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ConnorsDad

Elite Wrestlers and Their Height

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I realize there is no set height for a particular weight class, especially with outliers like Matt McDonough and so on, but I was wondering if there is a generally accepted height range or avg. among Div. 1 schools that go along with a weight class. For instance are 174 pounders USUALLY between X & Y or is there a generally accepted ideal height for each weight. I realise body type plays into it as well. My son, who is a freshman, is worried if he doesn't get much taller he needs to start losing weight as he's 5'9 185. Thanks in advance for any help.

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Your son is fine. He could go from 157-197 depending on his build. Lift weights, train hard, eat well and let his body grow into what is it. If he is stockier he could go with short offense, shucks, ducks, etc.

 

Good luck!

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It just isn't height. You rarely see an elite level wrestler who has short arms. Length is a great help. At worlds most wrestlers weren't that impressive looking in street clothes. When they are in singlets they aren't generally stocky or thick builds. They do look like spring steel, long lean muscles.

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There's no ideal body type. Any body type can be optimized in a unique way for wrestling. Long limbs have some advantages but also some disadvantages. On average, length helps more than hurts, but shorter and stockier builds can pose serious problems for opponents too due to lower center of gravity, explosiveness, and strength.

 

Wrestlers with short limbs who reached elite status include Sammie Henson, Cary Kokat, Chris Bono, Brandon Slay, and many others.

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Wrestlers with short limbs who reached elite status include Sammie Henson, Cary Kokat, Chris Bono, Brandon Slay, and many others.

 

When you compare them to the number of taller, more spindly guys who've had success, does the success of the long wrestler equal the success of the short wrestler and vice versa?

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I bet if you actually did a study, you would find some ranges for each weight, but as stated above it depends on body type and build.  I bet if you looked at most 157 lbrs, you would find most of them between 5'8 and 5'10.  You could probably find a consistent height range for almost all weights, imo.

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I don't know. Maybe at the upper weights. But from 125 to 174ish, all body types are well represented at the elite levels if you adjust for how common each body type is in the population at large. There are some McDonoughs and Nick Simmonses but also some Tomasellos and Jeff Prescotts, some DTs but also some Tom Ryans, some Dan St Johns but also some Bonos, etc.

 

That's one of the great things about wrestling. Weight class is the great equalizer. Any body can compete if you know how to leverage strengths and adjust to compensate for weaknesses. That's true even for guys like Anthony Robles.

 

At the margin, I think having long limbs helps. But I don't think it's as big an advantage as I previously thought.

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I think as wrestling has evolved, especially folkstyle, the optimal body type of highly successful wrestlers has changed.  When I was younger, most of the better wrestlers were the short, stocky, powerful guys.  Now, with the changes in technique (funk, tilts, etc.) I think it is more advantageous to have length.  It seems like most of the better guys now are longer compared to the past.  But that's just an impression, haven't studied it at any depth.

 

But, that's just on average.  You can be successful with any body type, just have to play to your strengths.

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