John Gaglione's Post Season Wrestling
Training # 6
The Trap Bar for Shoulder Friendly Upper Body Strength for Wrestling
The trap bar deadlift is the most popular and common use of the trap bar, but that doesnít mean the trap bar isnít a great tool for training the upper body as well. The trap bar is known for performing shrugs, but that is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to building upper body strength for wrestlers. It is important to develop pulling strength and power for both the lower AND upper body for wrestling. The trap barís unique design allows you to do just that!
The trap bar allows for a neutral grip which is very easy on the shoulderís which makes it a perfect choice for wrestlers during both in season and off season training. The trap bar can also reduce the stress on the low back since the lifters can center themselves inside the bar. The trap bar can be used for many types of rowing, pulling, and pushing variation to help take your wrestling training to the next level.
Another common use of the trap bar is for shrugs. The trap bar allows the lifter to hold a lot of weight in a shoulder friendly position without the use of lifting straps or use of over/under grip. This is a great way to build size in the traps for anyone training for aesthetic reasons. When done for high reps it is also a great grip exercise as well. Any types of high rep exercise, especially pulling exercises, are a great way to develop grip strength and endurance for wrestling. Just be sure to NOT roll the shoulder forward or backward during the movement. Stay in good posture throughout and come straight up and straight down when performing the movement.
Trap Bar for Upper Body Pulling and Pushing Strength
Trap Bar Rows
Rowing with the trap bar is one of my favorite uses for the bar. Bent over rows can be very hard on the low back and grip when done very heavy, so by utilizing the trap bar the lifter can reduce the stress on the low back and hold big loads without using straps. Bent over rows can also be difficult for larger lifter with big bellies since they canít get a full range of motion. The trap bar allows the arms and shoulder to move freely and eliminate this problem.
Neutral Grip Pull Ups
Pull ups are one of the best overall exercises for strength and performance. Many gyms donít have awesome collegiate racks from Elite Fitness Systems with monkey chin bar so neutral grip pull ups arenít always an option. By putting the trap bar in a power rack any home gym lifter can perform neutral grip pull ups. This grip seems to be the most shoulder friendly, but still allow all of the benefits of traditional chins. This bar also allows a true vertical pull since there is no bar for the lifter to have to travel around to get a complete contraction. This allows the lifter to keep the neck more in a natural alignment when performing pull ups. Pull up variations are some of the best exercises to build overall back strength. The neutral grip makes it very shoulder friendly to help keep stress off of that joint for in season training.
Neutral Grip Inverted Rows
Inverted rows are another great way to train the upper back and lats. Traditional straight bar inverted rows can be tough of some peopleís shoulders and the trap bar allows for the shoulder friendly neutral grip. Blast straps or other suspension trainer devices are the best way to do this, but if you donít have access to them you can put the trap bar in a rack at a low to moderate height to perform them. , This can be done with the legs bent, straight, or feet elevated to modify the difficulty level of the exercise. All pulling exercises are crucial for wrestling and inverted rows are a great exercise to help balance out all of the push ups most wrestlers do at practice.
Neutral Grip Push Ups
The lifter can place the trap bar on the floor with no weight to create a neutral grip push up station. This grip can help take stress of the wrists and also allow bigger lifter to get a better range of motion. Bands and chains can be added for external resistance as well as elevating the feet. This is a great option when push up handles are not available. Wrists and shoulders are often banged up during wrestling season so this is a great option for all grapplers.
Halo Neutral Grip Overhead Press
The trap bar can be utilized as an overhead pressing
device. You can set these up in a power rack on a pin setting or have you
partner help get the bar in position. The trap bar allows the lifter to get a
true vertical press since the lifter doesnít need to press the bar around their
neck and face like a traditional overhead press with a straight bar. This allows
for a more natural overhead pressing motion. The only downside to this exercise
is getting in proper position so I recommend lifters stick to high reps with
this exercise. The overhead press is a ground based lift that will strengthen
the upper body and the core, which makes it a great lift for wrestlers.
Educate, Motivate, Dominate
To take your wrestling to the next level and ensure this coming wrestling season is your best one ever go to GaglioneStrength.com and e-mail Coach Gaglione for more information on wrestling training.