Good Cardio for Wrestlers
Being a technically sound wrestler is helpful, but if you're out of breath and are unable to keep up with an opponent toward the end of a match, your career is unlikely to be successful. Strength and speed are important for wrestlers at every level, but those who have limitless cardiovascular fitness can often excel late in the match when their opponent gets tired. Building your cardio for wrestling doesn't have to be complicated; several simple methods get the job done.
Whether you're pedaling your bicycle around a track, riding an off-road trail or enjoying the comforts of the stationary bike at a gym, this exercise builds your cardio for wrestling. An added benefit is that it builds the muscles in your core and lower body, which can help you overpower an opponent. The key to cycling is to keep the intensity up; coasting might give you a welcome reprieve, but it won't build your cardio.
Virtually all athletes who participate in fighting sports, whether it's wrestling, boxing or martial arts, use running as a way of building their cardio fitness. It might not be exciting, but "roadwork," as fighters call it, gives you endurance to be quick and strong late in a match. Many wrestlers run in a group, as it provides camaraderie and some healthy competition to liven up a run. Sprinting develops your muscles to be explosive, but long-distance running improves your cardio levels.
Wrestlers and boxers often incorporate jumping rope into their workouts as a way of building their cardio training while also building muscle and improving their foot speed. In just 10 minutes of jumping rope, you'll elevate your heart rate considerably and also warm up your muscles, which makes this exercise an ideal way to start your workout. As you get comfortable with basic jumps, try sprinting on the spot to push your body even more.
Many wrestlers use circuit training to keep their workouts varied while also targeting different muscle groups. You can customize your circuit training to offer cardio fitness benefits by including such exercises as jumping jacks, pushups, crunches, squats and stair climbing. The key to getting a quality cardio workout from circuit training is to complete your reps as quickly as possible and avoid prolonged rest between stations.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.