6 Wrestling Drills You Can Do from Home without a Mat or Partner
To get better at wrestling, you have to drill movements over and over until they become second nature so when you are on the mat competing, you aren’t thinking what to do you are just reacting with good technique. Wrestling is unique in that you practice and compete on a mat which most people don’t have at home, but what do you do if you are at home and want to work on your wrestling skills and don’t have access to a wrestling mat or even a training partner? Well there are ways to train and get better even if you are home alone. Here are six wrestling drills you can do from home without a wrestling mat or a partner.
Standing up from the bottom is a very important skill that any wrestler needs to have. You do not need a mat and definitely do not need a partner to practice stand ups. You can do these in your living room, garage, or even your bedroom. To drill stand ups at home, you do not need to do them fast, in fact drilling moves slow with perfect technique is a better way to learn moves than doing them fast and with sloppy technique. Then, when you have the technique down, you will be able to speed the drill up and still maintain great form.
When drilling stand ups alone, you can practice both an inside leg stand up or an outside leg stand up. Really focus on bocking hands and getting ready to grab hand control. Make sure you hips are under you and you are pressuring back. You can mimic peeling hands off you and turning and facing your opponent ending in a good stance. You can hit it on the right side or the left, each time imagining different scenarios that may unfold on the mat. Another variation you can do is get in referee’s position next to a wall. Then, hit your stand up and use the wall to pressure back in to.
Stance and Motion
Practicing your wrestling stance and motion is an easy drill you can do at home. The more time you spend in your stance overall, the easier it will be to maintain a good stance when you are tired during a match.
All you have to do to practice stance and motion is find an open space. Be sure to switch up your lead legs, you can lower your level, imagine you are blocking a shot, or even face a wall and pretend your shadow is your opponent. Make sure you are staying light on your feet and circling. Since you won’t be on a wrestling mat, you probably don’t want slide your knees across the carpet, but you can practice taking high level singles or double leg shots or duck unders. If you want to take it to the next level, get some rubber training bands and use those for resistance while you are motioning in your stance.
Another easy move to practice is the footwork of a drop step or sometimes called a back step which is used in many different types of throws. Make sure you practice on both sides and really focus on sticking your butt way out when you finish. If you don’t know what a drop step is, check out this video where Henry Cejudo uses a drop step to hit a hip toss.
Back Arches and Neck Bridges
Back arches are important skills to develop in wrestling and you don’t need a partner or a wrestling mat to do them. To work on a back arch, simply lay on the floor and get in the back arch position and hold. This will help to develop flexibility in the spine and the hips which is very beneficial in wrestling. If you want to take it to the next level, do wall walk back arches. Stand a couple feet from a wall facing away. Then lean back and use your hands to walk yourself down the wall then back up.
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Having a strong neck as a wrestler will help you defend half nelsons, help you maintain a good stance when a guy is trying to snap your head down, and even fight off your back. To do neck bridges, do a back arch, but instead of using your hands, arch up on the back of your head. Then you can flex and extend your neck to help build up the muscles in your neck. Once you feel you are comfortable with those, you can step over to a tripod position and then back to the neck bridge. If you need, fold a towel up and put it under your head for some extra padding.
Being light on your feet and having good movement in wrestling is important. There are all kinds of drills you can do at home to increase footspeed, balance, and agility. A quick internet search of the words “agility drills” or “foot speed drills” will provide you with more than enough drills to keep you busy. You can purchase an agility ladder for very cheap and do drills with it in your garage or out in your yard.
The last thing on the list is pull-ups. Now pull-ups aren’t necessarily a wrestling drill like the others on the list, but having a strong back and grips are so important in wrestling that developing these strengths is something you should focus on and doing pull-ups is an easy way to do it. All you need to do is install a simple pull-up bar in your house and you are all set. There are a lot of pull-up variations to keep you from getting bored with them. If you have a pull-up bar at your house, you can literally do them everyday.
Hopefully this list gives you some ideas on ways you can get better even if you don’t have access to a wrestling mat. Doing little drills like this may not seem like much, but if you stick with them they can make a huge difference in your skill level.
If you would like to learn more wrestling drills and technique, be sure to check out Fanatic Wrestling’s video library where you will find world class wrestling instructional videos on all sorts of different techniques from many different wrestler. If you are looking for a video geared more towards wrestling drills specifically, check out “The Ultimate Folkstyle Coaches Manual by Mike Malinconico”.