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Wrestling Injury Prevention and Performance

Playing by the rules, and using proper protective equipment is critical to preventing wrestling injuries. In addition to contact-related injuries, players also need to guard against injuries that can occur as a result of poor conditioning, or being unprepared for the level of activity.

Other ways to avoid injury include:

  • The risk of wrestling injury goes down when wrestlers are properly matched in age, experience, weight, and gender.
  • Wearing protective headgear decreases the risk of cauliflower ear and concussion.
  • Mouth guards can prevent severe tongue and tooth injuries.
  • Pre-patella bursitis can be prevented or minimized through the use of kneepads.
  • Strengthening and flexibility exercises for the muscles of the lower extremity, in particular the quadriceps and hamstrings muscle groups
  • To minimize risk of skin infection the athlete should:
  • Take routine and thorough showers before and after practice and matches.
  • Wear clean clothing at each practice session and match.
  • Sanitize mats with antiseptic solution after each practice.
  • Properly control weight and diet so the athlete is able to maintain body weight within two to four pounds of the wrestler’s weight class.
  • Balanced diet should be based upon the athlete’s age, body size, growth phase, and physical activity so to minimize the risk of injury or illness.
  • Weight certifications have been adopted by many wrestling organizations that require the wrestler to weigh in during the first two weeks of a season. The minimum weight a wrestler can then go down is seven percent of this initial weigh in weight.