Breathing is an involuntary bodily function, however during exercise one’s breathing plays an integral role in getting the most out of your workout. The way in which you breath during working out can change and sometimes hinder or help the way you get through your routine.

If you are not breathing properly while you’re working out, you may get through your set, but it will adversely affect your movements, posture, coordination and the effect the exercise has on your muscles.

People tend to make several breathing mistakes while exercising:

  • Holding their breath
  • Taking shallow breaths
  • Breathing quickly
  • Breathing too deeply
  • Inhaling and exhaling at the incorrect time

Correct breathing is not only important when doing yoga – it’s just as important while doing cardio/aerobic exercise as well as strength training/body weight training. The right breathing pattern will ensure that your working muscles and connective tissues get enough oxygen. Proper breathing also keeps your joints lubricated.

While running/aerobic activity

While there’s no golden rule, many runners find it most comfortable to take one breath for every two foot strikes, says Alison McConnell, a breathing expert and author of Breathe Strong Perform Better. This means taking two steps (one left, one right) while breathing in and two steps while breathing out—also known as the 2:2 rhythm.

Strength Training / anaerobic activity

Basically, you always exhale on exertion. For example, when you are pushing a bench press off your chest, you exhale on the push and inhale as you bring it slowly to your chest. When you are doing a pull -up, you exhale on the pulling up motion and inhale on the way down.

Breathing correctly is also about expelling all that carbon dioxide out of your body. The carbon dioxide in your body will increase if your breathing pattern is short and hurried. This is not good because this will increase your heart rate and lactic acid production (you know, the whole reason you have sore muscles the next day after a workout) and decrease your endurance in a cardiovascular event (eg. running, swimming or biking etc).

Hope this will help you maximise your workouts.


Happy Healthy Fabulous