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Learning to breathe correctly while working out can significantly improve your fitness routine. Proper breathing during a body workout supplies your muscles with optimum oxygen, which allows you to strengthen your body more effectively. Here are a few ways as to how breathing can affect your workout results.

13 Jan 2023

The Best Way to Breathe

When it comes to the best breathing technique during resting and working out, diaphragmatic breathing has to be it. It engages the diaphragmatic muscles with each inhale, and involves slow breathing through the nose or mouth. This technique is deemed effectual because it ensure core activation and constant supply of oxygen to your muscles, averting early fatigue.

If that is not all, this breathing technique also stops you from getting abdominal cramps during workouts. These cramps happen as the wrong muscles are used when breathing. In order to practice diaphragmatic breathing, all you have to do is place yourself flat on the floor, and keep one hand on your stomach and the other on your stomach. Make sure your stomach expands when you inhale and contracts when you exhale. Have a plan to do at least 10 deep breaths for each set until you get the hang of this method.

Nose and Mouth Breathing - The Difference 

Inhaling through your nose is more suitable as compared to your mouth. There a number of reasons for it and one of it is that you nose has cilia (hair-like structures) that filters out pollution, allergens and bacteria before air reaches your lungs. Secondly, the nasal passage also aids in humidifying air through mucus, preventing irritation. However, breathing via your mouth does not give the benefits of filtering and air humidification.

While exercising, most people usually breathe through their mouth. This is because breathing via the nose does not allow you to inhale as much air as compared to the mouth. As such, breathing through the nose is not the best for power but it is able bring down your breathing rate. This is why it is better suited for physical activities that focus on mobility and relaxation, such as tai chi, yoga and Pilates.

Breath Control for Strength Training

The most effective breathing technique for strength training involves breathing out during the concentric phase (lifting of weights). Exhaling and squeezing air out of your stomach increases core engagement. A tight core is equivalent to more power and stability, which will help improve your lifting performance. Breathing out during the lift movement also prevents a drop in blood pressure, which can protect you from experiencing post-lift dizziness.

Aerobic Routine Requires Constant Breathing

The right breathing technique for aerobic exercises is constant inhaling and exhaling with even and measure breaths. By doing so, it increases the amount of nitric oxide pumped into your body. This is crucial as nitric oxide helps in dilating blood vessels and increasing oxygenated blood flow to the heart so it can work a lot better. Besides that, it also makes sure that all fatigued muscles in your body get sufficient amount of oxygen to continue working.

For long-distance endurance sports, maintaining an even and consistent breathing leads to a steady pace throughout. The recommended breathing rate for endurance sports is to breathe in for 2-3 seconds and breathe out for the same amount of seconds. For example, inhale for three foot strides and exhale after three following foot strides during long-distance running.

Deeper Breaths for Mobility Workouts

Taking in longer and deeper breaths help you to get full access to your body’s motions. If you fail to do so, it could cause tension and limit movement. As such, it is best to inhale and exhale for a longer period of time as it can aid in releasing tension and easing through a full range of movement. In yoga, following such breathing pattern is essential when you want to move into deeper stretches or poses. The recommended breathing pattern for mobility movement is 4-5 seconds of inhalation and exhalation each. As you get better, try to take longer breaths.

Breathing is something that we have done since we were born. The art of breathing properly while working out can be mastered via regular practice. Once you are an expert, proper breathing for different exercises will definitely impact its effectiveness. This is great in building a stronger body and better understanding on how breathing affects workout mobility.