ESSENTIAL GEAR PIECES #1 – 3
WRESTLING WORKOUT CLOTHES
The most important pieces of gear for wrestling are the clothes you wear. Normally we don’t think of clothes as gear. But in wrestling, the clothes you wear should be thought of as equipment.
Wrestling requires that you can move freely at all times but that you do not have anything loose that can catch on your opponent. You will sweat a lot during practice. People will pull on your clothes, they’ll get stretched out. So you need snug fitting clothes with a lot of stretch.
So at a minimum you should have 1
We’ll be designing our own workout gear and we’ll launch them soon enough. In the meantime, if you need a good set of workout clothes, we encourage you to shop with the Rudis. The Rudis is a company dedicated purely to the wrestling community. Everything they make is made for wrestling. They have mens workout clothes, womens workout clothes, and youth workout clothes. They’re good people headquartered in Ohio and they pick up the phone when you call them. They’ll be producing all of our workout clothes.
If you need to save money, you can skip the joggers and just buy a workout shirt and shorts at wrestlingmart.com for $25.
ESSENTIAL GEAR PIECE #4
When you wrestle, your feet need to be quick. They need to feel the mat and stay protected from turning an ankle or spraining a toe. This is why there are shoes made specifically for wrestling.
There are a number of different manufacturers of wrestling shoes. Nike, ASICS, Adidas, and the Rudis are the most popular brands in the United States. Each one caters to a different foot type and personal aesthetic.
There are also a number of different styles from split soles to built in neoprene socks. Every wrestler develops their own wrestling shoe preference based on their age and wrestling style.
The most important thing to consider in getting a pair of wrestling shoes is making sure that they fit like a glove.
The best way to make sure you get the right fit is to reach out to the pros at wrestlingmart.com. Wrestling Mart is based out of California. Everyone who works there is a wrestler. Give them a call. They pick up the phone and they’ll walk you through how to pick the right shoe for you.
You’ll find youth wrestling shoes at wrestlingmart.com for as low as $35 and adult wrestling shoes for as low as $54
ESSENTIAL GEAR PIECE #5
The wrestling room is not always open. But you can’t let that stop you from training. So you need to have a good pair of running shoes for outdoor training.
Do not use whatever sneakers you wear everyday. If you’re training hard in shoes that are not made for training then you’re going to develop wear and tear injuries like shin splints, chronic hip and knee swelling, and plantar fasciitis.
Finding the right pair of running shoes for you is as nuanced as finding the right wrestling shoes. So we’ll defer to the experts on this. Dick’s Sporting Goods or Eastbay have wide selections for men, women, and youth with good customer service.
You’ll find youth running shoes as low as $20 and adult running shoes as low as $50.
ESSENTIAL GEAR PIECES #6
If we had to pick one piece of exercise equipment for a wrestler, it would be a good resistance band. With the right resistance band you can drill shots, simulate a match, build wrestling strength and endurance and you can do all of this in your living room, at the park, on the sidewalk…Coach Damir has a daily routine he does in the back cab of his truck.
Training with resistance bands has become very popular since the outbreak of COVID. But wrestlers have been training with resistance bands in Eastern Europe since World War II.
During the war, eastern european wrestlers had limited access to gyms. So they developed training regimens that did not require access to a mat or a partner. After the war, these training techniques were adopted by Soviet wrestlers. These days, you can see clips on Instagram of elite American wrestlers training with resistance during the COVID pandemic in former Soviet Republics.
Our Head Coach trained and competed in the Olympics for Uzbekistan, a former Soviet Republic. So when the pandemic hit and all of our gyms closed, we went outside and developed our own resistance bands system including 50+ wrestler specific exercises for everything from drilling shots to improving strength and conditioning.
You can see find more information on our Resistance Bands page. We’ve been custom making bands for elite athletes and our club members for about a year now. We’ve fine tuned them to be the best resistance bands for wrestlers in the market. We’re now in the process of getting them manufactured. We should be bringing them to the public in early 2021.
