Wrestling Hacks for Staying Fit During Off-Season

Summer is kind of officially here, and I hope your making the best out of the awesome sunshine and your days off before school’s back in session. It’s definitely important to rest your body during off-season, for a moment of time, but don’t get super comfortable buddy! If you do, you may have a hard time getting back into the swing of things when the new season officially starts. As a wrestler and an athlete overall, it’s vital that you take certain initiatives to maintain both your weight and athletic prowess year-round. Off-season is the prime time to work on improving your diet, strength, quickness, endurance and agility as well as gaining muscle, without the distraction of competitions and classes.

The first thing you should do, to maintain yourself while you’re off, is regulate your meals. Your off-season diet is just as vital as when you’re on. You can still enjoy eating what you like. I mean it’s off-season righhht! However, make sure you minimize your portions and focus on quality food. Diving into a perpetual pile of junk-food during the summer can lead to poor eating habits during wrestling season, like extreme dieting, which we know isn’t good for several reasons. It can result in health deficiencies and decrease your performance. Therefore, it’s good to ensure that your daily meal consumption primarily contains:

1. Fruits and Veggies, which provide needed minerals and nutrients
2. Healthy Fluids, particularly water (dehydration leads to reduced muscle strength, performance and endurance while hydration helps control metabolism and hormones, while improving circulation of nutrients)
3. Complex Carbohydrates (ex: Oatmeal, Wheat Bread, lentils, quinoa)
4. Rich Protein (ex: lean eggs, meat, yogurt, milk, cheese, soy products)

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Instead of counting calories, make it easier on yourself by just balancing meals consisting of these four groups. These foods not only help you remain full for longer periods of time, so you eat less; but they also result in faster recovery times after training. Additionally, they increase your energy. Make sure you eat these foods every two to three hours, while also consuming plenty of water, to boost your metabolism.

The next crucial thing you must do is work on your physical fitness. Before you begin the process, thoroughly consider what areas you fell short in during the previous season and what improvements you want to make. Did you typically run out of breath or become weak half-way through your matches? Did you have issues with your flexibility when trying to implement your technique? Since you have been off from wrestling for a bit, ease your way back into your physical training gradually. Begin with light work initially, then progress to higher intensity conditioning. According to Johnson Fitness, in order to:

1. Boost Endurance: Implement “interval training” and lengthen your workouts
2. Advance Your Speed: Implement exercises that include flexibility and that involve sprinting
3. Increase Strength: Incorporate squats, push-ups, lunges and abdominal exercises

If you do all these things during your time off, including working on your technique with one of your wrestling buddies, you’re on your way to being a beast on the mat, if you’re not already there.

 

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