The Secrets of Professional Wrestling

The truth behind an entertainment that has won millions of fans all over the world can boggle your mind. Sometimes, the real deal on what’s dishing out fun to the audience can be hard to believe that you just have to rely on a comforting lie. The secrets of professional wrestling can be too much to bear for all the faint-hearted.

People have different preferences. Others just can’t get enough of the thrilling action that caters to a sadistic side in them. All they can ever do about their obsession is to hope and scream for more. Then, there are those that cringe whenever a wrestling match is on TV. Their next move would either be to switch the channel or turn the set off.

Not all people can take all the physical blows they see on screen and it’s as if they are the ones being slammed so hard on stage. It’s traumatizing to encounter a sight of someone being knocked down for so many instances and in a one-of-a-kind way. To think that suffering is involved can be an offense to the spirit. There’s just something wrong with it.

It’s one of the secrets of professional wrestling that people are caught off guard upon hearing. They wouldn’t expect that there’s a reality behind all the entertainment brought to them. Since the wrestlers are exceptional at their jobs, they are not see-through. Wearing a fa├žade that they are immune to the slightest ounce of pain is something that only they can do. The truth is, they get hurt, too. They’re just professionals.

Most may have doubts. There is no denying that you can easily be hauled over to the point where you have to believe anything that’s not too much to handle. Knowing that all the bruises are real is something heavy for an average person to hear so instead, you’d rather settle on the fact that everything is an act.

However, if you’re serious with your hobby of watching the sport on TV, you just have to be informed of what’s really going on. Enough with all the lies because you’re better off with the real deal. It can be heavy to handle with all the agonizing experiences undergone by the wrestlers but at least, you’re not fooling yourself.

One of the secrets of professional wrestling is that nothing is ever faked. All the commotion is not just an act. Sure, its purpose is to entertain the public and you can easily thing that everything is staged. Well, it’s not. It’s as if the wrestlers are invincible and oblivious to any kind of pain but that’s just part of their job.

All of the secrets of professional wrestling can be a lot to handle. Knowing that true suffering is involved to keep the audience happy, in a way, is something that a person with a pure heart can’t easily handle. It bites to see others being beaten until they can’t take it anymore but that’s just how it is.

Five of the Top Pro Wrestling Movies

Wrestlers have become big time celebrities and have been featured in the top pro wrestling movies. Fame is theirs not just on the ring but also on screens all over the world. If you think about it, these buff men deserve the attention because for the entirety of their careers, they’ve been nothing but exceptional actors.

Giving way to the wrestlers is only right for their talent is usually overlooked and unappreciated. Aside from just staging fights and whopping verbal threats to their fellows, they have what it takes to perform their own stunts and by no means is there a need for them to be substituted by a double. If that’s not what you call top-of-the-line acting, there is no telling what is.

Walking Tall, starring Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, came out in 2004. The macho wrestler’s role is a vigilante going against the corrupt authorities of the town. Similar to the Batman film series, this is regarded as one of the top pro wrestling movies because of its jam-packed thrills by a big-shot wrestler who has found his place in Hollywood in the later years.

Another is a 1989 classic featuring the livelier days of the great Hulk Hogan, No Holds Barred. In the movie, he portrays a pro wrestler named Rip whose means of getting by through taunts is his ability to always attack with the skills he acquired from his career. Now aged, Hogan’s fit physique and prowess when it comes to combats is evident in the film.

Then, there’s also the 1987 hit, Predator starring two wrestlers who became government leaders. It’s by far one of the top pro wrestling movies because of the level of intensity in the scenes. With Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger to dish out a fix of the action, the film owes its success not only to its creators but also to the wrestling hunks included in the cast.

Another is They Live, which exhibits the magnificence of Roddy Piper. Introduced in 1988, it is regarded as a must-watch and is also one of the best in its category. Science fiction is its theme, the movie incorporates a compelling lesson woven into a fantastical metaphor. They Live is a top-runner and it showcases a pro wrestler’s finesse in one-of-a-kind battles.

The fifth is The Princess Bride. With its fairytale motif, it’s deemed as one of those movies you are required to see if you want to be labeled as a typical human being. The movie features Andre Rousimoff, better known as Andre the Giant as one of the buddies of the protagonist who helped reached for the flag of victory.

These are just 5 of the many pro wrestling movies out there. With the award-winning performances of the top men in the industry, they deserve audiences for all the entertainment value they offer. If your agenda for giving the films their due attention is so you could be treated with some top-of-the-line action and adventure.

The Top Professional Wrestling Videos of All Time

When it comes to being up-to-date with body slamming entertainment, you should consider going over the top professional wrestling videos of all time. You could catch the current bouts on screen but knowing that the best battles throughout history are out there waiting to be discovered is something you need to be informed of.

With the top professional wrestling videos of all time, you have all the freedom to marvel at the fights that captivated past and present audiences. You can turn to these footages for some much-needed inspiration or just for some top-of-the-line entertainment to be shared with buddies.