If you’re looking to do this on the cheap, you can also just buy rubber tubing from Canal Rubber. Canal Rubber is a local store that specializes in all things rubber. Ask for Matt. Here are some specs to help you out.
ID: 0.1875 / WT: 0.125
Lightweight Adult Bands
ID: 0.125 / WT: 0.1875
Midweight Adult Bands
ID: 0.125 / WT 0.28125
Heavyweight Adult Bands
ID: 0.125 / WT: 0.313
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ESSENTIAL GEAR PIECE #7
Jumping rope is great for improving wrestling foot speed, muscle endurance, and coordination. You can jump rope as a warm up for a strength training workout or jump rope as a stand alone cardio workout.
Jump ropes have changed quite a bit in the last few decades. Not all jump ropes are made the same. You have basic ropes for fundamentals, speed ropes for indoor aerobic workouts improving foot speed, drag ropes/weighted ropes for building shoulder strength.
If you’re new to jumping rope stick to a basic one. You can use them anywhere because they are typically made from PVC rope. PVC isn’t as fast as the wire cabling on speed ropes or as heavy as weighted ropes. But they’re durable and will give you a good workout. There’s one from SKLS at Dicks Sport Goods for $15
For a good Speed Rope or Weighted Rope, you’ll get what you pay for and there are a lot of manufacturers to choose from. RXS Smart Gear is the official jump rope partner to USA Wrestling. They make good ropes, they have a lot of variety, and when you buy one you’re keeping your purchase in the wrestling community. This is more important than you might think. Most manufacturers do not support the communities they sell to. At least in this case, there has been further vetting by the largest wrestling organization in the nation.
How do I size my jump rope?
We’ll again defer to RXS Smart Gear to answer this one. The rule of thumb is “take your height and add 3 feet.”
All of the ropes we recommended are height adjustable.
ESSENTIAL GEAR PIECE #8
At Willpower Wrestling, we do a lot of plyometric exercises. The agility ladder is a key piece of equipment to our plyo regimen because we focus a lot on developing foot speed.
For the uninitiated, an agility ladder is essentially a straight line of typically 6 – 15 20″x20″ square frames that athletes use to master foot and body movements. They look like this:
You can do agility ladder drills just about anywhere: on the sidewalk, in a field, on a wrestling mat. You can also get pretty creative about the kind of agility ladder you use.
On a sidewalk, you can draw an agility ladder using chalk.
In a field you can use one that you can secure with lawn stakes like this that you can buy on Eastbay for $15.
We’re also in the early development stages of a compact agility system for at home use. If you train wrestlers, feel free to reach out to us to discuss being a part of our beta testing group.
ESSENTIAL GEAR PIECE #9
Wrestling pushes every part of your body to its extreme. In order to keep up with the grind of training, your body needs a regular recovery regimen.
We can’t all afford personal masseuses or belong to a wrestling program with a full time physical therapy team. So we have to take care of our body ourselves.
Massage balls or foam rollers are great tools for loosening up tight muscles to improve range of motion, decreasing soreness and muscle fatigue after exercise, and improve muscle performance.
Because we are always considering how to keep our kit compact, we recommend buying a massage ball. RAD Roller makes a good one called the ATOM that you can buy on their website for $35.
Courtesy of RAD Roller
At 5 inches the Atom is sized for versatility. So you can get targeted self-massage work on your glutes, your quads, lats, traps, calves, and more.
ESSENTIAL GEAR PIECE #10
You should keep all of your wrestling gear together in one pack.
The Rudis makes a whole line of gear backpacks for wrestlers. In fact, in early 2021 we’ll be selling a Willpower Wrestling Club gearpack designed by the Rudis.
Stay tuned for updates.
But any bag will do as long as it’s sturdy and big enough to carry your gear.
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You need willpower to be a champion. You also need a supportive community. Here at Willpower we support our best wrestlers through scholarships to reduce the cost of training, a traveling club team to showcase their talent, and residencies for world class wrestlers and coaches to share their experience. Please consider making a donation to support these programs.