How to breathe during physical exercise - Patrick McKeown

Breathe, Don't Breathe: How to Improve Your Workout Performance

It's not a secret for anyone that correct breathing during training plays a big role and directly affects its effectiveness. And to deal with this is at the very beginning of the training process. Nina Zavadskaya - IFBB Elite PRO, vice-champion of Arnold Classic Europe and participant of the SN PRO EXPO FORUM International Festival.

Breathe, Don't Breathe: How to Improve Your Workout Performance

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A simple exercise will teach you to use the diaphragm and breathe deeply.

Why is it important to breathe correctly when exercising?

Running or stretching, swimming or strength training - each breathing technique is different. However, with any type of load, one rule cannot be neglected - do not forget to breathe!

You should not hold air in your lungs or do several repetitions on one breath. In this case, oxygen will not enter the body, and the muscles constantly need it during training. If you do not monitor your breathing, your strength will quickly leave you, and the effectiveness of your classes will drop.

Breathe, Don't Breathe: How to Improve Your Workout Performance

Photo: From the personal archive of Nina Zavadskaya

Everything is important in the breathing technique: the depth of inhalation and exhalation, frequency, correctness of the phase sequence. If you do not pay enough attention to this, the following consequences can occur:

Dizziness and weakness due to oxygen starvation of brain cells.

Arterial jumps and intra-abdominal pressure due to too deep inhalation and exhalation or due to the rapid alternation of these phases.

Poor training efficiency , because the body is forced to fight hypoxia (low oxygen content in the body or individual organs and tissues) and additional stress throughout the entire process.

Breathe, Don't Breathe: How to Improve Your Workout Performance

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Breathing technique

There are two phases in the respiratory process: negative (inhalation) and positive (exhalation). On the first, we relax the muscles, and on the second we make an effort, that is, we contract them. In order not to get confused during execution, you need to immediately figure out what in this particular exercise will be considered an effort. For example, when lifting dumbbells, the negative phase is the extension of the biceps, and the positive phase is the flexion.

Breathe, Don't Breathe: How to Improve Your Workout Performance

Photo: From the personal archive of Nina Zavadskaya

Trying to breathe thoughtfully and consciously control the process is not worth it. Of course, you need to concentrate on the lesson and not be distracted by outside thoughts, but the breathing itself should be natural and help with the exercise, and not confuse even more.

You cancompare breathing techniques to launching a space rocket. This comparison is based on the principle of opposition. It seems that the rocket is pushing itself without the help of outside forces. In fact, it won't budge on its own. This requires the reactive force that the rocket gets from the fuel.

Breathe, Don't Breathe: How to Improve Your Workout Performance

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Our fuel is our breath. Like a rocket, we push ourselves upward. It is on exhalation that the maximum amount of energy is thrown out, which we use to make an effort. Also, when exhaling, the abs and diaphragm contract, which gives additional stability. But at the moment of inhalation, the muscles tense unevenly, so you can't put all your strength into the exercise, and the load seems heavier.

Breathe, Don't Breathe: How to Improve Your Workout Performance

Photo: From the personal archive of Nina Zavadskaya

In general, breathing during training should be deep, but comfortable. In this case, the body receives maximum oxygen and does not consume as much energy as with shallow frequent breathing.

Breathe in through the nose - this way the air, passing through the nasal passages, is warmed up, moistened and cleaned of dust and microorganisms. Exhale through the mouth - this way the air will come out faster.

Exhale should be done through pursed lips. This will make it more powerful and help you make the effort more efficiently than the thoughtful and gentle one.

Breathe, Don't Breathe: How to Improve Your Workout Performance

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The effectiveness of your training is influenced not only by the regime and proper nutrition, but also by the time of day.

The pace of breathing directly depends on the pace of exercise. If you have a slow negative phase and a powerful positive one, then the inhalation should be extended to the entire negative, and the exhalation should be started, only having overcome the point of peak contraction, at the most convenient moment for the push.

How to improve your breathing in a workout

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