Get to see the bouts that have been dubbed as the best in history. Big names such as Chris Benoit, John Cena, Sting, The Rock, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Rey Mysterio are the ones to turn to. They were all-time favorites and have won fans all over the world for the finesse they show on stage. You can try typing their names on the address bar and sit back as you revel with what the outcome brings.

With the top professional wrestling videos of all time, you have some sort of guarantee that you are not allowing your time to go to waste. Because you are not subjected to watch just any random video that comes up, you can revel at the victory of having the best ones presented to you.

If great wrestling matches in history are what you dig, the top professional wrestling videos are the right things for you. Narrow your search by choosing the famous wrestlers in the craft. For sure, they have something worthy of your time to show. Whatever your agenda is, you know better than to have second best so instead of just being contented with the mediocre matches, have the audacity to turn to the ones filtered to be the best.

Some of the Top Professional Wrestling Videos of All Time Include:

Walking Tall – starring Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock (2004).

No Holds Barred – starring Hulk Hogan in his prime (1989).

Predator – starring Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger (1987).

They Live – starring Roddy Piper (1988).

The Princess Bride – starring Andre the Giant (1987).

With the top professional wrestling videos of all time, you are not just settling for the ordinary fights. When you have all the seriousness in your desire to have some record-breaking moments, you know the right names to search for. If you’re not up for some pointless footages in wrestling, you should know better than to just watch whatever video is shown to you.

You learn, too. If your intention is to get something out of the battles, then, the ones that are regarded to be on top of the class are the ones you should allot some time for viewing. Instead of some petty wrestling matches, prefer those that are rated by the majority as the best.

With the top professional wrestling videos of all time, you have a lowdown on the best of the best. Throughout the course of time, there have been epic matches that occurred and the only way you can have a chance to see footage of them is to head on over to a trusted source that knows what he’s doing. That, or you depend on your own capabilities and search for the right names.

Top 5 Wrestling DVDs

Due to the demand on the market by mostly wrestling aficionados, the top 5 wrestling DVD’s have been released and distributed all across the globe. With big names ranging from the hunks John Cena and The Rock to old-school heroes Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Eddie Guerrero, and more.

Arguably, the Top 5 Wrestling DVDs include: The Starrcade Anthology, The Best of Stampede Wrestling, Owen Hart, Wargames, and Sting.

Because they can hardly get enough of the thunderous combats on the ring, they are much better off with an available media that they could easily take out and play on screen. Anytime of the day and perhaps, even anywhere they are, all they need is a TV and they could instantly have their fix of the steamy bouts among the wrestlers.

With the top 5 wrestling DVD’s, fans have the privilege to luxuriate at the convenience of being presented with their favorite matches of all time. In the discs, there are action-packed exchanges and for someone hungry for tidbits and more of some wrestling frenzy, it couldn’t get any easier to have their fix. When they could just play the matches whenever they feel like, it’s a lot better compared to anticipating for the craze hours later.

Any wrestling maniac couldn’t help but be delighted over the mere thought of a DVD copy. Since it caters to his obsession, he may not even give watching it a rest and would be replaying the whole matches over and over again. Chances are, he wouldn’t like the idea of a break from it. There’s no blaming him because after all, all the action is there. When it comes to a dosage of wrestling fights, it’s exactly what they need.

Featured in the top 5 wrestling DVD’s are the typical bouts between the men with an addition of never-before seen footage on and off the camera. If the right copies are chosen, there maybe backstage scenes and exclusive captures. In ordinary moments on TV, they are never shown

The top 5 wrestling DVDs out there can never fail to win crowds. One of a kind, they are the perfect souvenirs or gift items for a fellow with a knack for an aggressive show on stage. If you feel like giving it to them, they probably can’t thank you enough for such a thought.

Wrestling is all about giving audiences the pleasure of watching real fights. For those who refuse to believe that everything is authentic including all the blood and gory bouts, a close and, perhaps, repetitive playback is what they need. If they observe accordingly, they won’t miss that the agonizing blows taken by the professionals are not fake.

If you know someone who has a deep love for hardcore entertainment, consider handing him one of the top 5 wrestling DVD’s that is out on the market. You could never go wrong with it, given that the person has a hobby that implies a fondness for the show. Costing only a few dollars, it’s worthy of the subject’s appreciation because everything he could ever want when it comes to his obsession is there.

The Importance of Skills Training and Drilling

Laying a good foundation of proper skills and technique is paramount to any sporting endeavor including wrestling. In order to build this foundation of skills an athlete needs to engage in a considerable amount of practice.

You may have heard the expression “practice makes perfect.”

Football coaching legend Vince Lombardi said, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”

Soccer legend Bobby Robson said, “Practice makes permanent.”

According to the philosopher Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

Technical Ability is Key

In the sport of wrestling superior skill and technique almost always trumps superior strength. Strength work and conditioning can certainly be a vital supplement to your training but technique should be the primary focus of any wrestler.

It’s interesting how many exceptional athletes including wrestlers started building and honing their skills at a young age.

Retired speed skating champion Bonnie Blair, winner of 5 Olympic gold medals, began skating at the age of two. Three-time NCAA wrestling champion Lincoln McIlravy began wrestling at age five. Four-time state champion Greg Randall began wrestling in second grade. Two-time NCAA champion Cary Kolat won an AAU nationals tournament in freestyle wrestling at the age of seven.

