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Greco-Roman Wrestling



Special training methods in wrestling have been assumed to improve the stability and tolerance of the neck. The aim of this study was to measure the neck strength levels reached in an extremely physically demanding sport. A neck strength measurement system was used to measure various parameters of maximal isometric neck strength in Finnish senior wrestlers competing at the international level. The results were compared with those achieved by junior wrestlers and a control group. The means (SD) of the maximal isometric neck strength for cervical rotation were 0.4 (0.1) Nm.kg(-1) for the senior wrestlers, 0.3 (0.1) Nm.kg(-1) for the junior wrestlers, and 0.2 (0.1) Nm.kg(-1) for the nonsportsmen. The respective results for cervical flexion were 4.4 (1.4), 3.8 (0.7), and 2.3 (0.8) Nm.kg(-1); for extension, 6.0 (1.1), 5.9 (0.7), and 4.0 (0.9) Nm.kg(-1). Neck strength in flexion seems to improve more than in extension as the result of wrestling. The greatest difference was found in rotation, which in the senior wrestlers was almost 3 times that in the nonsportsmen. There was great individual variation within all groups, and the results revealed weaknesses in all directions. Maximal neck strength measurements provide information useful in planning training programs to correct possible muscle deficiency and imbalance.




Greco-Roman Wrestling


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The purpose of this study was to compare the epidemiology of freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling injuries sustained during a 2006 United States (US) national tournament. A prospective injury surveillance study was conducted at the US 2006 ASICS/Vaughan Cadet and Junior National Championships. There were 83 freestyle- and 55 Greco-Roman-related injuries sustained, with the rate of injury per 1000 athlete-matches higher in freestyle (7.0) compared with Greco-Roman (4.6) wrestling [Rate ratio (RR)=1.51, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07-2.12]. Compared with Greco-Roman wrestling, there was a greater proportion of knee injuries in freestyle wrestling [injury proportion ratio (IPR)=4.17, 95% CI: 1.30-13.41]. In GrecoRoman wrestling, there were greater proportions of elbow (IPR=9.11, 95% CI: 1.13-73.59) and head/face/neck (IPR=1.72, 95% CI: 1.10-2.67) injuries and a greater proportion of concussions (IPR=1.95, 95% CI: 0.92-4.12), although the latter was statistically insignificant. Greco-Roman wrestlers sustained a greater proportion of injuries from being driven into the mat (IPR=2.97, 95% CI: 1.72-5.14). There were no statistically significant differences in injury outcome by wrestling style. The differing injury rates and patterns of injury between freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling are likely due to the different rules between these styles that allow lower leg attacks in freestyle wrestling and encourage the use of throws in Greco-Roman wrestling.


Significant differences in speed, agility, and flexibility were detected between the wrestling styles (Table 3). The statistical analysis indicated that Greco-Roman wrestlers were faster (6.3%) and more agile (5.5%) than Freestyle wrestlers. However, Freestyle wrestlers were more flexible (11.8%) than Greco-Roman wrestlers. Additionally, the discriminant function analysis revealed that the significantly different variables were peak arm power (W/kg), agility, speed (10 and 30 m), and flexibility among both wrestling styles (Table 4). According to these results, Greco-Roman wrestlers had higher peak arm power (693 218 W), were faster in 10 m (1.74 0.1 s), and were more agile (14.6 0.6 s) than Freestyle wrestlers (594 173 W, 1.85 0.1 s, and 15.4 0.8 s, respectively), but Freestyle wrestlers were more flexible (34 7.0 cm) and faster in 30 m (4.30 0.3 s) than Greco-Roman wrestlers (30 6.2 cm and 4.39 0.2 s, respectively). In contrast to these results, Baic et al. (2007) indicated that top-level Freestyle wrestlers had a higher level of strength endurance of the trunk and upper extremities than Greco-Roman wrestlers, based on discriminant function analysis. These authors assumed that their results were influenced by the specific features of each wrestling style. In another study, Gullon et al. (2011) compared both wrestling styles and found no differences in 10 m sprint times.


Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate differences between successful and less successful wrestlers and between male and female wrestlers (Roemmich and Frappier, 1993; Hübner-Woźniak et al., 2004; Vardar et al., 2007; Abellán et al., 2010; Pallares et al., 2011; Pallares et al., 2012). In one of these studies, Roemmich and Frappier (1993) employed discriminate function analysis to determine which collection of variables most accurately predicted wrestling success. They found that grip strength of the left hand, flexibility of the lower back and hamstrings, push-ups, strength of the right quadriceps, and total distance covered during a 12-min run were important in predicting wrestling success. In another study, Palleres et al. (2011) used binary logistic regression analysis to predict the probability of being an elite wrestler. They found that training experience, fat-free mass, one repetition maximum (1RM) strength and muscle power in the bench press and full squat, and peak power were selective factors. Palleres et al. (2012) used regression analysis and found that fat-free mass and 1RM strength were the most significant factors of successful female wrestling performance.


