Are you an athlete? If you are one, you know that the way you breathe has a significant impact on your athletic performance. However, proper breathing is often an overlooked aspect of athletic training. Many athletes miss out on its benefits, including lowering stress and muscle tension, calming nerves, sharpening focus, reducing negative thoughts, improving sleep quality and stamina.
If you are an athlete, you should ensure that you do not miss out on the many benefits of breathing exercises for athletes. Hence, if you want to learn more about breathing techniques for athletes, breath control exercises for athletes, and the benefits of breathing exercises, then read on. This article will further discuss how breathing exercises can boost athletes’ performance in their chosen sports.
Breathing Techniques for Athletes
Among the many breathing techniques for athletes, two of which are nasal breathing and strong breath holds. These breathing techniques are highly encouraged to help athletes boost their performance.
There are two possible ways to breathe: our noses and our mouths. Breathing through our nose or nasal breathing is recommended regardless of whether you are an athlete because of the benefits that mouth breathing cannot offer. Such benefits include filtering the air that goes into our lungs through nasal hairs.
However, many athletes tend to breathe through their mouths when exercising because as they breathe faster, this increases the airflow resistance in your nose.
If you want to improve your performance, you should consider improving how you breathe through your nose, as it can potentially increase your athletic performance and endurance.
There are breathing exercises for athletes that you should try to improve how you breathe through your nose. In the process, you can improve your lung function, strengthen your respiratory muscles, and decrease tension and anxiety.
- Alternate nostril breathing
You inhale through one nostril and exhale through the other while closing the opposing nose with your finger.
- Diaphragmatic breathing
Also known as belly or abdominal breathing, this exercise involves inhaling slowly and deeply through your nose to fill your stomach with air.
- Breath of Fire
This exercise entails rapid and forceful exhalations followed by regular inhalations.
Strong Breath Holds
As the term suggests, strong breath holds mean you will have to hold your breath within a specific duration. Strong breath holds promote blood flow in your brain, enhance your alert levels, and open and clear up air passageways.
Sports or exercises such as running and swimming can significantly benefit from this breathing exercise. The best benefits athletes can get from strong breath holds is that it stimulates their spleen, improves aerobic capacity, increases the number of oxygen-carrying blood cells, and enhances body oxygenation and VO2 max. VO2 max, also called peak oxygen uptake, is the maximum amount of oxygen you use during training.
- Box or Rectangular Breathing
This breath-holding exercise is common in freediving. This technique may be simple, but it effectively puts your breathing pattern in a relaxed state while calming your mind and improving your ability to concentrate.
- Long Exhalations
Long exhalation as a breathing exercise is a great way to test your inspiratory and expiratory control. While this exercise requires, what you will benefit from this is that you will be able to calm yourself down and bring yourself into this strong state of relaxation.
- 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Also called relaxing breath, this technique is derived from its steps which involve inhaling for 4 seconds, holding it for 7 seconds, and breathing it out for 8 seconds. If you get anxious during your training, this breathing technique can calm you down.
Breathing Exercises Benefits for Sports Performance
Breathing exercise poses many benefits to your sports performance. We’ve laid out some of the benefits below.
Enables quality rest and sleep
Sleep is always crucial to maintaining optimal health and wellbeing. It is especially vital for athletes because sleep is one of the best ways they can rest and function during training and tournaments. Through breathing exercises, athletes can easily fall asleep and get their much-needed rest since they are relaxed and free from stressful and anxious thoughts.
Reduce and be resilient to stress and anxiety
Being free from stressful and anxious thoughts will also improve or enhance their performance during training and tournament. If you practise mindful breathing, in a way, you are also meditating and, as you may already know, can bring your body to a state of calm and balance your hormones.
Learn how to relax and meditate in any circumstance
Even during training, athletes can feel troubled, especially if they do not hit their goals during their sessions. But if they are knowledgeable of at least one breathing exercise or if they conduct breathing drills before starting their training, they can find a way to put their minds at ease, and their mood levelled.
Become a better version of yourself
Progress is a sign of success in an athlete’s life, and breathing exercises can play an essential role. For instance, your sport is running, and you already know how crucial proper pacing is in your field. If you can effectively synchronise your breathing with your strides, your performance and control will improve, enabling you to run longer distances.
Enroll Breathe Your Vision’s Breathing Courses
If you want to experience the benefits of breathing exercises in various aspects of your life, be sure to take advantage of Breathe Your Vision’s breathing courses. These courses will be carried out by a wellness coach and a certified breathing instructor Karishma Desai who will let you experience the following benefits of breathing exercises, which includes:
- increase focus;
- increase calm;
- reduce stress and anxiety;
- increase respiratory and core muscles strength;
- maintain your weight;
- reduce fatigue;
- increase energy levels;
- experience rejuvenating sleep;
- improve sporting performance;
- increase productivity;
- increase vitality; and
- enhance your mood.
Take charge of the best you with Breath Your Vision today. Be sure to contact us via the contact form on our page if you have questions regarding our breathing courses. We look forward to hearing from you.