Professor Stephen Spiro, Deputy Chairman of the British Lung Foundation, recently shared an observation he made when people try to breathe while slumped on the sofa. “You’ll notice that people don’t sigh when they sit slumped — they have to sit up to take a deep breath,” he commented.

“That’s because the lungs work best when we’re vertical. If you’re slumped forward you don’t fully breathe and ventilate the lungs, because they’re compressed and the diaphragm is coming up into the chest — so you won’t breathe as easily and efficiently.”

This compression of the diaphragm can cause breathing problems for anyone, but especially those with asthma or lung disease, and will affect cyclists who adopt this position while racing.

In the same article in The Daily Mail online, physiotherapist Sammy Margo noted that slumping can mean less oxygen to the brain, saying that ‘C-shaped people complain of being tired and fatigued all the time and it’s because the lungs are squashed and cannot get enough air in, and the brain needs plenty of oxygen to function at its best.’

To take a deep breath and get as much oxygen into your lungs as possible, try connecting with your main breathing muscle, your diaphragm. POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) can help you with this. POWERbreathe IMT uses the principles of resistance training to exercise your breathing muscles. As you breathe in through the device you’ll notice how much harder it is to breathe in against the resistance. It’s similar to building strength in your arms using a resistance band or a dumbbell. In fact, POWERbreathe IMT is often termed, a ‘dumbbell for your diaphragm’. This breathing training improves the strength and stamina of your breathing muscles and you’ll find you’re able to take a deeper breath.