Ulupınar, S, Özbay, S, Gençoğlu, C, and İnce, İ. Performance differences between Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestlers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res 35(11): 3270-3279, 2021-This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to summarize evidence on performance differences between Greco-Roman (GR) and freestyle (Fr) wrestlers. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria (91 individual data and a total of 752 wrestlers). The analysis of handgrip strength comprised 9 outcomes from 5 studies with no significant difference between GR and Fr wrestlers. The analysis of isometric (back or leg) strength comprised 15 outcomes from 6 studies with a significant effect favoring GR wrestlers. The analysis of muscle power comprised 15 outcomes from 5 studies with a significant effect favoring GR wrestlers. The analysis of strength endurance comprised 4 outcomes from 3 studies with no significant difference between GR and Fr wrestlers. The analysis of anaerobic capacity and power comprised 6 outcomes from 3 studies with no significant difference between GR and Fr wrestlers. The analysis of speed comprised 19 outcomes from 7 studies with a significant effect favoring GR wrestlers. The analysis of flexibility comprised 20 outcomes from 6 studies with a significant effect favoring Fr wrestlers. This study indicated that GR wrestlers had greater isometric strength, muscle power, and speed performance, but Fr wrestlers had greater flexibility. Given the significant effect sizes favoring GR wrestlers, it is possible that they focused on training strategies to improve physical strength-power performance. However, considering the significant effect size favoring Fr wrestlers, it is possible that they focused on training strategies to improve flexibility because Fr wrestling techniques require a larger range of motion during both attack and defense.


There are many opportunities for high school wrestlers to continue competing in folkstyle wrestling in college. This past year, 232 colleges sponsored NCAA wrestling across the three divisions. In addition, there were 57 NAIA wrestling programs, 44 NJCAA wrestling programs and 162 NCWA wrestling programs.But what if a high school wrestler wants to pursue Greco-Roman while in college? Let's examine the various Greco-Roman opportunities available.Northern Michigan UniversityThe Greco-Roman wrestling program at the Northern Michigan University Olympic Training Site, which was established in 1999, has grown into a major contributor to the U.S. Olympic movement. "Northern Michigan is the standard-bearer for high schoolers looking to continue their Greco-Roman careers in lieu of attending a folkstyle college," said Timothy Hands, founder and senior editor of Five Point Move, a website that covers Greco-Roman wrestling.The program has produced nine Olympians, including multiple-time world medalist Andy Bisek, Olympic medalist Adam Wheeler and multiple-time Olympians Harry Lester and Ben Provisor. There are typically 40-45 resident athletes on the team each year. Wrestlers train on the second floor of Northern Michigan University's Superior Dome. Rob Hermann has served as the program's head coach since 2010. He was the head coach for the 1996 U.S. Olympic team and has been named USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year twice. His assistant is former Northern Michigan wrestler Andy Bisek, who competed at the Rio Olympics after winning world bronze medals in 2014 and 2015. "NMU is at the point now where athletes still in high school are going over there prior to receiving their diplomas since they can finish off their high school credits while training, thus giving them a head start," said Hands. "Northern also arranges important overseas tours, usually to Sweden or other places, though funding is often independent of the school and/or the national governing body. Athletes who enjoy sponsorship from a club, which for NMU wrestlers is predominantly NYAC, can subsidize those costs somewhat."For more information on the Northern Michigan Greco-Roman wrestling program, visit Northern Michigan's Greco-Roman wrestling website.


Williams Baptist CollegeThis past October, Williams Baptist College, located in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, announced the addition of Greco-Roman wrestling as an intercollegiate sport, beginning this coming fall. Former Greco-Roman wrestler Kerry Regner, who was coaching the Williams Baptist College wrestling program at the time, came up with the idea. It was sparked by Northern Michigan discontinuing its women's wrestling program and enrollment-driven schools starting women's wrestling. "I was like we could do this for Greco," Regner told Jason Bryant on his Short Time Wrestling Podcast. "We have the capabilities. We have the means. We have the want. We could easily just add a men's Greco-Roman program, basically with the model of Northern Michigan slash women's program. We're the first program to do it ourselves."The head coach of Williams Baptist's Greco-Roman team is Jonathan Drendel, a past University Nationals champion and Junior Nationals champion in Greco-Roman. "Drendel is a very positive, very energetic yet selfless individual who wrestlers seem to respond to," noted Harms. "The other selling point to Williams Baptist is the climate. Whereas Marquette, Michigan can be a very, very cold place to be with extremely harsh winters, Arkansas obviously offers a much, much, much milder climate, which will wind up making Williams an attractive option for wrestlers from the warmer states who'd like to stick with Greco."To learn more about the Williams Baptist Greco-Roman wrestling program, visit Williams Baptist's Greco-Roman wrestling website. Olivet CollegeOlivet College, located in Olivet, Michigan, provides opportunities for wrestlers to train in Greco-Roman at their regional training center (RTC). According to the school's website, "Olivet College will be the only Division III school named a Greco-Roman wrestling RTC. A grant from the U.S. Wrestling Foundation has paved the way for Olivet College to be named an RTC."Olivet's Greco-Roman RTC coach is Rich Estrella, who served as head coach of the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman Team in Beijing, China, in 2008. He was also the head coach of the 2007 Greco-Roman World Team that won the world team title.NCWAThe National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) recently established the GoGreco program.The NCWA's Greco-Roman wrestling season begins in late March and concludes in early June with the GoGreco Collegiate National Championships. It is an open entry event to any NCWA member institution.According to the organization's website, "Each NCWA state and conference organization is encouraged to promote the GoGreco program in their respective state, and to send to the GoGreco Nationals any and all representatives they feel will make a contribution to the growth of the Greco-Roman style of wrestling in their state. All qualified athletes must be in good standing with their member institution for the past academic season having completed at least 6 credit hours toward graduation in a matriculating program offered by their school. Athletes must also be carrying a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA on their last academic report to be eligible to compete."North Texas won the team title at the the inaugural Greco-Roman College National Championships on June 9 in Dallas, Texas. The North Texas program is coached by three-time world medalist Andre Metzger. Finishing second was Richland College. Other programs that participated in the event included USC, UCLA, Springfield Tech CC, Texas State, Houston and Grays Harbor.To learn more about the NCWA's GoGreco program and opportunities, visit the NCWA website. 041b061a72


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