Use this activity to develop evasive movement before contact. The players start with a jump before accelerating, changing angles and then accelerating away again. Ideal as a warm up exercise. MORE
VIDEO: Warm up with a wrestle
Get ready for a contact or tackling session by using wrestling drills. They’re great for conditioning and bring a competitive edge to training – watch our video and then try it with your team.
Upper- and lower-body wrestling techniques for use in contact warm-ups.
HOW TO DO IT
- Split the players into evenly matched pairs.
- Each player puts his left arm inside the right arm of his opponent and then puts his arms around the back, so they’re hugging each other.
- On your signal, each player aims to lift his opponent off his feet first.
- Each pair goes three times before players swap partners, ideally with the winners from each pair matching up.
- To develop, one player lies on the ground with his partner on top of him. The player underneath twists and turns in a bid to throw the other player off.
Swim your arms inside theirs before you grab to lift.
WHAT TO CALL OUT
- “Use the legs as well as the arms”
- “It’s about attitude and whether you want to outdo your opponent”
- “Grab, squeeze and lift, like you would in a tackle”
WHY IT WORKS
This “wrestle and lift” exercise is ideal preparation for a contact session because it gets players using the right techniques in a relatively low-impact situation. It also fires up their minds to be competitive in the contact area – winning the 1 v 1 contest. Run it for about 3-4 minutes maximum.
DID YOU KNOW?
Russia’s national squad has trained with Olympic wrestlers and several wrestling converts play in the country’s pro club rugby competition. “There’s a lot of wrestling in rugby – in the ruck, the scrum, in tackling,” says prop Innokenty Zykov. “Wrestling gives all-round physical development and can build a foundation for any other sport.”
A SIMPLE PRACTICE
- Put a ball carrier and three defenders in a 5m square box.
- When you say “go”, the defenders must remove the ball from the box. They do this by either lifting the ball carrier off the ground or ripping away the ball.
- If they lift the carrier, they must place him back on the ground outside the box. They cannot throw him!
- Develop by adding another support player for the ball carrier. The players can pass the ball between them if they want.