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Wrestling Drills: For Home and at the Gym

wrestling drills

Are you looking to become a better wrestler? If you are, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll be going through the following wrestling drills:

  • Shot & Re-Shot Drills

  • Cradle Drill

  • Shot Transition Drill

  • Takedown to Pin

  • Hand Control Drills

  • Clearing Collar Ties

  • Whizzer Drills

  • Speed Drills

These will help you master techniques and build strong reflexes. Continue reading to learn all about wrestling drills and moves and how to properly execute them.

Wrestling Drills

Wrestling drills are a great way to progress your technique and form in a quick and efficient manner. There are many different types of wrestling drills which are interesting, challenging, and progressive.

Below listed are some of the best drills you can do especially if you are a youth wrestler or a beginner.

Shot & Re-Shot Drills

These drills are excellent for improving your takedown skills, reflexes, and reaction time. Begin by taking a shot at your opponent’s legs as you would in a double-leg takedown, focusing on proper technique and explosiveness.

After you have completed the initial shot, immediately transition into a re-shot position, simulating your opponent sprawling or countering your first takedown attempt.

This wrestling drill helps you develop quick reflexes, reaction time, and the ability to chain together an array of well-thought-out attacks. Practice these drills regularly to enhance your takedown effectiveness and maintain control when you wrestle.

Cradle Drill

The Cradle drill is one of the best wrestling drills. If done right, it can give you a significant advantage on the mat. Start by getting a hold of your opponent’s head and arm, and secure them in a cradle position.

From there, work on locking your hands and applying pressure to control your opponent. Practice rolling your opponent onto their back while maintaining control of the cradle.

Regularly practicing this drill will help you develop the strength, coordination, and timing necessary to properly execute the cradle move and take advantage of potential pinning opportunities.


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Shot Transition Drill

This is one of the best wrestling drills which focuses on seamless transitions between different takedown attempts. Begin by aiming and shooting for a single-leg takedown, then quickly transition to a double-leg or high crotch if your initial attempt is countered or defended.

This will help you develop the ability to chain together different attacks and take advantage of openings. Make sure to regularly practice shot transitions, and you’ll become more unpredictable and versatile in your takedown game, increasing your chances of scoring points and pins.

Takedown to Pin

This drill combines two important skills into a powerful and effective sequence. To start, execute a takedown, such as a double leg or single leg, bringing your opponent to the mat.

Once you’ve secured the takedown, and are in the top position, work on transitioning into a pinning combination, such as a half-nelson or a cradle.

This helps youth wrestlers develop their ability to seamlessly transition from a takedown to a pinning position, maximizing their scoring potential in matches.

Hand Control Drills

Hand control is one of the essential skills in wrestling, these drills focus on securing the stance and motion of your opponent by countering their hand movements. Practicing techniques such as pummeling and wrist control can help youth wrestlers improve grip strength, reflexes, and hand speed.

By having good hand control, you can counter and disrupt your opponent’s attacks and attempted takedowns, set up your offense, and maintain a dominant position.

Clearing Collar Ties

Clearing collar ties is an effective skill that helps you break free from your opponent’s grip on your collar. To practice this move, start by having your partner establish a collar tie on you.

Then, use your hand to grip their wrist or forearm, then quickly and forcefully pull down and away, this will create space between you and your opponent.

Simultaneously, stand up, step to the side and rotate your body to break their grip even more. Repeat this drill from both sides to develop the strength, speed, technique, and timing needed to effectively clear collar ties.

Whizzer Drills

The Whizzer is a defensive move used to counter your opponent’s takedown attempts and maintain a dominant position in a match.

To practice whizzers, begin by having your partner shoot for a takedown, such as a single leg or double leg. As they start their takedown, quickly step back and move your leg across their body, placing your arm over their shoulder and gripping their waist.

Then stand up, apply pressure with your arm and rotate your body, this will prevent your opponent from finishing the takedown. Repeat and practice this exercise from different angles and positions to improve your technique, balance, and reaction time.

Speed Drills

Speed and reflex are crucial aspects of wrestling, as they allow you to quickly react to your opponent’s movements and execute your offensive movements.

Adding a speed and motion drill into your training routine will help you improve your agility, quickness, and explosiveness. There are several speed drills you can incorporate into your weekly training routine, such as ladder drills, agility cone drills, or reaction drills.

These movements mostly involve quick footwork, change of direction, and explosive movements. By regularly incorporating speed drills into your training routine, you can enhance your overall athleticism on the mat.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What exercises help in wrestling?

Some exercises that help in wrestling are weightlifting like squats and power cleans, plyometrics like box jumps, core exercises like hanging leg raises, cardio like sprinting, and bodyweight exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, and stand-ups. These exercises can help improve your wrestling stance, strength, explosiveness, stability, and endurance for amateur wrestling.

Actively training flexibility and mobility are also good habits. This can help you get better in the neutral position and the bottom position. Your stance and motion hold huge importance as a wrestler on the mat so make sure to prioritize it.

How to practice wrestling without a partner?

You can still practice wrestling, even if you do not have a training partner. Shadow wrestling, footwork drills, and strength training are all exercises exercises on your own. Keep practicing these and you’ll see progress in your technique, strength, and speed.

How can I increase my quickness for wrestling?

Increasing your quickness for wrestling is a simple and to-the-point process. You can try agility drills, plyometric exercises, and footwork practice, all of which are excellent options. These will help improve your speed, explosive power, and reaction time.

How can I improve my shot in wrestling?

When it comes to improving your shot in wrestling, the answer is simple. Practice, practice, and some more practice. Shooting is a skill and will only get better with experience. Focus on your stance, drive, set up, and penetration step to make progress at shooting.

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