So, experience and the amount of practice time an individual amasses can have a huge impact on their level of performance.

However, Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz didn’t begin wrestling until he was a junior in high school. How did he become such an accomplished wrestler? Well, he already had a considerable amount of athleticism having competed as a gymnast. And, his older brother Dave Schultz (also an Olympic gold medalist) was there to practice with and motivate him. Moreover, Mark Schultz practiced in a particular way that allowed him to accelerate his learning. I believe he utilized what Matthew Syed (author of Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success) would call purposeful practice. Others call it deep practice.

Deliberate Practice

Deliberate practice is synonymous with what Matthew Syed calls purposeful practice. Syed states, “Purposeful practice is about striving for what is just out of reach and not quite making it; it is about grappling with tasks beyond current limitations and falling short again and again. Excellence is about stepping outside the comfort zone, training with a spirit of endeavour, and accepting the inevitability of trials and tribulations. Progress is built, in effect, upon the foundations of necessary failure. That is the essential paradox of expert performance.”

In a study entitled The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance, Ericsson et al. (1993) found that to reach the highest level of performance, individuals must engage in 10,000 hours or 10 years of deliberate practice in their chosen field. Deliberate practice can be defined as high quality, high concentration practice that is not usually inherently enjoyable. In other words, deliberate practice requires a significant amount of effort and is not fun.

Deliberate practice involves repetition, but also feedback and reflection. Simply repeating a task (e.g. mindlessly repeating a wrestling move over and over) will not necessarily improve performance. A better approach may be focusing on a very specific section of a skill. For example, if you were practicing a stand-up you might go through the move slowly focusing on pushing back into your opponent while at the same time gaining hand control. You might pay close attention to detail and consider whether you did it correctly. In addition, your coach or teammates may study your technique and give you valuable feedback. You may find that you aren’t pushing your weight back into your opponent enough or you may find a more effective way of gaining hand control if you rehearse the move slowly several times and study your technique.

You might choose to only use deliberate practice during the preseason, if you’re learning a new move, or if you’re having trouble with a move. Obviously, you need to practice moves at full speed as well. But, sometimes slowing down and really focusing on improving your performance is beneficial. Doing hundreds of stand-ups with bad technique won’t improve your stand-ups. But, some careful study and feedback may help you find ways to improve.

I read some research that specifically involved deliberate practice in the sport of wrestling. In a study entitled Wrestling with the nature of expertise: A sport specific test of Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Romer’s (1993) theory of deliberate practice, Hodges and Starkes (1996) found that expert wrestlers (e.g. international level wrestlers) practiced their skills significantly more often than non-experts (e.g. university level wrestlers). At 20 years of age the international wrestlers had accumulated over 1000 more hours of practice with others compared to the non-expert wrestlers. International level wrestlers (e.g. Olympic participants) increased their weekly amount of practice per week as they advanced into their wrestling careers.

Interestingly, wrestling related activities that were judged by the wrestlers in both groups to be relevant to improvement were also rated high with regards to enjoyment. So, practice doesn’t have to be drudgery. It’s just that practice takes effort and isn’t usually fun in and of itself. The improvement, however, that you see over time can be rewarding and enjoyable. If you only practice your favorite moves in order to make practice enjoyable then you may not continue learning and improving. Personally, I think learning new moves and practicing can be fun but it takes discipline and hard work to become really proficient in your skills. So, practice isn’t usually fun in the conventional sense. You may get tired of drilling moves at times but it’s important.

Some research has shown that wrestlers of various levels (e.g. Olympic wrestlers and high school wrestlers) spend a small amount of practice time engaged in full sparring. Even at an elite level more time is spent on instruction and drilling than wrestling full out. Of course, some practices involve more live wrestling than others depending upon what phase of the season wrestlers are in but instruction and drilling are always the backbone of an optimal wrestling practice.

Perfect Repetitions

We see from our discussion above it’s not just the quantity but the quality of practice that matters. Personal fitness trainer Brian Copeland has written about the importance of perfect reps. Anyone training in wrestling long enough will accumulate hundreds of thousands of repetitions of different moves and skills. But, are they perfect repetitions or is the wrestler just going through the motions? Repeating a given skill over and over again does not in and of itself make perfect. Copeland states, “Deep practice literally means developing your technique to an absolutely amazing level and working on every single aspect of it… really owning it.”

The key to reaching elite levels, therefore, is to practice correctly. Make sure you have learned the proper technique. The constant repetition of incorrect wrestling techniques will only make you perfect at incorrect techniques.

I enjoy watching the videos put out by the Granby School of Wrestling. They break each move down into steps and show the completed move slowly and at full speed. I mentioned earlier that sometimes it’s good to slow down when learning a new move or skill.

Elite athletes from a variety of sports can attest to the importance of practice. Athletes like Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky, David Beckham, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods all believe in the power of practice.

For example, golf legend Jack Nicklaus states, “Nobody – but nobody – has ever become really proficient at golf without practice, without doing a lot of thinking and then hitting a lot of shots. It isn’t so much a lack of talent; it’s a lack of being able to repeat good shots consistently that frustrates most players. And the only answer to that is practice.”

