Wrestling Training- Day 3, pt. 2

A shirtless Matt Kroc in position and getting ready to perform a heavy db row.

In this post I’ll detail the Pause DB Row.

This post is part of a series in which I detail the design process of an early in season program I made for a college wrestler I work with via email.

To read the original post check this out- Wrestling Training- In-Season Power Development. In the post I discuss the principles I like to follow when designing in season plans for wrestlers. I also detail a week of training in the 8-week program I designed for this wrestler.

Here’s a quick video of me performing the Pause DB Row.

You can perform this exercise on a bench and pause the DB on the floor in between each rep. In the video I’m performing it in an unbraced position. Either works, so try both and see which you prefer.

There are a number of reasons why I prefer the Pause DB Row instead of a traditional DB Row.

Pause DB Row Benefits

First, the pause in between each rep prevents you from creating too much momentum by initiating the pull with your back.

Ultimately this helps keep the focus on pulling with your lats and rhomboids.

For more on why creating momentum during your upper body pulling exercises may be hurting your performance click here.

Additionally, the pause in between each rep is a great way to build the strength needed to overcome a stalemate situation on the mat.

Training your body to produce maximal force from a static position will increase your chances of overcoming potential stalemate situations like the one in the picture below.

A wrestler in an orange singlet is on his knees in on a single leg against a wrestler from Penn State who is sprawling.

Pause DB Row Technique:

I’ll detail how to perform this exercise from an unbraced position.

First, stagger your stance. In fact, over-stagger your stance. This will keep your back leg out of the way so the dumbbell won’t hit it.

Second, maintain a flat back throughout the exercise. While doing this, try to lower your torso to get as parallel to the ground as possible.

Maintaining a tight, neutral core won’t affect the exercise. However, it’s a good habit to get in to when you’re in the weight room. Unfortunately, I see way to many poorly braced cores when performing various rows. Training your body to maintain a neutral core will reinforce proper bracing in the weight room.

Because I’m flexible, I try to focus on keeping my stomach and chest in contact with my quad at all times. If you can’t do this don’t worry, you’ll eventually be able to if you stay consistent. Just find a point to start from and work down from there.

Additionally, as with any other row, focus on pulling your elbow up the side of your ribs. One thing to keep in mind is to focus on pulling your elbow to your spine.

Finally, if you find that you may still be using some momentum, consider adding a 2-second hold at the top of each rep.

For the next post in the series- Step Up.

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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