Breathing in sports is all about technique. If you’re a beginner you may wonder why we are discussing breathing, since everybody knows that breathing is a natural process. Everybody breathes in and breathes out and it’s an involuntary function. To achieve higher performance the body needs more oxygen. It’s crucial that you breathe correctly when you exercise. When you are doing aerobics activities, like swimming or running, or other types of anaerobic exercise like strength training or sprinting, following the right breathing pattern will ensure that your working muscles and connective tissues get enough oxygen.
BUT people tend to make several breathing mistakes while they exercise, which includes:
- Holding the breath
• Taking shallow breaths
• Breathing too quickly
• Inhaling or exhaling at the incorrect time
You’re probably wondering whether an incorrect breathing pattern could affect your exercise. The answer is that it does. If you are not breathing properly, you will be able to finish the set, somehow, but it will affect your movements, posture, coordination and the effect of the exercise on your muscles.
Breathing trough the mouth is a mistake it can not only cause tiredness but in can alter the heart rate and blood pressure too. So for the next when you go out for a jog or for a ride try the following breathing tips:
- Try to utilize nose breathing
- Prefer stomach breathing; chest breathers are more likely to have stiff neck problem
- Breathe deeply, it oxygenates the muscles and they can work harder
- Different breathing rhythms can affect the performance
2:2 or 2:3 is ideal for runners, meaning inhale for 2 steps and exhale for 2 or 3 steps.
Also a study from university of Sport and Exercise Science has found out that “inspiratory training and warm up exercises can boost the performance by up to 15 percent.”
In conclusion if you want to train your breathing simply do more aerobic exercises, such as running, cycling or even walking. It will drastically increase your stamina and strengthen your lungs as well. Another great tip is to do deep breathing exercises, inhale from the nose and exhale through the mouth for 10-15 minutes a day, focusing on making every breath little deeper than the previous one. Another way to improve the breathing is to work on lung capacity and stretch out the muscles to increase the stride length with resistance band around your chest; as you inhale the lung muscles have to push against the band to expand. Always breathe out slowly.