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How to Use Height to Your Advantage on the Mat

Posted by Jeffrey Pape on

Think height is a hindrance to your performance on the mat? Wrestlers come in all different shapes and sizes. While a tall wrestler might have a lower center of gravity, they also have the opportunity to use their reach and leverage to their advantage when facing opponents in a wrestling match.

The key is to know how. With practice, tall wrestlers can counter many moves, such as hip throws, cradles and sprawls. Find your strengths and do what works for you.

Use some of these strategies when on the mat to leverage your height:

Leverage – By leveraging height, you can quickly get an opponent off-balance. By gaining this early advantage, it’s much easier to predict where your opponent is moving next. Counter shoots by using your long reach to grab at your opponent’s ankle. The “ankle pick” is much more successful for taller wrestlers. Test it out for yourself.

Cradles – These moves are especially successful for wrestlers who have a long reach and long legs. Use leverage to get your opponent on their back, and put them in a headlock. When the hands are pulled up and locked tight, you can drive your opponent’s head and knees together in a cradle position. This move can help you set up pin opportunities.

Defense – Tall wrestlers have the advantage of defense. If you quickly react to an opponent’s charge, you can immediately gain an advantage in the match. Pull both of your legs back when charged, and drop to the mat to pounce on top of your opponent. Flip your opponent over on the back by reaching under and locking your opponent’s arms.

Your best bet is to practice these wrestling moves on the mat to get total control of your height advantage. Put on a pair of new wrestling shoes and hit the mat.

Don’t be afraid to test your limits. Use leverage for upper body attacks, have a low stance to defend shots and learn to properly use your body. You’ll be surprised how quickly you learn to leverage what’s different about you.