This post will be the first of 2 quick “off the topic” posts in the current In-Season series. Read the original post here- Wrestling Training- In-Season Power Development.
Today I’ll further discuss some of the core exercises I use with wrestlers that minimally involve the hip flexor muscles.
To get caught up on why I think it’s important to strategically implement these types of core exercises into your program, give this post a quick read.
Core Exercises For Wrestlers
The first exercise I use fairly regularly is the Pulldown Ab.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always the easiest to get the feel for. In fact, a lot of wrestlers I work with say that they feel like they’re getting a stretch in their hamstrings.
However, with time, practice, and patience you’ll be able to shift the feeling of activation from your hamstrings to your core. As you improve, you’ll discover it will make a great addition to your strength training plan.
Here’s are two videos of me performing the Pulldown Ab.
The first is on a cable column. The second is with a band. The band is a great way to train your body to get the right feel for this exercise. Band resistance will increase your core activation as you pull your body lower with your abs.
After a few weeks of work, if you still feel your hamstrings stretching rather than your abs firing, I have another strategy. Try performing the Pulldown Ab from a kneeling position.
Because you won’t be on your feet you shouldn’t get much, if any, hamstring activation. So try this out. Once you get comfortable with activating your core to perform the movement, then move back up to your feet and do the standing version.
Another core exercise with minimal to no hip flexor involvement is the Standing GHR Band Crunch. While you may not have access to a Glute Ham Raise at the gym you train at, this exercise can be performed on a variety of machines. So get creative.
As you can see, when you perform standing ab work, you’ll have minimal to no hip flexor involvement.
Legendary strength coach Louie Simmons is known for arguing in favor of performing a majority of your ab work standing.
He argues that you’re on your feet when you compete, so why shouldn’t you train your abs that way?
Anyway, that’ll do it for today. Be sure to check out the next post Core Exercises 2.