Better Breathing Blog

How to Improve Breathing, and Performance, During Football

Posted by Carolyn Morse

Dec 2, 2016 1:04:36 PM

How to Improve Breathing, and Performance, During Football.png

If you play competitive football, you know what it feels like to be out of breath.

Hands on your knees, brow covered in sweat, your lungs struggling to get in enough air as you stand on the sideline, wanting to get back in the game.

Fortunately, there are ways to improve the ability of your lungs to take in and expel oxygen more efficiently so you can advance your performance on the field.

Since, football is a sport that relies heavily on your anaerobic energy, top performance is contingent on your body’s ability to draw and expend quick energy in rapid bursts of activity.

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Systems

When training and playing sports, you need to be aware of the particular systems that are in play so that you can best optimize your performance. Aerobic and anaerobic exercises are two difference types of activity that stimulate two different mechanisms in the body.

  • Aerobic exercise (meaning with oxygen) is any activity that excites an increase in both heart rate and breathing, in a way that is sustainable for longer periods of time, (typically more than just a few minutes, depending on your level of fitness).
  • Anaerobic exercises (meaning without oxygen) draws from other reserves for energy and is only sustainable in short bursts.

Football is a unique sport; when you are on the field, you are engaging in both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, depending on your position and where the ball is in play. Typically you will start out using your aerobic system, but will need to quickly move into anaerobic activity dozens of times throughout the game.

Anaerobic energy creates a build-up of lactic acid in your muscles, causing them to fatigue quickly. Lactic acid is water soluble, but when you exercise anaerobically, your body can’t keep up with the levels you are producing until you stop exercising. A sense of fatigue is generated in order to send you a signal to stop and prevent you from injury.

So how can you stay in the game longer?

By training your respiratory muscles you can increase your lungs’ ability to take in fresh oxygen to supply your body with the energy it needs. More fresh oxygen will increase the length of time your muscles are able to work before they draw from anaerobic energy stores. With improved exhale, you can eliminate more lactate from your system, thus further reducing muscle fatigue.

With respiratory muscle training you’ll be able to pull in more oxygen and recover at a faster rate, though you’ll still be limited by:

  1. Your vo2Max. A measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that any given athlete can use.
  2. Your body’s inevitable need for anaerobic energy. Though you can increase your threshold with exercises.

How can PowerLung help?

PowerLung is a training devise that can help you successfully strengthen your respiratory muscles, giving them the strength to take in more oxygen and empty more carbon dioxide.

It is the only breathing device that provides dual-direction breathing resistance, allowing for improvement in both the muscles associated with inhalation and those associated with exhalation – maximizing the efficiency of the breathe.

This results in longer lasting energy and increased speed of recovery. One study of collegiate level soccer athletes found that over a 5 week training period with PowerLung, measures of respiratory muscle strength (Plmax) and performance were increased, while measured of dyspnea (breathlessness) and fatigue, decreased.

PowerLung training helps with the athlete's recovery between plays as well as between offensive and defensive play. This can be particularly useful help get the muscles relaxed after play and after tackles.

Ultimately, if you play football or any sport that requires intermittent sprinting, PowerLung can help you get the edge over your competitors and take your game to the next level.

If you’d like to know more about how you can use PowerLung to optimize your lungs, get in touch with us today.

Respiratory Muscle Training Results in Improved Performance Download the White Paper