Breathing technique: Feed your body oxygen and it will help performance

When training myself or when training a client I’m very aware of how breathing can effect the performance of an exercise or movement. Feeding your body oxygen can be the difference of an athlete winning and losing. It can also mean an exercise isn’t as effective as it should be. Breathing is an ability that we are born with naturally. This doesn’t mean that all breathing is the same. There are different breathing technique for different types of sports and different type of exercise.

Endurance sports and exercise

Endurance sports use oxygen as energy so you have to be able to breath to be ablate keep going. These types of sports are very repetitive on a certain movement. We are talking about cycling, long-distance running and swimming. However, each one of them involves a different type of breathing technique because of the difference in posture or time holding breath. An example of this is when you cycle you are minimising the expansion of your lungs because of the position you hold. This means a cycles is a great belly breather. It’s similar breathing method to running because you have to be rhythmic. You inhale for two pedals, hold for 2 pedals and then exhale for four pedals.

Swimming is a little different because being under water so you have the need to hold your breathe. This next technique is from “perfect breathing” by Al lee and Don Campbell. You breath in for 2 seconds, hold for 2 seconds and then breath out for 4 seconds.

Impact sports and movements.

In high impact and high contact sport the breathing is kind of similar again. You want to be able to produce maximum amount of force in one hit. For example in racket sports you would inhale whilst in preparation for a shot and exhale through execution of a shot. It is the same sort of breathing technique in sports like boxing. If you are going to take impact you inhale and hold your breathe. If you’re going to execute a hit then you would exhale through contact. These are very short and sharp breathing techniques so you want to be able to exhale and inhale as quick as possible.

Breath to be able to sleep better

If you have trouble getting to sleep at night because of the way that you feel. There is a simple breathing technique to help with sleep. Breathing to all animals on Earth is an unconscious ability. However, the way that we breath effects us in many ways from performance in sport to better health and wellbeing. In Lee book he has a breathing technique for getting to sleep in 5 minutes.

  • Inhale through the nose for a count of six.
  • Hold for a count of three.
  • Exhale through the nose for a count of six.
  • hold for a count of three.
  • Repeat the series four times.
  • Next, inhale through the nose for a count of six.
  • exhale through the nose for a count of six.
  • repeat this series four more times.

Last note:

Personal training people who live in Windsor, I find that people don’t know how to breath when exercising. All exercises require a different way of breathing. Depending on what energy system of rep range you are using. If your having trouble getting through a workout it could just be that you breathing isn’t in the right rhythm for the movement.