Soccer legend David Beckham states simply, “My secret is practice.”

Great Wrestlers Drill

Four-time world champion and two-time Olympic champion John Smith made drilling a regular part of his training. In fact, drilling was the mainstay of his training. He states, “I probably hit a million low single legs in my lifetime. I probably drilled a leg lace 40 or 50 times a day. I earned the right to be able to hit sharp techniques. It had nothing to do with talent.”

The former Iowa Hawkeye wrestler Mark Ironside (a two-time state champion and two-time NCAA champion) often stayed after high school wrestling practice to continue drilling.

John Smith and Ken Chertow are both advocates of shadow wrestling (i.e. shadow drilling). The good thing about shadow drilling is that you don’t need a workout partner. You can simply rehearse the moves and skills you want to improve upon for as long as you want.

Great Wrestlers Know Many Techniques

I mentioned earlier how Olympian Mark Schultz didn’t begin wrestling until he was a junior in high school. So, how did he turbo charge his learning? Schultz made what he called a technique book.

Schultz states, “Anytime I learned anything, I’d write it down. I made my technique notebook and I divided my techniques by tie up. I’d make a page like front headlock on the top of the page and write down all of the different techniques I could finish with. I’d have all the counters to the front headlock on the back page. I’d have another page and write high crotch and write all of the finishes from there, lift, trip, spin, go behind, run the pipe, switch to another move, backing down to hip, go out the back door, etc.”

Schultz also attended camps and learned a lot by watching and then copying good wrestlers. I think he was able to accelerate his learning by spending a vast amount of time engaged in purposeful practice.

Elite wrestlers have a vast arsenal of moves and techniques. They have mastered the small details that determine whether a technique works well or not. They know how to deal with any situation they may encounter on the mat. Listen to your coach, watch videos, read books, go to clinics and camps, practice diligently, and compete to become the best wrestler you can be.

Studying Videos

Watching both technique videos and videos of matches can help you improve your wrestling skills.

Ken Chertow, a successful wrestler in both folkstyle and freestyle wrestling states, “If a move works at the highest levels of competition, it would probably work for you. Take the time to acquire and study footage of our nation’s and world’s best wrestlers. I videotaped the 1984 Olympics on my home VCR and copied and bought tape of world class competition ever since.”

He also writes, “I wish I knew the different techniques I know now during my competitive career. I started to realize how valuable of a learning tool video could be early in college.”

Mark Ironside used to analyze videos of his high school matches shot by his mother. He had his mother tape each match so he could later evaluate his technique.

I enjoy reading an anecdote by former Wisconsin high school wrestling standout Steve Hoffman in which he describes obtaining a video on the half-nelson series before his junior year in high school. That’s right; he got a video tape on a basic move that every wrestler learns. But, from this video he learned to apply the half-nelson from new angles and pinned many opponents using this newfound knowledge.

Lincoln McIlravy and Cary Kolat watched instructional videotapes as kids to help them develop their wrestling skills.

Practicing Skills in Your Mind

Corky Fowler was a ski-instructor superstar and one of the first Americans to create the sport of aerial acrobatics on skis. He has often been credited with being the first American to master an aerial trick called a full-layout forward flip. He and Christopher Smith coauthored a book entitled The Hidden Skier (1977) that contains many visualization exercises for skiers.

Fowler states, “I’ve been mentally practicing my skiing during the summers for years. On the first day of each ski season, I ski as well as I did on the last day of the past season. Before I began mentally skiing, it would usually take me several days to be able to ski as well as I had the year before.”

Mental rehearsal can potentially enhance your skill development. If you can’t drill with a partner or don’t feel like shadow wrestling, you can always mentally practice your wrestling skills. You can practice in study hall at school or while lying in bed before falling asleep. Visualization or mental rehearsal allows you to practice anytime.

How to Drill

Drilling is not the same as live wrestling. You don’t need to give your partner 100% resistance. He needs to be able to perfect his technique. On the other hand, you need to give some resistance and not simply act like a rag doll for him to throw around. Simply give your drilling partner a reasonable amount of resistance. You need to slow down when drilling a move or technique you’ve just learned. As you begin to feel comfortable with it then you can speed it up. You can also communicate with your drilling partner and let him know if you’re trying a new technique and want his opinion on your execution of it. You can also ask him to respond a certain way to moves so you can practice a situation like when an opponent sprawls and uses a whizzer.

You can also use drilling as a form of conditioning while still improving your wrestling skills. Two-time NCAA wrestling champion Royce Alger credits his success to a training concept introduced to him by Dan Gable called hard drilling. Alger states, “I had to lift, penetrate and keep going through the full range of the move while guys were giving me 30 to 40 percent resistance.” Alger claims that hard drilling is even better than hard wrestling for conditioning purposes.

Similarly, I’ve read that John Smith also incorporated some form of lifting in many of his takedown drills while pushing himself intensely. I’ve also read that world champion Russian wrestlers use high intensity drilling.

