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Wrestling fitness exercise

The world's oldest competitive sport, wrestling has been part of the Olympic games since they first began in ancient Greece. Two styles of wrestling feature in the modern day Olympic games: freestyle, and Greco-Roman. The difference between the two styles is that in Greco-Roman wrestling the legs cannot be used to trip or lift an opponent, or to attack their legs.

Training for both types of wrestling involves developing a high level of anaerobic power in the arms and lengths, along with a high degree of strength endurance. Bouts last up to 5 minutes, depending on the age and level of contestants, which means that high levels of blood lactate accumulate in wrestlers' muscles, due to the frequent and intense bursts of activity with minimal rest periods in between. Aerobic power is less important to a wrestler, so their level of aerobic fitness is generally average, rather than above average.

Weight management is crucial for this sport. Some contestants put themselves through rapid weight loss to qualify for a lower category, but this can have a serious negative effect on a wrestler's levels of strength endurance. Carefully managing nutrition and training can help minimise the damage caused.

Strength training forms a major element of a wrestler's overall training plan. However, using a bodybuilding approach can lead to weight gain, and isn't the most effective method for this sport. More sport-specific maximal strength training is a more efficient use of training time, and helps increase both strength endurance and explosive energy.

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