a huge liability!
Once the band is anchored in a low position, hook your feet under something. You can also have a partner hold your feet.
From there either have a partner hand you the band or position yourself in such a way that you can grab it when you’re laying on your back.
Standing Band Crunch
Developing core strength while standing helps to cut down on overdeveloping your hip flexors. This can be very important for wrestling.
Just keep on reading…
But first, here’s a video of me performing a Standing Band Crunch. I’m using a Glute Ham Raise in this video.
While many of you may not have a GHR to perform this on, you should definitely consider adding standing ab work like this into your program.
The reason that I’m such a fan of standing ab work is because you don’t develop the hip flexors like you would if you were doing:
1. A weighted situp.
2. Ab work where you bring your knees to your chest.
Now don’t get me wrong- weighted and band resisted situps and leg raises are a great way to build abdominal strength. However, they’re not the only way.
The big benefit that standing ab work has over the other forms- you’re not simultaneously developing the hip flexors.
Why are tight/overdeveloped hip flexors potentially detrimental to your performance on the mat?
They resist hip extension power.
And hip extension is exactly what you need to be successful in wrestling. It’s especially important in the following situations- when you’re shooting, sprawling, standing up, throwing your opponent, performing a mat return, etc.
Additionally, tight hips may be one of the issues you have to deal with when squatting.
So mixing in standing ab work is a great way to continue to challenge your core while not overdeveloping your hip flexors.
If you have any questions on core training for wrestling please leave me a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org