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Breathing Technique Is Important in All Forms of Exercise

Check Your Breath

Breathing is fundamental to every form of exercise I can think of; the first concept I teach new Pilates clients is how to breathe. I might know this intellectually, but Hannah my swim coach at Equinox decided my freestyle breathing needed an overhaul.

To prove her point, she even took a video of my form. Since my swim lesson last week, I have been paying extra attention to my breathing in all forms of exercise, from yoga to running, as well as when I am in the pool and I urge you to check your own breath. Are you unconsciously holding it at any point when you're working out? Are you raising your shoulders to inhale? When you inhale are you only filling the top portion of your lungs? This is a great little tool and if you're feeling bored with your workout, it gives you something productive to work with rather than watching the clock.

Image Source: Getty
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Leland-Vall Leland-Vall 7 years
As is very common, this article focuses on the Inhale. However, the secret to good breathing rests on the Exhale. The best way to improve your breathing is to allow for a lengthened and effortless exhale. A gently lengthened exhale gets rid of more old air which allows the diaphragm to rise higher, making the next inhale much easier. Focusing on the inhale tends to lead to over breathing, If your lungs are partially full, you are almost forced to raise your shoulders in order to get a deep breath. Instead, enjoy your exhale and let it last a little longer. You next inhale will be at the end waiting.
michlny michlny 7 years
Yoga has conditioned me to pay attention to my breath....even when not working out. It's a great way to center myself, stay focused and release stress.
Loren02 Loren02 7 years
I often catch myself holding my breath when I work out.
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