Athletes, professional and amateur alike, think about training their heart, legs, back, and anything else related to their sport. However, rarely do people ponder training their lungs. There is a direct link between fatigued breathing and reduced performance (weakness) in your legs or other muscles needed to compete in any given sport. The bottom line is that when you breathe better, you provide more oxygen to your muscles, thereby improving your athletic performance.
Can You “Train” Your Lungs
You may think that there is no real benefit to training your respiratory muscles, but you could not be more wrong. It is a fact that you may not be able to train your lungs, but you can improve the performance of the respiratory muscles, increasing volume and exhalation strength.
Consider how the respiratory muscles work to improve your breathing:
- Engaging your diaphragm and intercostal muscles increases core strength
- Stronger core gives your body stability to focus on your athletic activity
- More efficient respiratory muscles utilize less oxygen, so your muscles work better.
When you are breathing more efficiently, more energy is available to peripheral muscles, and the respiratory system is using less oxygen.
Training is More than Just Deep Breathing
Resistance training provides a dual benefit in that you work on both aspects of breathing—inhalation and exhalation. Consider that the benefits of respiratory muscle training are threefold:
- Strength: Progressive threshold resistance forces air to flow in and out, strengthening the respiratory muscles.
- Power: Increase oxygen intake with inspiratory improvement.
- Endurance: Lungs are operating at a more efficient level, more oxygen is available to keep other muscle groups going strong.
How Respiratory Muscle Training Devices Help
Respiratory Muscle Training devices help to improve breathing by creating resistance, much like weight lifting. By a regimen of the exercises followed using a respiratory muscle training device, the muscles become stronger due to repetition. Further, devices are adjustable so users can add the right amount of resistance (weight) to the device. With a variety of models available, one can customize a device to fit the kind of lifestyle and sports enthusiasm experienced by any individual.
Want to Know More?
Read more about the benefits of better breathing and how a respiratory muscle training device like PowerLung can be a valuable tool to your exercise schedule, whether you be a competitive cyclist, an avid clarinet player, or just an active family participating in several outdoor activities!