So, when learning new skills you may want to slow down. On the other hand, when practicing skills you’ve mastered sometimes it’s good to speed things up a bit and perform high intensity drilling.

Resources to Consider:

  • Bounce by Matthew Syed
  • Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
  • The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Wrestling Tough by Mike Chapman
  • Granby School of Wrestling Technique Videos

Key Points:

  • Technical skill is of paramount importance to wrestling success
  • Innate talent helps but purposeful practice can greatly improve your performance level
  • Quantity and quality of practice are both important
  • The number of perfect repetitions is more important the total number of repetitions
  • Great wrestlers make drilling an important component of their training
  • Be sure to know a great number of moves and techniques and how to do them correctly
  • Watching instructional videos and videos of matches can help improve your techniques
  • Mental rehearsal can enhance your skills
  • Drilling is not the same as hard wrestling; drilling is mainly an opportunity to perfect technique
  • Hard drilling can improve your skills and your conditioning

Developing Core Strength and Explosive Power For Wrestlers

Improving the strength of a wrestler’s core will have a direct impact on performance. This muscle group provides the basis for staying tight during explosive maneuvers, postural balance and agility, not to mention its important role in preventing injuries. Unfortunately, most coaches and trainers miss the importance of this muscle group and even have a distorted understanding of what it actually consists of. It’s impossible to train it if you don’t know what it is. For the purposes of this article, the ‘core’ muscle group encompasses the abdominal wall, obliques, lumbar erectors (lower back musculature), hips and glutes. While the hips and glutes are often considered part of the lower body, the best performance benefit can be gained when training them with the abdominals and lower back.

On the mat, a wrestler uses his core strength for many maneuvers and can expect improved performance when gains in strength are achieved here. Picking up your opponent during a takedown or mat return relies heavily on a strong, explosive core. Super strong lumbar erectors and glutes are what’s needed to successfully arch your way out of a pin when stuck on the bottom. Improving the strength of your core will also help you explode up from the bottom position for a faster stand up or transition for a reversal. When pushing and pulling to control your opponent while hand fighting, a strong, tight core is important for setting up your next move for a dominant position. The fact is, improving the strength of your core will improve nearly every aspect of your game on the wrestling mat.

During the season, the best wrestlers train constantly to improve conditioning and perfect their technique. With such a busy competition and workout schedule, there is very little room for anything other than wrestling training; when can you fit in extra effort for core strength? The answer is all the time! During wrestling season, focus on keeping up the strength you have and only make small efforts to improve so as not to take away from your main skill training. Consider adding a few exercises to the end of practice 2-3 days/week to keep up your core strength, tone and conditioning. During the off season, focus extra effort on training your core for further development. This is best accomplished in an accessory lifting program but can still be done after off season wrestling practices. To ensure definite improvement, keep records and try to make strength gains with exercises specifically performed to build a stronger core.

With limited time, it’s important to get the most out of your training sessions. Time and effort spent doing exercises that will not make you noticeably stronger for wrestling are a waste. The fact is not all exercises are created equal; ab crunches are great for bringing up the general tone of your stomach however do nothing for functional strength. For the best carry over onto the wrestling mat, train your core for strength, not tone or conditioning. To do this, always train your abs with weights, rarely bodyweight only. Always keep repetitions in the 8-12 range, never 20+ no matter what the exercise is. Use heavier weights for lower rep sets and lighter weight for explosive reps, but still not more than 12-15 ever and always using weights or training bands for added resistance. Isometrics are also valuable in training your abs and core for wrestling. This can be done with light resistance from a partner or light weights. Ab/core training for timed reps is also an effective isometric type of conditioning.

When training your core to improve your strength for wrestling, it’s important to hold your breath when performing your sets; do not exhale at the completion of each rep. Take a new breath in between reps when you can’t hold it anymore only to hold it again for the rest of the set. For the stomach, choose exercises with straight legs rather than bent. For example leg raises are far superior to bent knee sit-ups. This is because when the knees are bent, the abdominal wall is secondary to the hip flexor; bent knee stomach exercises work more hip flexors than abs. The straight leg sit-up is preferred. When setting up your program, it’s important to choose exercises that will allow balanced development. In other words, don’t just train the ab wall and never the lower back or you can become unbalanced. Muscular imbalances can eventually lead to injury if they become pronounced or go on long enough or at the very minimum disallow you to ever realize the full potential power in your core.

During the season, choose exercises that can be done in the wrestling room and leave the weights for the off season. To add resistance to core exercises while on the wrestling mat, a set of training stretch bands will go a long way. Straight leg sit-ups with a partner holding your legs are excellent but even better against the resistance of a training band. Leg raises are great but leg throws (with your partner throwing your legs down and to the sides) are even better. If your gym is equipped with a pull-up bar, hanging leg raises (to the front for the abdominal wall and to the sides for obliques) will make your abs very strong. Training bands of different strengths also allow you to work your lower back when looped around your neck for high rep good mornings. Anchoring a band to a stationary object will allow resisted side bends or wood choppers for awesome rotational power out of the obliques. Heavy chains can be bought from a hardware store to be used as resistance for training your core as well. Chains around the neck are great for adding resistance to the good morning movement or adding weight to your leg raises.

