Top 5 Things Wrestlers Should Do to Stay Healthy

By Carmen Bott

Interview by Coach Carmen Bott
Answers by Tim Nanassy, Physiotherapist

Coach Bott:  Tell me about your background as a Therapist. 

Tim:  I graduated 2003 from the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Medicine with a Bachelor of Medical Rehabilitation (Physical Therapy).  I have the ongoing privilege to work as a Physiotherapist, internationally with the Canadian National Wrestling Team since 2010. I am also a clinical Instructor for the University of Manitoba Physiotherapy program and a clinical examiner for the Canadian National Physiotherapy Competence Exam.  Social media IG:  @sportandspinephysio

Coach Bott:  Tim, “who” do you help?  

Tim:  I help patients from all demographics and ages. These have included Olympians across many sports with a special interest in Wrestling, MMA, and Boxing. I also wrestler workout with many professional athletes including CFL football players, bodybuilders, baseball players, rugby players as well as several CIS and NCAA Division I & II athletes. 


Coach Bott:  In your opinion, What is Self Care? 

Tim:  My definition of this is easy: Self Care is anything and everything an athlete does to cope with the rigors and stresses of being an athlete, among other life responsibilities, in order to manage, perform and balance their lives for optimal health and success. 


Coach Bott:  Why is self care important? 

Tim:  Self-care is vital if you want to be the best athlete, human being, brother, sister, friend, boyfriend or girlfriend you can possibly be. You’re no good to anybody if you don’t take care of yourself first. Some people call it selfish, but in fact it’s the opposite. Making yourself better by caring for yourself, enhances your life (and athletic life!!) and everyone’s lives around you. 


Coach Bott:  What are the Top 5 thingswrestler workout should do to keep themselves healthy from your standpoint?  


  1. Control what you can absolutely controlThese are my 4 Golden Rules for my wrestler workout.  

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate: Minimum of ½ your body weight (lbs) in ounces per day. Aim for full bodyweight in ounces on training/and competition days. If you weigh 150 lbs, that’s 75 oz a day (roughly 9.5 glasses) and 150 oz a day respectively.   

Nutrition (JERF): Just Eat Real Food…. whole foods including fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, nuts/seeds/healthy fats and yes, whole grains. Avoid processed refined garbage sugar laden food! 

Sleep. Eight hours a night. This is not debatable!!! Recovery, healing from injury and training, muscle growth and brain inflammation clearing all occurs during sleep. 

Reduce Stress!!! Whether it be through meditation, movies, hanging with friends etc. Absolutely anything that gives you as an athlete an outlet, your own time to chill, relax and forget about life stresses and your sport stresses. 

2.  Don’t forget your Foundation. Toe, foot, ankle mobility, stability and strength. You don’t want to build $1 billion athletic body on top of a $10 foundation. Most of the time spent in wrestling practice, is spent in very narrow shoes, and then in training, I usually see cushioned, stability-controlled shoes. Free your feet when not in wrestling shoes. Train and relax in bare feet, or human shoes (flat, flexible sole, and wide toe box) to allow your feet to be feet, and to keep your hips and glutes firing on all cylinders. Any avoidance of foot and ankle training will undoubtedly lead to upstream problems (ankle, knee, hip and back issues) 

3.  Work those Hips!!  Naturally hip mobility and strong glutes are vital for wrestlers. If you are a student/ athlete, you know the dangers of prolonged sitting. This shuts off your body’s energy to your glutes and downstream problems happen quickly (knee ankle and foot and heel problems). Move, move, and move some more. Ideally mobilize the hips 10 minutes for every 1 hr you are sitting. 

4.  Utilize your off days: On days off from the gym and from practice, mobilize mobilize and mobilize. Thoracic spine, shoulders, Low back, hips, ankles feet. Hit the foam roller, lacrosse ball, hot tub, sauna, go for a walk, light run, swim, bike etc. The more mobile and supple you are, the more stable and stronger you become. This will help you shoot better, roll better, throw better, defend better, and ultimately score more. 

5.  Take a Break!  If you’re feeling burnt out, tired, not motivated etc., there’s no harm to get away from it all, go to a spa for a day, take a week of vacation, go for a long walk, listen to music, or simply do something out of your element to change your mindset. Play a different sport, mix up your routine or challenge your brain with some fun games.  Surround yourself with positive people who push you in the right direction for wrestler workout. 

 Contact Tim here on Instagram:  @sportandspinephysio


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