Wrestling coach Chad Parks tells his athletes, “In hand-to-hand combat sports, you have to be strong in weird positions.” Translation: hand-to-hand combat athletes have to be able to bend and twist their bodies and still be able to move another person’s body around, all while resisting him. With the TRX Rip Trainer, Chad and his athletes are able to incorporate “weird positions” into their strength training that simulate positions they might get into during hand-to-hand combat.
“The Rip Trainer allows us to add in a new type of strength and conditioning during our wrestling training,” says Chad. “These two workouts mesh together seamlessly.”
The Rip Trainer also allows Chad to train his athletes on another unique combination that exists in hand-to-hand combat sports: dynamic strength and static holds. In hand-to-hand combat, an athlete might explode into a dynamic throw and then have to hold a person in a static position to gain control of him. “This unique sport combination has traditionally been difficult to train from a strength and conditioning perspective,” says Chad. Outside of training a specific sporting drill, there are not a lot of options to train dynamic movements with resistance and then a static hold immediately after, all with one piece of equipment. This factor gets even harder to train when you add transverse movements into the equation.
In this video, Chad and some of his athletes from Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kansas demonstrate some Rip Trainer movements that benefit the strength and conditioning needs of hand-to-hand combat athletes.
The Rip Trainer Punch allows an athlete to strike while experiencing resistance forces against the striking arm. This allows the athlete to work explosion with rotational resistance, while learning to rotate his hip for more power and better form.
The Rip Trainer Step Back Throw allows an athlete to feel resistance throughout a wrestling/judo style of throw. The Rip Trainer Step Back Throw also allows the athlete to complete the throwing motion with resistance while using footwork in the process. This is a complex movement and will increase a hand-to-hand combat athlete’s dynamic power in the throwing motion.
The Rip Trainer Sweep is another exercise Chad has created specifically for ground work used in Jiu Jitsu or MMA. Many times, a hand-to-hand combat athlete is on his back and trying to sweep an opponent. Many sweeps are executed with no arms or legs having any ground contact. Yet, the athlete must create enough force or transfer an opponent’s force in order to sweep him over. The Rip Trainer Sweep allows an athlete to work on creating force from his back with his limbs in the air. He also has to pull against the Rip Trainer bungee and explode through the sweeping motion. This exercise engages every core muscle and moves from a static position directly into a dynamic movement with resistance.
The Rip Trainer Chest Press, followed directly by the Rip Trainer Row, is a great combination movement that, completed in short durations at a high intensity, will test even the best conditioned athletes. For this exercise, Chad has connected both sides of the Rip Trainer to create these explosive bilateral exercises that allow his athletes to simultaneously build strength, endurance and power. He also uses the bilateral position to train leg strength and develop muscle memory for knee strikes.
“TRX has allowed me and my athletes to take our training to the next level,” says Chad. “We use the TRX Suspension Trainer and the TRX Rip Trainer at least three days per week to improve our strength and conditioning and our hand-to-hand combat sporting abilities. If you are a hand-to-hand combat athlete and haven’t added TRX to your training, you are missing out!”
For more on the TRX Rip Trainer, click here.
Chad Parks is the head wrestling coach at Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kansas. This son of a National Hall of Fame wrestling coach has over 25 years of combined wrestling experience to include both active competition and coaching at both the college and high school levels. He instructs at wrestling clinics throughout the Midwest.