Breathing Techniques When Exercising

How to breathe when exercising?

An increasingly frequent problem in urban populations is breathing polluted air, smoking, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. All of these factors hurt athletic performance. Carry out proper breathing techniques when exercising, especially aerobic exercises; it is essential to provide sufficient oxygen to the muscles.

To learn to breathe correctly, it is necessary to develop the habit of control over the breathing process. In everyday life (and in the gym), you should periodically “check” if you are breathing through your mouth or nose, chest, or diaphragm. It doesn’t matter how difficult (and strange) it may seem in the early days; Gradually reaching for breathing techniques is an excellent strategy to boost your training.

Breathing techniques – diaphragmatic vs. thoracic Where is it better to breathe?

Belly breathing is synonymous with diaphragmatic breathing. With the correct breathing technique through the diaphragm, a capacity of up to 2 – 3 L of air per cycle can be achieved. On the other hand, only 400–500 mL of air can be used with chest breathing.

The habit of breathing exclusively with the thorax and inhaling and exhaling air through the mouth affects the general oxygen supply of the body. But it also causes a weakening of the diaphragm muscles and the internal abdominal muscles.

Lastly, a lousy breathing technique can negatively affect posture. You are causing the development of the “hourglass” syndrome, where the center of the abdomen remains inward. In summary, diaphragmatic breathing is the best breathing technique when doing physical exercise. The thoracic or involuntary is suitable for the day today. Ideally, breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth.

Diaphragmatic Breathing: What is it?

The diaphragm is the internal muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities. It plays a vital role in the expansion process of the lungs and transitively in the breathing process. Diaphragmatic breathing provides the body with a greater uptake of oxygen. This is because diaphragmatic breathing offers a more significant amount of air to the area of ​​the lungs with greater capacity: the lower area. So that better ventilation and cleaning of the lungs are obtained with each exhalation.

One way to master the diaphragmatic breathing technique is to know that when breathing with the diaphragm, the chest is practically non-moving. The diaphragm expands due to the intercostal muscles. Air enters the lower parts of the lungs with the force of the muscles, not through the movement of the ribs. Most high-performance athletes use diaphragmatic breathing accurately. Chest breathing does not allow you to get enough oxygen for resistance or strength training.

Is it wrong to breathe through the mouth?

An experienced athlete knows that breathing through the mouth during a race significantly reduces training effectiveness. High-performance athletes often emphasize breathing techniques to increase athletic performance.

If you only breathe through your mouth, the percentage of oxygen absorption drops (1) and causes a person to increase the heart rate. The cellular oxygen supply decreases, and as a result, lower performance is obtained in the race.

Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth is a good strategy for a balance in the temperature of the respiratory system. Essential when running in the winter. The habit of inhaling and exhaling air only through the mouth is a direct route to a sore throat and cold (2).

How many times should you breathe per minute?

And a question that all fitness adepts often ask themselves: How many times should you breathe per minute? The ideal figure is about 7-8 cycles per minute when practicing moderate-intensity sports.

First, take a deep breath (2-3 seconds). They were followed by exhalation through the mouth – 3-4 seconds. If the rhythm of breathing is lost, it is an indicator that you should lower the intensity.

Finally, the cycles can increase up to several 10-20 per minute when breathing through the mouth. There is a tendency to overstress the lungs to interrupt the oxygen cycle. (3) It is important to note that holding your breath during exercise is especially dangerous since the number of heartbeats increases considerably.


  • The breathing techniques when doing physical exercise are diaphragmatic and thoracic.
  • Diaphragmatic breathing is best for high-intensity training; the oxygen capacity obtained is more significant than thoracic respiration.
  • One of the breathing techniques when exercising is to breathe slowly and deeply. Inhaling through the nose, with the diaphragm’s active participation, the thorax must move as little as possible to achieve this.
  • Exhalation must be through the mouth to regulate the temperature. No more than about 3-4 seconds are recommended.
  • To learn how to breathe correctly, it is essential to practice both breathing techniques at least once a day.

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