Proper breathing during exercise: While you are working out it is important to keep a clean breathing. This actually isn’t too difficult and usually takes just little practise to adapt.
Proper breathing during exercise – basically
Proper breathing during exercise is important. And not only when you work out but in your daily life as well a clean breathing benefits to your health. There are certain techniques that even help you to relax actively or to fall asleep. In general we should breathe through the nose. This already pre-filters the air before it gets to the lungs. Nose breathing also is supposed to be better for our teeth, since not as much bacteria would reach them.
During exercise a proper breathing should be kept no matter if you train your strength or endurance. Right before you start the workout or the individual set it is helpful to take a few breaths consciously. Inhale deeply into your stomach and exhale again. This not just helps you to pick up a proper breathing rhythm but also supports you to focus on the coming workout.
Proper breathing during exercise – strength training
Especially when you work out your strength the risk of breathing wrongly increases. The proper way to breathe would be to exhale when we overcome the weight and to inhale in the reverse movement. It is normal and helpful to take a brief pause after the exhalation. Here we can focus again on the next repetition. Please do never hold your breath. Especially towards the end of a set when we are getting tired the breathing can become uncontrolled. Each repetition is determined by a major energy concentration in the beginning. Many athletes start press breathing at that time what can cause serious damages and should be avoided at all. Please read press breathing (exhalation against closed airways) to learn more.
Proper breathing during exercise – endurance training
During your endurance training the potential of an improper breathing isn’t that high. Here it is important to keep a clean breathing rhythm. Especially when the intensity increases there is a higher risk of losing that clean rhythm what could cause stitches in the side and in some cases force you to abort the exercise.
Proper breathing during exercise can allow you to steer and control the intensity level. Here we distinguish between different breath-step-rhythms. Common rhythms are the 2.5-, the 3-, the 3.5-, and the 4-step-breath-rhythm. The number of steps determines the length of the respective inhalation or exhalation. For the 4-step-breath-rhythm each in- or exhalation would last for 4 steps. This rhythm could also be amended to 3 steps for the inhalation and 5 steps for the exhalation. The other rhythms work in accordance. The faster the breathing rhythm, the higher the intensity. Slower rhythms especially apply for beginners or warm-up and cool-down phases.
Nose breathing is another way to check on the intensity. Here, we inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. The air ways of the nose are quite small and just allow the intake of smaller oxygen amounts. As long as we are able to keep breathing through our nose we still work out on lower intensities. Both, the step-breath-rhythm and the nose breathing don’t have to be applied throughout the entire workout. It is enough to randomly check on the intensity.
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