Tips to Make Heavyweight Wrestlers Better

I have watched quite a few really good heavyweight wrestlers. Each wrestler has their own style, but there are similarities between all heavyweights.

Let’s explore 9 strategies that will help our big guys and gals get better at wrestling heavyweight.

Be in Better Shape than Your Opponents

Heavyweight wrestlers are often out of shape and will run out of gas by the third period.

It’s hard to push an opponent that weighs 285 pounds. The great wrestlers are in better shape than their opponent.


If you are in better shape than your opponent, then there is a good chance you will win that match.

The national strength and conditioning association has some great heavyweight wrestling tips on conditioning and Strength Training for High School Wrestlers.

Spend Time in Weight Room

Strength is important, but it’s extra important for a heavyweight wrestler. If you take a shot on a big guy OR choose the bottom position, then you have a lot of weight on you.

Look at Kyle Snyder to see a perfect example of how spending extra time in the weight room can help a heavyweight. Kyle Snyder was considered to be a small heavyweight at the 2016 NCAA championships. He weighed just 222 pounds when he beat Nick Gwiazdowski in the finals.

Since then, he has gone on to win the gold at the 2016 Olympics. If you look at him, he looks like a beast. He pushes guys around that weigh 30-50 pounds more than him. Prior to wrestling heavyweight, he wrestled 197lbs in college. You can tell he has focused on getting stronger. He is a perfect example of how the weight room can help you in heavyweight wrestling.

Use the off-season to increase your strength and you will have a competitive advantage over other heavyweights. Spend the extra time in the weight room. It will be worth it.

Focus on Eating Healthy

Eating healthy foods will help you maintain a healthy weight.

The best high school and college heavyweight wrestlers are built like brick houses. They might not be as skinny as the lower weights, but the good heavyweights don’t have a lot of body fat. If you are a heavyweight that is carrying around unnecessary body fat, you will find that you will struggle against an athletic heavyweight.

I’m even willing to bet that some heavyweights would drop to a lower weight class if they focused on eating the right foods.

My son recently came to me and told me he wanted to start eating right. We made some small changes in his eating habits. Here are the changes I made:

  • Eliminated Soda Pop
  • Drank 1-2 glasses of water right before a meal
  • Reduced portion sizes
  • Added whole grains and vegetables

While my son did not drop a weight class, we did see a noticeable improvement. Before he started eating healthy, he weighed 282lbs. One month after changing his eating habits, he lost 25 pounds. He told me that he feels like he can move faster. I noticed the difference at the junior duals. He was wrestling some studs. He surprised me by how well he was moving on the mat.

If you want to give yourself a competitive advantage on the mat, you should make sure that you are eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water. You will notice you can move faster than a lot of other heavyweight wrestlers.

In addition to helping you with heavyweight wrestling, shedding a few pounds will make you feel better about yourself. Maintaining a healthy wealthy will make you a better heavyweight wrestler and improve your self-image on and off the mat.

Learn Five Takedowns

If your wrestling heavyweight, you need to learn takedowns.

Too many heavyweights stall from the neutral position. They do what I call the heavyweight dance. They look like bulls pushing each other around. I believe this is because a lot of coaches don’t force their heavyweight wrestlers to work on takedowns.

Your best heavyweight wrestling moves should be takedowns.

Every heavyweight should learn five takedowns that he can use against every opponent. If you can take any opponent down, you can win the match.

Every wrestler is different so a takedown that works for one wrestler may not work for another wrestler.

I would recommend that every heavyweight learns a single leg, double leg, a pass by, a knee pick, and a foot sweep.

Notice I did not mention a throw? A throw is a good weapon when wrestling heavyweight, but a throw is not a go to move. A good takedown has less risk with a better chance of scoring.

Check out our list of the best wrestling shoes. Good shoes give you a better grip when your shooting. You don’t want your foot to slip when shooting on a heavyweight wrestler.

Learn to Circle

What do I mean by circling? You will hear a ref say “Center” or “Action” during a match.

The referee is saying this because he wants the wrestlers to move to the center of the mat and wrestle aggressively.

A lot of heavyweight wrestlers will tie up with each other and push each other out-of-bounds. This is either stalling by the aggressor or stalling by the opponent that is avoiding a takedown.

If a heavyweight will learn to circle, he will avoid the stalling calls and will create an angle so that he can attack.

Also, it is harder for a heavyweight wrestler to attack if you are circling and looking for an attack yourself.

Develop a Great Escape

A lot of heavyweight matches will come down to one point. It’s crucial that a heavyweight learns to get an escape against any opponent. An escape could be the difference between winning or losing a match.

Some good escapes for heavyweights are a tripod stand up, a quarter stand up, tripod to a gramby, or a standing switch.

All of these moves need strength. Remember my previous section on spending time in the weight room?

Learn to Chain Wrestle

To be a good heavyweight wrestler, you need to learn to chain wrestle. Chain wrestling is putting multiple moves together to constantly be on the attack.

Most heavyweights will try one move and then get stuck because they don’t know what to do next.

When you’re practicing, start drilling multiple moves. It takes some time to perfect chain wrestling, but it’s worth it. Chain wrestling will help you become a great heavyweight.

Learn to Ride Anyone

Learning to ride and break down any opponent is just as valuable as a great escape for a heavyweight. If a heavyweight can learn to ride an opponent, then his opponent has less chance to score and you have a better chance of pinning your opponent.

One of the most important aspects of the top position is to learn to break an opponent down. You need to know how to counter any move the opponent executes from the bottom. Some great breakdown moves are a spiral ride, ankle to tight waist, or drop to a single. If you drop to a single make sure you do not hang on to your opponents leg. You will be called for stalling.