Breathing Training in Athletes 

Breathing efficiency is paramount in any elite sportsperson. Efficient breathing consumes <3% of our energy stores while inefficient breathing patterns can consume up to 30%. When breathing is optimised and strengthened we can redirect more blood flow to our peripheral muscles to generate more power, increase endurance and recover faster. Breathing training often combines in 2 types of breathing training:

  • breathing pattern retraining
  • inspiratory muscle muscle training

Breathing Pattern Training 

Sports people often develop dysfunctional breathing patterns that create inefficient breathing. We use science, physiology and hands on physiotherapy to re-train breathing to make it efficient and optimal for performance.

Inspiratory Muscle Training

The most common form of breathing training for performance is inspiratory muscle training. This involves direct strength training to the muscles used in breathing. Like strength training to the arms and lengths, strength training to the breathing muscles requires principles of progressive overload and results in improved strength and efficiency over time.

By increasing the strength of the respiratory muscles you not only make the respiratory muscles stronger and more fatigue resistant you also allow a redirection of blood flow from the lung muscles to the peripheral (leg and arm) muscles which enables a greater power output in these muscles.

The evidence:

  • increased respiratory muscle endurance by 27%
  • increase respiratory muscle strength by 31%
  • increase recovery from sprints by 7%
  • 2.2% reduction in rowing time trial
  • 3.5% reduction in time from 200m swim
  • 4.6% improvement in cycle performance

The best thing about inspiratory muscle training is its simplicity. Once a program is established it can be completed whilst in the car, watching tv of even during supplemental workouts.

Call us now to learn more about inspiratory muscle training!