Martin “Farmer” Burns was a world champion Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestler as well as a coach of many other famous wrestlers such as the great Frank Gotch.
In 1914, Burns published a 96-page mail-order course entitled Lessons in Wrestling and Physical Culture, which incorporated breathing techniques, calisthenics, stamina exercises, and wrestling techniques. It was made famous (again) in recent years by Matt Furey, but back in the early 1900s it was the bible for all aspiring wrestlers.
There are many breathing exercises in the course, but the one that caught my eye is called Breathing for Internal Exercise. In it Burns teaches a form of reverse breathing and contracting the core to “Force the air downward with all the power you possess.” He states that there is nothing better for the development of abdominal muscles than this type of breathing exercise!
“Breathing exercises alone, if done RIGHT, will make many a weak man strong and many a sick man well.”
– Farmer Burns, 1914
Here is my version of Farmer Burn’s Breathing for Internal Exercise with a couple slight modifications. Give it a try!