Improve Breathing Technique to Become a Better Athlete | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Improve Your Breathing Technique to Become a Better Athlete

January 2, 2013 | Shyam Soin

Must See Strength Training Videos

Athletes spend hours in the weight room and on the field developing their strength, speed, conditioning and skills. (Read more about strength training.) What if I told you that one simple thing can improve each of these aspects of your athleticism? And that we do it naturally to survive.

The Power of the Breath

Breathing is an automatic process that is naturally programmed into our brains. Each inhale delivers oxygen to cells, causing a reaction that produces usable energy. The byproduct, carbon dioxide (CO2), is then exhaled.

Although breathing is automatic, most athletes don't realize that refining their breathing technique can actually improve their performance. Maximizing the amount of oxygen delivered to your muscles ensures their ability to perform at peak levels and recover faster. Also, supplying sufficient oxygen to the brain improves mental focus and thought processing.

Improved breathing technique goes beyond the cellular level. It helps relieve an overactive low back, allowing the hamstrings and glutes to fully engage and power movements.

Controlled breathing also helps reduce anxiety. Sport psychologists recommend deep and relaxed breathing as one of the best ways to overcome nerves in high pressure game situations. (Discover more sport psych tips.)

Athlete Breathing Technique

Most of us—including many professional athletes—don't breathe correctly or efficiently, especially when we are anxious or stressed. When someone is angry or upset, notice how their shoulders go up and down with each breath. This is what usually happens when we are under stress.

Make sure to follow these guidelines to refine your breathing technique:

  • In through the nose and out through the mouth
  • Expand both lungs and belly to maximize the amount of oxygen taken into the lungs
  • Depress ribs to exhale
  • Make each inhale 1.5 times longer than each exhale
  • Find a controlled rhythm and avoid gasping

Like any skill, efficient breathing must be practiced in order to master the technique. Perform these two drills during your warm-up to improve your breathing technique and become a better athlete.

 

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

5 More Exercises Only Elite Athletes Can Conquer

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

Off-Season Baseball Exercises for Your Shoulders

Female Athletes: Get Strong, Not Bulky, With These Workouts

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

The 14 Best Exercises From 2014

Why Do So Many Exercises Have Foreign Names

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

Improve Your Strength for Track & Field Success

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

The Hardest Plank of All Time

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout

The 4 Rules of Bulking Up

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

Basketball In-Season Battle Rope Complexes, Part 1

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

Build Explosive Hips to Jump Higher

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout

Medicine Ball Training for Hockey Players

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

4 Ways to Get a Jacked Back

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

The 7 Best Slide Board Exercises

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

Develop a Bulletproof Core With Advanced Barbell Rollouts

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

The 12 Best RDL Variations

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

Female Athletes: 4 Ways to Test if Your Knees Are Durable

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

The Turkish Get-Up for Youth Athletes

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

Developing Pre-Pull Tension for a Monster Deadlift

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

3D Triceps Workout: 3 Exercises for Huge Arms

Demolish Your Delts With This Super Shoulder Training Strategy

The Total-Body, Crunch-Free Ab Workout

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Game Changer: Should You Be Using Machines or Free Weights?

10-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Do Your First Pull-Up With This Simple Workout. Guaranteed.

Baseball Workout for Power Hitting

Bilateral or Unilateral Exercises: Which Are Better?