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Wrestling Agility Drills

It wasn’t long ago that wrestlers were thought of as slow, one-dimensional athletes bound by impractical amounts of muscle. However, times have changed in the sport of wrestling, and such statements have become invalid. Wrestlers have evolved as athletes in the last few decades, becoming models of how much control humans can have over their bodies.

Evolved training practices have had much to do with this. There has been a shift away from the “old school” ideology of unnecessarily grueling workouts to a more scientific approach to training. Modern training is specific to the needs of wrestlers and the ever-increasing level of competition. In short, wrestlers aren’t training harder than they have in the past, but training smarter.

Agility training has become a major focus of current training practices. The ability to change the position of one’s body to maintain strength and flexibility has become increasingly important as the most competitive wrestlers at every level are, without coincidence, the best overall athletes.

In order to get the jump on your competition, agility training should be a part of your regular routine from the first time you step on the mat. There are many advanced pieces of equipment that you can purchase in order to improve your agility, however, these aren’t necessary. In this guide you’ll find several types of agility training techniques that can be done without any sort of equipment. These exercises will help you establish a baseline set of skills that include balance, quickness, and body control. Read closely through the following exercises to take your wrestling to the next level.

Agility Dots

Agility dot workouts will help you increase your foot speed, explosiveness, and agility. These workouts are also extremely beneficial for younger wrestlers, as they help to establish baseline coordination and body awareness.

There are many different patterns you can use with agility dots; however the following three patterns are best for beginning wrestlers. These drills should be done for a duration of 30-60 seconds, and in sets of 1-5.

Figure 8’s

  1. Start with both of your feet together on Dot A.
  2. Moving diagonally, hop to the center dot (Dot C) with your feet together, and then hop to Dot E in the corner.
  3. Hop sideways to Dot D.
  4. Moving backwards across the dots diagonally, hop to the center dot (Dot C), then to Dot B in the opposite corner. Keep your body facing forward even as you move backwards.
  5. Hop to Dot A and repeat.

Make sure to switch up the direction of the Figure 8 pattern. Start on Dot B instead of Dot A. Also, to make the drill a bit more challenging, try it on one foot instead of two.

Open & Close Drill – No Turn

  1. Start at the “bottom” of the dots with your left foot on Dot A and your right foot on Dot B.
  2. Hop to the center dot (Dot C) with both feet. This is the “close” motion.
  3. Hop to the “top” of the dots, touching your left foot to Dot D and your right foot to Dot E. This is the “open” motion.
  4. While facing the same direction, hop backwards to the center dot (Dot C) with both feet.
  5. Hop backwards again, touching your left foot to Dot A and your right foot to Dot B.
  6. Repeat.

Open & Close Drill – With Turn

  1. Start at the “bottom” of the dots with your left foot on Dot A and your right foot on Dot B.
  2. Hop forward to the center dot (Dot C) with both feet. This is the “close” motion.
  3. Hop forward to the “top” of the dots, touching your left foot to Dot D and your right foot to Dot E. This is the “open” motion.
  4. Hop and turn your body to face the opposite direction. Your left foot will now be on Dot E and your right foot will be on Dot D.
  5. Hop forward to the center dot (Dot C) with both feet.
  6. Hop forward, touching your left foot to Dot B and your right foot to Dot A.
  7. Turn and repeat.
Hot Tip: Improve Your Agility by Improvising

Sure, you can buy specifically designed mats or equipment with agility dots already on them. If you’re on a budget, however, you can use chalk to draw dots on the sidewalk, or even paint on a surface that you don’t mind designating as a workout area. You shouldn’t ever have to spend a dime to get a quality workout, so improvise whenever possible!

Line Drills

Line drills are great for agility training because there are countless patterns and types of workouts to keep training fun and challenging. Also, line drills are practical because you can find a line just about anywhere: A practice circle in the wrestling room, the boundary of a tennis or basketball court, or even a crack in the pavement. With all of the different

workout possibilities and benefits, you can’t afford to not do line drills.

Here are two very basic drills you can do using any line that you can find. If done correctly, these drills will help to improve your quickness, balance, explosiveness, and overall coordination. These drills should be done without stopping for 30-60 seconds, and in sets of 1-5.

Scissor Jumps

  • Start with your feet perpendicular to the line, with one foot in front of the line and one behind it.
  • Quickly switch your feet. The foot you had in front of the line should now be behind it, and the foot that started behind the line is now in front.
  • Continue this motion, switching your feet quickly over the line. Be as precise as you can with your footwork, and try not to touch the line with your feet. Stay on your toes without touching your heels.

Lateral Jumps

  • Start with your feet parallel to the line, either on the left or the right side.
  • With your feet together, quickly hop to the opposite side of the line. Try to stay on your toes and off of your heels as you do this.
  • Quickly hop back to the side of the line you started on.
  • Continue this motion. Try to spend as little time with your feet on the ground as possible.

Prepare Yourself

If you want to be able to stack up against tough competition at any level, agility training is a must. And despite what many people think, it isn’t necessary to buy or store agility training equipment. Such workouts can be improvised, so don’t be limited to what’s listed in this guide. Be creative, and work with your coach or athletic trainer to design workouts that will benefit your needs as a wrestler.

The sooner you get started on improving your quickness, balance, and overall coordination, the sooner you will experience success. So get out there, give these workouts a shot, and give it your all!

Agility training has become a major focus of current training practices in wrestling. Check out the drills in this guide to help establish an athletic base.
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