Grappling sports demand tremendous physical prowess, technical finesse, and mental acuity. It’s no secret that mastering these disciplines requires years of practice and dedication.
While perfecting technique, drilling and conditioning are essential components of grappling, one aspect that is often overlooked, but can make a tremendous impact on your game, is strength training.
Ultimately it’s up to you, but strength training has a myriad of benefit to grappler, including these five big ones:
Increased explosiveness and speed
Explosiveness and speed are assets that can give you the upper hand in grappling competitions. Proper strength training can help improve your ability to execute movements such as takedowns or escape unfavorable positions and maintain control during a match.
Increased speed can help you quickly close the distance on your opponent during a takedown, perform dynamic transitions in a scramble, or move to counter your opponent’s moves. Additionally, increased speed can improve your reaction time, allowing you to anticipate and counter your opponent’s moves more effectively.
Grappling is physically demanding and puts considerable stress on your body, especially on joints and connective tissues. Strength training, when done correctly, can help reinforce these vulnerable areas, reducing the risk of injury.
A well-rounded strength program should include exercises that target core stability, joint mobility, and muscle imbalances, all of which contribute to injury prevention.
Improved body control and balance
A crucial aspect of grappling is maintaining body control and balance in various positions. Strength training can help enhance your proprioception and body awareness, making it easier to adjust your position and counter your opponent’s moves more efficiently. This increased body control can lead to better stability during takedowns and transitions on the ground.
Mental toughness and confidence
Strength training is not just about building physical strength; it also fosters mental toughness and confidence. The dedication and discipline required to consistently engage in strength workouts will translate into your grappling training.
As you see improvements in your strength and physical abilities, your confidence in your skills as a grappler will naturally grow.
Tailored training for your style
Strength training can be customized to complement your grappling style. Whether you prefer a more aggressive, explosive approach or a methodical, technical one, your strength program can be tailored to enhance specific aspects of your grappling game. A knowledgeable coach can design a regimen that aligns with your training goals and style, leading to more impactful and efficient results.
Incorporating strength training into your grappling routine is not an optional extra; it’s a necessary component to take your skills to the next level and give you an edge on the mat.
If strength training isn’t something you’re familiar with, find a coach! Even the most elite athletes have coaches to help them continue to grow in their sports. Find a qualified coach (NCSA, or NASM certified) who understands the specific needs of grapplers to ensure a safe and effective training experience.