Bands and chains should also be used in the off season to strengthen the core however many more exercises are available in the weight room. With time off from competing and less mat time, the weight room is a great place to improve core strength with the right exercises. The use of kettle bells are excellent for building explosive strength to the hips and glutes. Back raises and good mornings with weight, bands and chains should definitely be used to strengthen the lower back and glutes. In the weight room, train your abs and/or obliques twice/week and your lower back hard at least once/week (and sometimes twice). Straight leg sit-ups holding weights and using the lat pull machine to train your abs with weight are excellent. Use one side of a cable cross machine to perform heavy explosive wood choppers for the obliques. Side bends with heavy dumbbells and with an offset squat bar on your back are also great for oblique power.

Some of the best functional strength from the core can be developed from simply carrying heavy items for a short distance. Farmer’s walk (carrying heavy weights in both hands) and suitcase carry’s (carrying weights in only one hand) do wonders for building both the upper and lower back as well as obliques and abdominals. Carrying heavy dumbbells (or a very heavy kettle bell) in front of you (about chest level) for distances of 50-100 ft. work amazing for building huge power in the core. For the fastest and most complete development of core musculature and strength that will translate into better performance on the wrestling mat, your weight lifting program should have a special emphasis on the posterior chain. Devote one entire day to nothing but core exercises, extra hamstring work and grip.

Top 10 Hardcore Professional Wrestlers

Professional Wrestling has long since been seen as a combination of traditional mat skills with entertainment added. Hardcore wrestling is the exact opposite of this image for its use of brawling, weapons, and even blood. Hardcore wrestling has been seen in many promotions such as ECW, WCW, and CZW. Many wrestlers have adapted to this style and have thrived in it making a career out of these brutal matches.

This article will take a look at the top 10 hardcore wrestlers that have ever stepped into the squared circle and taken a shot from everything from a chair to literally the kitchen sink.

Number 10: Atsushi Onita

Japanese wrestler Atsushi Onita is credited with bringing the hardcore wrestling style to Japan. Once being the world record holder for having the most stitches ever, Onita is not one to shy away from taking part in a brutal bout. As the founder of the now defunct Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, Onita has the scars from his many matches in the company. Most of these matches employed the use of barbed wire in place of the ring ropes, which is something not seen any more in the wrestling industry.

Number 9: Raven

Raven is one of the most mysterious characters to have ever stepped into the ring. Raven has seen many hardcore matches over his time in various companies like TNA, and ECW. Raven has shown that he is not afraid to put his body at risk as shown in his Monster’s Ball matches in TNA where he has been slammed into various things like thumbtacks and broken glass. Also, Raven is one of the few hardcore wrestler to be hit with everything, including the kitchen sink as Tommy Dreamer did this while the two feuded in ECW.

Number 8: New Jack

New Jack showed during his career what it meant to be a hardcore wrestler. He was known for never shying away from taking a bump and some of the time getting seriously hurt because of this. Most known for his time ECW, he was involved in some of the most extreme matches to ever happen. The worst injury that came of these matches was when he fell off the scaffold during a match and instead of crashing through the tables that were set up, he instead hit his head into the concert floor blinding him in his right eye and giving him brain damage. Now retired from the ring, New Jack is now a manager on the independent wrestling scene.

Number 7: The Sandman

The Sandman with his signature Singapore cane is one of the wrestlers that embraced the hardcore style and as a result became a five-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion during his tenure in ECW. During his matches in ECW, Sandman was known for repeatedly caning his opponents with his Singapore cane and smashing beer cans against his head. Sandman feuded with many of the big names in ECW like, Tommy Dreamer, Cactus Jack, and Raven and many of these match involved barbed wire, chairs, ladders, and tables as weapons. The Sandman still makes occasional appearances on the independent scene today with still swinging his cane.

Number 6: Sabu `

His nickname says it all “The Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal Death-Defying Man” Sabu has made a career of putting his body on the line in hardcore matches. Sabu is the nephew of The Original Sheik, who is seen as one of the wrestlers that created the hardcore style of wrestling. One of his most brutal and bloody matches was with Terry Funk at ECW’s Born to Be Wired event in which the two competed in a barbed wire rope match. This match would see both of them cut severely. Sabu is also known for putting himself and is opponents threw tables on dives from the ropes. Sabu continues to wrestle on the independent scene for various promotions still using his hardcore style.

Number 5: Tommy Dreamer

Know by his nickname “The Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer has shown what the hardcore wrestling style is all about. His most notable matches occurred during his time in ECW. Tommy Dreamer has had some brutal matches with the like of Raven and The Sandman and through the course of his career even broke his back. Even with ECW no longer in existence, Tommy Dreamer still to this day is not afraid to show what made him “The Heart and Soul of ECW’ in the ring.

Number 4: Abdullah the Butcher

Abdullah the Butcher with his trust fork was always willing to be in a bloody all out brawl. Abdullah has the scars to prove how bloody is battles were as his forehead is full of marks where he bladed himself to cause bleeding. Abdullah is known for being one to break rules when not in hardcore matches, he would get shots against any opponent with this fork that he was infamously associated with. Abdullah has since become a semi-retired wrestler and has hinted that he will retire soon.

