Better Breathing Blog

Can You Increase Lung Capacity for Swimming?

Posted by Carolyn Morse

Nov 11, 2016 1:08:30 PM

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Swimming requires a high level of endurance. It has become common to say the way to raise endurance levels is by increasing lung capacity. We’ll go into why this is confusing. But, the general idea behind this advice is true; to increase endurance you need in increase the efficiency of your breathing. This means using less energy to breathe and breathing in and out more air when you do.

Increase Lung Capacity?

We hate to burst the proverbial bubble, but aside from a new set of lungs, no one can increase the volume of their lungs. However, what you can do is improve your total lung capacity (TLC) by increasing your forced expiratory volume (FEV) – a general measure of the efficiency of which you can exhale air.

What this really means is increasing the power and efficiency of the respiratory muscles; the ones that control inhale and exhale. By strengthening these muscles, you increase the capacity of your lungs to bring in fresh air (and fresh oxygen) and exhale stale, carbon-dioxide rich, air.

Now that we are on the same page, PowerLung can increase your lung capacity. PowerLung increases your respiratory strength making the lungs you have more efficient!

How Can This Training Be Applied To Swimming?

By the nature of the sport, swimmers have very little time to breathe properly while performing. If a swimmer does not get enough fresh oxygen, their body will draw from anaerobic reserves—exercise without oxygen—and tire very quickly. Anaerobic is very effective at producing energy, but also very costly on the body’s resources. To stop you from harming yourself, your muscles create the sensation of fatigue and you stop.

To get enough oxygen swimmers need to use all the time they have when surfacing between strokes to inhale. Exhale while you are turned back into the water. The strength of your respiratory muscles can make all the difference in how much fresh oxygen you can pull into your lungs to power your body and provide it with the energy it needs to complete the race… and win it!

How PowerLung Increases Respiratory Strength

Many products that train the respiratory system use restricted airflow techniques. At the core of it, this is akin to breathing through a straw. The resistance is different for every breath and changes depending on forcefully and quickly you draw air through it.

When you lift weights, the weight remains the same. It doesn’t vary as you raise the dumbbell, barbell, etc. higher, so why not train your lungs that way?

PowerLung provides a consistent level of resistance against your breathing on inhale and exhale. If you don’t inhale or exhale with enough force, you won’t get air through the device.

Just like lifting weights, everyone has different strengths and different levels of resistance they can overcome. An elite swimmer will have a much higher resistance level than a middle schools student just starting swimming lessons. Both will benefit from the training, but need different levels of difficulty. That is why PowerLung has created four models of increasing difficulty each with adjustable resistance ranges.

We cannot increase your lung volume; no one can. But, with regular training using PowerLung you can increase your lung capacity (vital capacity). You’ll see notable improvements in the strength of your respiratory muscles and as a result your endurance and speed.

Learn How to Improve Endurance and Athletic Performance

 

Topics: Triathletes, Athletes, Swimming, Competitive Swimming