Breathing seems the most natural thing in the world, but the technique of inhaling and exhaling affects your elevators. Learn how to control breathing with these 4 practices.
Author: Stephanie Ring
There is nothing more natural and simpler than the act of breathing: the air enters, and then comes out of the lungs. The automatic action of the body allows us to remain alive and active. Although the respiratory act in most cases occurs automatically, we can control the inhalation and exhalation, and we can decide when to include this conscious control. The way we control breathing during exercise affects the results of our efforts in the gym.
Control is carried out mainly by the diaphragm – the muscle that controls the respiratory act. The diaphragm is a domed muscle located across the base of the thoracic cavity. With a contraction, the diaphragm is flattened. This increases the vertical size (and capacity) of the chest by drawing air into it. When the diaphragm relaxes, the volume of the chest cavity decreases, and air is pushed out.
But breathing changes in response to different situations, and most often these changes are not accidental. Ask yourself three questions:
- What do you do when breathing is lost during intensive tempo training? You breathe more often and deeper, inhaling more air to lower the heart rate.
- How do you normally breathe when you try to perform the last repetition in the most difficult approach? Most likely, you hold your breath to increase the tension of the bark during the elevator.
- If you were in a boxing ring and realized that now you will get a hit in the stomach, what would you do? You would be grouped before this blow, holding your breath and contracting the abdominal muscles.
The bottom line is that your body by nature understands the role of breathing during physical activity and stress and changes it accordingly. Having learned to use the natural power of breathing, we can improve our elevators, stabilize the spine and accelerate recovery due to simple respiratory activity.
Below are the 4 breathing practices that will help you work on improving breath control, but also on the ability to organize your thoughts, control your posture and get rid of daily stress.
The type of breath, called in Sanskrit by the beautiful word Ujaya (the breath of the ocean), is a variant of active breathing, which is best practiced in a comfortable sitting position. It is very common in yoga classes, but it is also worth practicing at home, after work and outside the gym.
Before we learn to control our breathing, we must feel it, and this is what Ujaya breathing technique teaches us. It gives a vision of how breathing works, how you can develop the ability to slow it down or speed it up. When you master this method of breathing control, it will be easier for you to use breathing as a tool for your training.
- Sit down and straighten your back. Straighten your chest and relax your shoulders.
2. Before training: breathing through one nostril
Breathing practice teaches you to focus on every breath. This is an ideal practice before training, which will help to unite the body and mind before performing strength exercises.
- Take a comfortable sitting position, relax your shoulders and spread your chest.
This exercise directly affects the strength and success of your elevators. Understanding how to stretch and pull the muscles of the bark to the center to stabilize the spine and not stray from the rhythm of breathing, opens the way to a more effective and safe training.
- The starting position is standing, the shoulders are relaxed, legs are at the width of the hips.
4. After training: restorative breathing
The last exercise seems to be easy to perform, but there are unseen difficulties. Ideal moments for practice – during stretching, after training or at home. This exercise can be complicated, because consciousness will switch, and breathing will change, while you need to stay relaxed, but collected and consistent.
- Slowly and knowingly breathe through your nose for at least 5 minutes. During the exercise, it is not necessary to sit while sitting, as for meditation, but if this is the only way for you to concentrate, then go ahead. If not, do the exercise during a hitching, stretching, or on your way home from the gym.