Number 3: The Original Sheik

The Sheik is considered by many in the industry as one of the originators of the hardcore wrestling style. Like Abdullah the Butcher, The Sheik had a signature illegal weapon that he would use which was a pencil. He would use this to scrape at his opponents forehead and on occasion had his weapon used on him which left scarring on his forehead. His most notable hardcore and deathmatches occurred in Japan’s FMW where one match was a termed a “fire deathmatch” which had flaming barbed wire in place of the ropes. The Sheik has since passed away due to a heart attack, but the hardcore style he used continues to live on through many wrestlers like his nephew Sabu.

Number 2: Terry Funk

Terry Funk is one of the few wrestlers that made a name for himself as a traditional wrestler that made the switch to hardcore wrestling late into his in-ring career. Funk started wrestling in the hardcore style when he came to ECW where many of his matches involved the use of ladders, thumbtacks, and barbed wire. Funk would have a few brutal deathmatches for various Japanese promotions during his time in ECW. Funk has since become a semi-retired wrestler and due to age rarely competes in hardcore matches.

Number 1: Mick Foley

Mick Foley is known under his ring names Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind has made a career out of putting his body on the line. His most notable injury is having his ear almost completely ripped off during one match. Foley didn’t fit the traditional look of a wrestler during his in-ring career, but his willingness to put his body on the line gained him the respect of his fellow wrestler and the fans. Whether it is him swinging around his barbed wire baseball bat or being thrown off the top of Hell in a Cell, Foley has shown what it means to be a hardcore wrestler.

Steven Flosi has been a fan of professional wrestling since the age of six. He started with watching the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling. He has since been introduced to independent promotions such as Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.

A Rowdy Guy Who Made Pro Wrestling Fans Smile

In 2015 the world of sports and entertainment lost a legend who passed away far too young. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper died of a heart attack at just 61 years of age. Born as Roderick George Toombs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1954, Piper was a professional wrestling superstar whose “Piper’s Pit” interviews were as legendary as his antics in and out of the ring. He was able to morph his career into many areas of entertainment including acting. He appeared in a number of on-screen roles and did cartoon voices, but Roddy is probably best known for playing John Nada in They Live, the John Carpenter science fiction classic that has developed a cult following over the years. Never one to remain in one persona very long Roddy began as a villain wrestler, but often crossed over to being a bit of a hero or good guy of sorts. He also performed as a comedian as late as 2014 and had an impressive following as a podcast show host.

Roddy was primarily of Scottish decent and proud of it as evidenced by the garb he wore into the ring. Although he became expertly adept at playing the Bagpipes at a young age, Piper says he cannot recall how that came about. Roddy does recall how he got his wrestling name. Early in his pro career he walked into the ring wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes. When the announcer forgot the last name he was using, he simply introduced the wrestler as “Roddy the Piper” and the name stuck. Piper’s life was always filled with controversy which began when he was unceremoniously kicked out of Junior High School. He later left home as a young teen after a number of arguments with his father. His dad was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and always concerned about the family’s reputation. A natural athlete who worked out regularly, Piper managed to find work in any number of gyms which gave him the cash to live in Hostels.

Roddy had a very competitive spirit and began his athletic career as an amateur wrestler, boxer and judo competitor. He eventually won the prestigious Golden Gloves Championship and received a black belt in Judo from American pro wrestler, judo expert and champion Gene LeBell. By the time Piper was just 15 years of age he was ready to turn pro and joined the American Wrestling Association where he gained a reputation as a “bad guy” wrestler. He moved on to the more affluent National Wrestling Alliance in 1975. This organization was huge at that time and produced a number of super stars which included Buddy Rogers, Killer Kowalski, Bobo Brazil, Gene Kiniski, Dory Funk, Dory Funk Jr., Harley Race, Jack Brisco, Dusty Rhodes, Great Malenko, Buddy Colt, Eddie Graham, Sting and Bobby Shane to name just a few.

In the late 1970s to 1983 Piper moved through various pro wrestling territories and went up against top stars like Ric Flair, Jack Brisco, Chavo Guerrero and many others. He was often compared to Freddie Blassie and the two actually met in Madison Square Garden when Piper was given a match in the WWF by Vince McMahon. Blassie stuffed toilet paper in Roddy’s Bagpipes so that he could not play them for the crowd. In 1984 “Rowdy” Roddy Piper moved to McMahon’s Worldwide Wrestling Federal and instantly became a pro wrestling super star due to all the TV coverage the WWF garnered. One would think he was at the top of his career, but this was just the beginning. Piper became so popular and adept at interview skills that he was given his own TV segment called “Piper’s Pit” which became a favorite of WWF fans.

