Get The Most Out Of Your Fitness By Mastering This Trick
Dec 20, 2023
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Pay attention to all your steps, note the reps and sets you complete, and notice how deeply you stretch, but what about monitoring your breathing? When it comes to fitness, the focus tends to fall on active time and "sweat time." It turns out that the way you breathe between exercises matters - a University of Portsmouth study found that practicing proper breathing can improve athletic performance by 15%. Here's how to master the inhalation and exhalation of running, yoga, and weightlifting with expert advice.
The best way to breathe while running
Running seems to be driven by the legs, but it is actually core-centered. In her book Breathe Strong, Dr Alison McConnell, professor of exercise science at Bournemouth University, UK, said the instability of running meant the core muscles had to work hard to protect the spine Protects you from injury and helps you stay upright when climbing stairs. Proper breathing through the diaphragm is key. Inhaling will cause your diaphragm to contract and move down; your chest should expand to fill your belly with air.
A common mistake: Chest breathing and short bursts of breathing can quickly pull you to the side. Instead, combine abdominal breathing with rhythmic breathing.
Fix it! Focus on abdominal breathing, filling your diaphragm with air and expanding your chest cavity for a deeper and smoother breathing pattern. The goal is to inhale three times and exhale twice as you run. New errands? Implement a run-walk-run approach to help you catch your breath by separating 60-second running sprints and 30-second walking breaks.
The best way to breathe during yoga
You can't finish a yoga class without an instructor reminding you to breathe. But the idea of "breathing right" may not be that simple. More importantly, find your own cycle. "There's no 'right' way to breathe, but there are definitely wrong ways," says Los Angeles-based yoga instructor and wellness blogger Carla MacDonald. "Breathing should be the focus and soundtrack of your practice. I often encourage my students to follow the trend of their own breathing, allowing their movements to be initiated and guided by their inhales and exhales. "
A common mistake: The biggest mistake aspiring yoga practitioners make is focusing on their body, not their internal breathing. "It becomes more important to get into a big pose and realize that the breath descends into the background through a difficult asana or a challenging exercise," says MacDonald. Although breathing is an automatic, uncontrolled exercise Intuitive, subconscious behavior – you may take it for granted in your daily life, but when you practice yoga, it should have a purpose.
Fix it! The easiest way to do this is to consciously turn your attention to your breath and adjust your posture as needed. If your breathing feels erratic or uneven, change the physical movements you're doing until you regain control of it, MacDonald says. "If a deep back flexion is holding your breath, or holding your breath, you need to go back to a gentler and easier movement," she says. Adjust your body to find your breath in an easier position, then (when you're ready) move to a deeper version.
The best way to breathe when lifting weights
Breathing during resistance training is different from breathing during aerobic training. "When you're running or doing yoga, it's more of a breath-hold than a steady breathing pattern," says strength coach and nutrition consultant Dr. Joel Seidman. "When you lift weights, you're trying to stabilize your spine, and the best One way to do this is to breathe for a moment or a few seconds before starting the eccentric (or lowering) phase of the moment of gravity."
This also applies to free weights and isolation moves. "For a larger range of reps, like a bicep bend or shoulder push, you may need to take a little breath between reps," says Seedman. "If you do, consider taking a breath through a straw and breathing over the top of each rep's head."
A common mistake: taking long, labored breaths while lifting. This causes you to lose tension throughout your body, putting pressure on the surrounding joints and structures.
Fix it! Practice breathing with simulated boxing. Contracting your muscles as you inhale and exploding at the top of your punch is a great way to learn how to breathe when lifting weights. Picture this: "When you're about to hit back, inhale," Sidman said. "Hold your breath for a second or two (like you do during strength training), then punch forward. When you start to finish punching, exhale." This exercise will be as you prepare for the eccentric (or descent) phase Tones your muscles and helps you explode during the concentric (or lift) portion of the movement. "