Experienced athletes know that correct breathing during training plays a big role: the effectiveness of the exercise increases, and fatigue at the end is only pleasing.
That’s why time is always given to breathing technique – these rules should be mastered at the very beginning of the training process.
How to breathe correctly?
Every sport has different breathing techniques, but they all have one simple rule in common – don’t forget to breathe! So whether you’re running or stretching, doing yoga or squatting with weights, keep your breathing steady. Don’t hold your breath – this prevents oxygen from flowing into your body and you lose energy quickly.
The important thing to remember when exercising is to breathe in when your muscles are relaxed and breathe out when they are tense, when you are exerting maximum effort. For example, when you lift a barbell, you exhale when it is lifted and inhale when it is returned to the ground. When doing abdominal exercises, exhale as you raise your legs or torso, and inhale as you lower it.
Breathing should be deep (diaphragmatic) but comfortable. Your abdomen should inflate when you inhale. This may seem uncomfortable, but it is when breathing this way that the body gets maximum oxygen and does not waste energy, as with shallow frequent breathing.
It also matters whether the athlete breathes through the mouth or nose. It is recommended to inhale through the nose, as the air passing through the nasal passages is warmed, moistened and cleared of dust and microorganisms. It is better to breathe out through the mouth, because this way the air escapes from the body more quickly.
Why is it important to watch your breath?
Breathing out gives you the maximum amount of energy you need to exercise effectively. Also, when you exhale, your abs and diaphragm muscles tense up, which gives you extra stability and helps you endure the exertion without harming your body. When you breathe in, your body muscles don’t tense evenly, so you can’t put all your energy into the exercise and it becomes more difficult.
Consequences of incorrect breathing technique
As we said before, breathing technique is important during training: the depth of inhalation and exhalation, frequency, and correct phase rotation. If you do not pay attention to these rules, the following consequences may occur:
- Headache, dizziness, weakness – these symptoms are caused by oxygen starvation of the brain cells – they are very sensitive to hypoxia. It is therefore necessary to breathe evenly. This is difficult to do at first, and you have to constantly monitor your breathing.
- Increased arterial and intra-abdominal pressure – usually caused by too deep inhalation and exhalation or by rapidly alternating between these phases.
- Low training efficiency – this is to be expected as the body has to fight hypoxia and additional stress throughout the workout. Training results will take much longer to achieve, and the strain on your body can affect your health later on.