At first glance, yoga and wrestling might seem like opposites that can’t possibly work together. But, the fact is, there are so many benefits of training yoga for wrestling.
Yoga and wrestling are both ancient practices that strengthen the mind and body. Both make us better, allow us to tackle life challenges with grace, and teach us that hard work pays off.
And, as it turns out, there is immense value in practicing yoga, particularly for elevating your wrestling performance.
Whether you aspire to sign up for wrestling training or have been grappling for years and want to elevate your performance, this post is for you.
Below, we’ll go over six reasons why yoga benefits wrestlers.
Let’s dive in.
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Six Fantastic Benefits of Yoga for Wrestling
Yoga offers loads of benefits for wrestlers.
The benefits of training yoga for wrestling include:
- Improved flexibility
- Reduced risk of injuries
- Improved problem solving
- Improved mental health
- Problem-solving skills
- Learning controlled breathing
So, let’s dive into the benefits of training yoga for wrestling in detail.
1. It Boosts Your Flexibility
Flexibility measures a person’s ability to lengthen their muscles and move through specific ranges of motion.
Good flexibility makes you functional, athletic, and less likely to get injured. Poor flexibility hinders you, prevents you from getting the most out of your training, and puts you in danger of aches and injuries.
The most apparent benefit of yoga is that it boosts your ability to move freely and assume various poses without feeling any aches. Regularly practicing yoga will improve your flexibility and allow you to learn the different wrestling techniques more easily. It will also give you an edge over less flexible opponents.
2. It Reduces Your Risk of Injuries
One direct benefit of superior flexibility is the lower risk of injury. As discussed above, flexibility is about moving your body freely through different ranges of motion. This keeps your joints healthy because it prevents undue stress. It also helps keep your muscles safe because you’re not stretching them past their natural ability.
These benefits are vital for wrestling because the sport involves a lot of intensity, many awkward positions, and a constant struggle for dominance over your opponent. If they put you in an awkward position and you don’t have the flexibility for it, you can get injured and spend weeks, even months recovering.
Yoga is also great for building whole-body strength and balance, which can help you overcome opponents, engage the right muscles, and avoid putting yourself in a compromised position.
3. It Improves Your Balance and Coordination
Balance is about having the ability to maintain various positions and use explosive strength in less than ideal circumstances. As you can imagine, this is a valuable attribute for wrestling because you often have to overcome awkward positions.
Coordination is also vital for the same reason:
It allows us to use different parts of the body smoothly and at the same time. This is vital because many techniques require full-body engagement, so you need to be good at using your upper and lower body simultaneously.
Yoga is excellent for both of these characteristics precisely because mastering various yoga poses is challenging and requires tremendous balance and coordination to pull off.
Take, for example, Chaturanga Dandasana (The Four-limbed Staff Pose). Pulling this pose off requires excellent balance and coordination between several large muscle groups in your body – the core, chest, upper back, legs, triceps, and shoulders.
4. It Improves Your Mental Health and Melts Stress
While deeply fulfilling, wrestling can also be challenging, especially when you’ve worked hard but can’t seem to win your tournament. It can feel disheartening, stressful, and frustrating.
The good news is, yoga can serve as an anchor and help you push through difficult times. Study after study concludes that yoga is incredible for our mental health and is one of the best activities we can perform regularly to melt stress and ground ourselves.
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, try yoga for a few weeks and see how it impacts your mind.
5. It Allows You to Stay Calm In Difficult Situations
Let’s face it:
Having the ability to remain calm in difficult situations is a skill few people possess. I’ve always admired those who can maintain level-headedness under stress because this is difficult to do. It pays big-time because it helps us think, avoid rash decisions, and make the right choices.
This skill is even more critical for wrestling because you will often find yourself in challenging situations where calmness plays a considerable role in your ability to win.
The great news is, yoga is fantastic precisely because it teaches calmness, deep breathing, and how to remain present at all times. This is incredibly beneficial for learning how to be less reactive and find better ways to get out of challenging situations.
6. It Improves Your Breathing
A vast and overlooked aspect of effective training is breathing. Oxygen is vital for energy production, and if we can’t get enough of it through breathing, we limit our ability to remain energized and do more work.
Interestingly, research finds that regular yoga practice improves lung capacity, VO2 max, and self-reported breathing ability in young and older people. This alone can be incredibly beneficial for your wrestling performance.
Plus, deep breathing is also beneficial for remaining calm in stressful situations, which itself is crucial.
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Summary of Yoga For Wrestling
While yoga might not seem like an intuitive addition to wrestling training, the benefits it offers are excellent. Here is a recap:
- Yoga is fantastic for increasing your flexibility, which can help you stay safe, keep injuries at bay, and make the most of your wrestling training.
- Thanks to yoga’s impact on flexibility, mobility, strength, and balance, it helps decrease injury risk. This is incredibly valuable for wrestling because it often involves awkward positions, and you have to overcome opponents from a compromised spot.
- Yoga helps improve whole-body balance and coordination, both of which benefit your wrestling performance.
- Yoga is a great activity for melting stress, improving your mental health, and being more fulfilled with your wrestling training.
- It teaches you how to become present, calm, and collected, which are vital skills for any wrestler because the sport often includes challenging and high-pressure situations.
- Yoga directly improves your breathing, allowing you to get the most of your training and increasing your athletic capacity.
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