How to Get Stronger with Breath Control

This entry was posted on May 19, 2017 by Ricky Hall.

Breathing is a simple process in which you inhale to draw air into your lungs and then exhale to expel the air from your lungs. It’s an automatic function that we have to do to stay alive, but we rarely think about it, as it comes to us naturally. We do have control over how we breathe and when we want to control our breathing patterns. How you use this control in your workouts can have a great impact on your performance in the gym.

The Breathing Process and Muscles

Your diaphragm controls the act of breathing. It is a large dome-shaped muscle that is across the bottom of your thoracic cavity and it flattens when it contracts. This action increases the volume inside your cavity and pulls the air inside. When your diaphragm relaxes, the volume inside the cavity decreases and thus pushes the air out.

Your breathing changes in response to different circumstances in an involuntary manner. When you are huffing and puffing during an intense and fast workout you will more than likely suck in bigger breathes to bring your heart rate down. When you struggle to do a final rep at the heaviest weight you lift in your workout, you most probably hold your breath to create more core tension and be able to perform the last lift. Likewise, if you were in a fight and saw a punch being thrown to your stomach, you would brace for it by holding your breath and tightening your abs.

Your body actually understands your breathing functions during physical activities and stress and it adjusts for it. When you learn to control your breathing, you can improve your lifts, stabilize your spine and increase your recovery time.

Anytime: Ocean Breath

Ocean breath is an active pattern of breathing that is worth practicing anytime at home or off the clock. The idea is to feel your breath so you can control it. It helps you to develop the ability to speed it up or slow it down. This helps you in your training.

Sit up tall on the floor with your chest wide and your shoulders relaxed. Close your eyes and breathe in and out through your nose. Slow your rhythm down to create a 4 count on both inhaling and exhaling. After you get this rhythm going, constrict the back of your throat as you breathe. This will produce a rumbling ocean sound. Continue this for about 5 minutes while maintaining your focus and breathing.

Pre-Workout Breathing

This type of breathing teaches you to focus on your breathing before a workout to center your body before you train.

Sit in a comfortable chair or seat with shoulders relaxed and your chest open. Close your eyes and breathe slowly in and out through your nose. Do this for a cycle of 10 breathes. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly through your left nostril. Alternate this motion to breathe through your right nostril. Do 10 cycles of breathing this way before you workout.

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During Workout Breathing

This exercise helps to contribute to the strength and success of all your lifts. It teaches you to pull your core muscles in toward your center to brace your spice with a rhythmic breathing for stronger and safer weight training.

Start by standing with relaxes shoulders and your feet hip width apart. Draw a large inhale through your nose and hold your breathe. Pull your ribs down and inward to tighten your abs. Hold this for a count of five and then exhale through your mouth, but only release about half of the tension in your core. Cycle through this exercise for four rounds and then rest for 30 seconds. When you are getting ready for a lift, take a big inhale through your nose, pull your ribs and belly inward, execute the lift and then release your breathe.

Supplementing your workout with Taurine Powder or Creatine Monohydrate will greatly help your endurance and amount of lifts you can do.

Post-Workout Recovery Breathing

This is basically just breathing slowly and mindfully through your nose for at least 5 minutes after your workout while you stretch, during post-workout or on your drive home from the gym. Don’t open your mouth in post workout recovery breathing.

Speed up your post workout recovery with BCAA so you can re-work the same set of muscles much sooner and get that lean, sculpted muscle mass that you seek.

Originally published at on May 19, 2017.