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Deep Breathing and Wrestling

Deep Breathing and Wrestling

Wrestling is quite an interesting sport to discuss, as there are so many types of it around the world. One of the oldest and most venerable is sumo wrestling, a highly respected sport that combines athleticism with sacred ritual. There is also Greek wrestling, which is still practiced several thousands of years after its invention-with some additional safety rules, of course. Then there is WWE-style wrestling, perhaps the most blatantly theatrical of all, if it can be considered a sport. (For those of you who thought it was real, I hate to break it to you, but it’s all staged.) However, they have several things in common: one has to grab hold of one’s opponent and manipulate them into the desired position, whether onto a mat or outside a ring. Also, wrestlers can better their odds by practicing breath control.

Wrestlers know that one of the worst things that can happen is to be pinned and immobilized in a position where one has little or no leverage to shift one’s opponent. In these kinds of trapped positions, breathing is often limited. Of course, wrestling rules prevent throttling or strangling moves from happening legally, and the time limit on how long you can be held down before losing a match mean that you will not be seriously injured by having your air limited in this way. However, not being able to breathe can further decrease your chances of breaking out of a tight hold.

Improved breathing can also give you better balance. You can try doing yoga or Pilates in your spare time, as these exercise techniques include breathing and centering procedures as some of their fundamental components. It might seem a little strange, since yoga is often associated with older people, especially women, who are trying to slim down. However, they can also function as warm-up exercises before a particularly arduous practice session. Yoga, in particular, can give you more flexibility in addition to a more stable and versatile center. The overall result is that opponents will have a much harder time knocking you over and pinning you down. If your breathing/meditation/postures exercise also makes you more flexible, all the better. You will be better able to dodge or slip out of a tight hold.

We can also say that certain types of breathing practices can be useful to you, even outside of a match. Such exercises are for when you are trying to lose weight in order to be in a certain competitive wrestling category. The problem is that many wrestlers achieve this by choosing unhealthy diets, and even develop eating disorders along the way. Do you really want to pay that price? Certain types of breathing exercises can stimulate your metabolism. You can practice them outside of matches, so you do not have to cut down so much on your food intake. Conversely, sumo wrestlers can practice types of breathing that increase body mass by slowing down the metabolism.

Whatever style of wrestling you practice, there is a great breathing exercise out there to help you become a better wrestler.