Combat Sports Project Est.2012
Combat Sports Project Est.2012

Learning how to arch back

Olympics: Wrestling-Men's Greco-Roman 55kg 1/8 Finals



Learning to arch back is vital for a grappler.

Arching is used widely not only in back drop throws (like suplex) or sacrifice throws, but also it is very common for competitors to arch, in order to avoid to be scored with ippon or a pin. And of course, getting the posterior chain stronger is what every grappler should focus on.

The biggest problem of the back arch is actually mental. It is not very natural for us to just bend backwards and fall, head first on the ground. So, first we should concentrate on that, with a few simple exercises, which could be used as a part of the warm up, before training session.

The first exercise can be done, using the gym wall. Simply arch back, putting your hands on the wall and “walk” down using your hands until your head reaches the floor. Then get back up, using your hands only.

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For the second exercise you could use elastic bands. Pick up a throw, requiring back arching and execute, while holding the rubber bands, so they will slow down your back drop. On the picture bellow, my student is going for sasae-tsurikomi-ashi. Fall back- repeat.


The third exercise requires training partner. Both of you start standing, perpendicular to each other. Your partner grabs your hand and wrist with both of your hands, while you arch back, trying to touch the floor with your head. Your heels should not separate from the floor at the time you arch back.

Any of those exercises could be use as a part of the warm up drills, to ensure your back is well conditioned to the sparrings and technical sessions. Once the initial discomfort of falling back is achieved, you can proceed with wrestling dummy suplexes.

Train safe and if there are any unclear moments, regarding the exercises, feel free to ask questions, using the FB comment section bellow the article.

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