Piper was involved in all sorts of orchestrated mayhem which included feuds that involved WWF stars Captain Lou Albano, Hulk Hogan, Bruno Sammartino Greg Valentine and even Cyndi Lauper. Lauper was allegedly kicked in the head by Piper during an interview and that lead to a major row with Hulk Hogan and Lou Albano (who appeared in Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” music video). That blew up into a major grudge match at WrestleMania. Piper also somehow managed to get into a dispute with Mr. T (from the “A Team” TV Show and the “Rocky 3” film). The two eventually settled their differences by facing off during WrestleMania II. Piper lost after being disqualified for an illegal move. Like many pro wrestling super stars, Roddy Piper was beginning to feel the pain of a few too many injuries and took a year off from the WWF. He returned in 1986 with a revenge when he discovered that his “Piper’s Pit” had been replaced by a show hosted by Adrian Adonis called “The Flower Shop”. Piper appeared on the show, destroyed the set and all this lead to several very popular grudge matches that WWF fans really enjoyed.

By 1989 Roddy was more popular than ever and even hosted a live “Piper’s Pit” during WrestleMania V. An appearance on the show by once popular TV host Morton Downey Jr. turned into a big mess when Piper pointed a fire extinguisher at the always smoking Downey and sprayed him down. As Piper’s popularity continued to grow he began co-hosting Prime Time Wrestling along side pro wrestling legend Gorilla Monsoon. After replacing Bobby Heenan as co-host for the Prime Time show, Roddy and Heenan became fast enemies. Heenan enlisted “Ravishing” Rick Rude and Brother Love to get revenge and several entertaining encounters between the four followed. Brother Love (pro wrestler Bruce Pritchard, manager of The Undertake). Love wore a while suit and had a wrestling character based on some of the more outrageous tele-evangelists of the day. Love took over the TV spot once occupied by “Piper’s Pit” which angered Roddy so much that when he appeared on the show he told Brother Love that he smelled and had bad breath. Piper threw mouthwash and toothpaste in his face.

Although he began scaling back his actual pro wrestling matches, Roddy Piper managed to stay in the thick of things by getting involved in more feuds with competitors like Ted DiBiase (the Million Dollar Man), Jerry “The King” Lawler and Brett Hart. Piper was a regular at the WrestleMania events from 1989 to 1996 and even served as a celebrity referee. Roddy moved to the World Championship Wrestling organization in 1996 and joined in the much watched “Halloween Havoc” and “Starrcade” shows with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Brett Hart. Roddy later served briefly as the WCW Commissioner. During that reign he had major disputes with Rick Flair, Sid Vicious and Scott Hall. After peaking with the declining WCW, Piper found himself back with the WWF which in 2003 became Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment. That stint included a popular match with Hulk Hogan who, even after he was attacked with a steel pipe by Roddy, won the event.

During an extremely controversial appearance on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” Piper admitted that he had taken drugs to remain in the ring over the past twenty years of his career. He also intimated that all or most other pro wrestling stars did the same so that they could continue competing given the injuries they all sustained and pain they felt. This got Roddy fired from Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment. The TAW (Total Action Wrestling) group which included NWA stars, grabbed him up in 2003 despite all the controversy. The move quickly proved to be a good deal for both Piper and the TAW. So much so that Vince McMahon could not ignore Roddy’s new found popularity and soon brought him back to the now huge and still growing Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment in 2005. During that time Piper hosted yet another “Piper’s Pit” live show at WrestleMania 21. That same year he was also inducted into the Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment Wrestling Hall Of Fame. Piper often appeared on the much watched “RAW!” and “SMACKDOWN” Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment TV shows which brought his talent and craziness to the attention of a whole new generation of pro wrestling fans.

From 2003 to 2014 Piper continued to build his popularity with more “Piper’s Pit” shows and various matches and feuds with Ricky Steamboat, Zac Rider, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and many others. Roddy had a few rough patches during this time which included some injuries he sustained from an auto accident in 2005 and a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2007. He recovered from the accident injuries and was said to have been in remission from the lymphoma in 2008 after receiving treatment for nearly a year. As his appearances on the major pro wrestling TV shows wained, Piper still appeared at a number of popular independent pro wrestling events like WrestleReunion joining other famous veterans like Bob Orton Jr. and Terry Funk. Popular MMA and UFC female star competitor Rhonda “Rowdy” Rousey (12 wins, 0 losses as of this writing) met Piper and told him she was a huge fan. She asked if she could use his “Rowdy” moniker and he happily gave her his blessing. She recently dedicated her match against Bethe Correia at UFC 190 to Piper after hearing about his death. She won the match in 34 seconds.

Piper’s final years were spent appearing on various TV shows including “Celebrity Wife Swap” while doing voice overs for popular cartoons, making comedy club appearances and taking on a few more acting gigs along with his pro wrestling duties. He never faded from from public view and even appeared on “Celebrity Ghost Stories”. During that episode he admitted having seen the ghost of his friend and fellow pro competitor Adrian Adonis in 2013. Roddy most recently lived in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Kitty. He had four children: Three daughters and a son. Piper became a Grandfather after his daughter Anastacia recently gave birth. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper passed away as a result of a heart attack on July 31, 2015. This is a common cause of death among former pro wrestling stars. After a lifetime of pushing their bodies to the limit I suppose that their hearts just eventually give out. Regardless of the cause of his death, Piper will be missed by the millions of fans who thoroughly enjoyed his skills and rowdiness in and out of the ring.