Technique of proper breathing

How to breathe correctly?

Correct and deep breathing in sports is one of the key elements of effective physical training. At the same time, sufficient supply of oxygen to the body is important not only for marathon running or swimming, but also for performing any strength exercises.

However, despite the fact that the technique of proper breathing is simple enough and intuitive, most people breathe excessively superficially and unevenly during training. It is necessary to remember that proper and healthy breathing is, first of all, breathing with the nose and using the diaphragm.

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What is breathing aperture?

Remember how little children breathe - when inhaling, the upper part of their tummy slowly rises, sinking when exhaled, while the chest is practically not moving. It is this breathing through the nose called "diaphragmatic" and is the most healthy and natural for a person.

In turn, the diaphragm is the internal muscle that separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities and serves to expand the lungs. In fact, the ability to involve the diaphragm in the breathing process distinguishes the surface breathing of the chest from deep and full breathing with the stomach.

Why is it harmful to breathe through the mouth?

Runners know that breathing with the mouth during training significantly worsens its effectiveness. The person, as it seems to him, takes deep breaths, but he immediately exhales air. This has a negative effect on the percentage of oxygen absorption( 1) and makes breathing even more often, completely breaking the rhythm.

With the active breathing of the mouth, the muscles of the diaphragm seem to pinch and restrict the lungs, as they move back and forth, not up and down, as with deep nose breathing. Among other things, in the case of winter running, the habit of inhaling air through the mouth is a direct road to sore throat and cold( 2).

Breathing with strength training

The main rules of breathing for strength training - you have to breathe through your nose, and the weight should be squeezed out on exhalation. For example, with push-ups, you need to drop down on inhaling, exhaling from the floor. When pulling up while lifting up, the breath is exhaled, and the inspiration - lowering down.

The breathing itself, as already mentioned, should be carried out with the help of a diaphragm - this will activate the internal muscles of the body and the press, creating a natural support and protecting the spine from injuries. The exhalation should be easy and natural, without strained cries and moans.

Short breaths and long exhalations

Proper breathing during exercise is approximately 7-8 cycles of slow inhalations and exhalations per minute. First, a deep breath through the nose lasts for 2-3 seconds, then follows a quiet exhalation for 3-4 seconds( again, through the nose) and the final pause for 2-3 seconds.

When breathing through the mouth, usually from 10 to 20 cycles of short breaths per minute, as the body chronically lacks oxygen( 3).Note also that the habit of holding your breath during exercise is especially dangerous, as it raises blood pressure.

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How to learn to breathe properly?

Take the most convenient position for you - sitting, standing or lying down. Place your left hand on your chest, the right hand on your stomach. Relax and try to breathe normally. Devote a few minutes to studying how you breathe. Note whether the belly or chest moves while breathing.

If your stomach is not moving at all, it's easy to massage it with the palms of your navel, trying to breathe so that the air allows the abdominal muscles to "open".At the same time, make sure that breathing is long, deep and carried out exclusively through the nose, and not through the mouth.

Consequences of improper breathing

The habit of inhaling and exhaling air through the mouth not only worsens the supply of oxygen to the body, but also leads to weakening of the muscles of the diaphragm and the associated internal muscles of the press. In the end, this starts to negatively affect the posture, contributing to the development of the "hourglass" syndrome.

Lower ribs and pelvis shrink, minimizing the deflection in the lower back and causing the abdomen center to "fall through" inside. This is particularly evident in those who lead a sedentary and inactive way of life - that is why it is important for such people to practice yoga for improving breathing techniques.


Proper breathing is a smooth, slow and deep breathing through the nose. When performing strength exercises this is especially important, since only such a breath will activate the internal muscles of the body and create support for the spine.

Scientific sources:

  1. Breathe right! , source
  2. How to Breathe Properly, source
  3. How can you breathe your way to good health, source