Inspiratory muscle training for improving your breathing muscles

Conducting relatively simple inspiratory muscle training exercises can allow you to breathe easier as well as improve your respiratory muscles.  Whether you are a recovering patient or fit and healthy individual, carrying out inspiratory muscle training can strengthen your muscles significantly. However, if you suffer from asthma or COPD then these training exercises can aid in building up lung performance.

Diaphragm breathing training

Diaphragm breathing exercises are to help you to use your diaphragm correctly when breathing. It is simple and straightforward to carry out this exercise. Lay down flat on the floor and support your head. Keep your knees bent. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand gently on your rib cage. While you are holding this position breathe in deeply through your nose. By doing this it will cause the hand on your rib cage to rise. Tighten your stomach muscles and slowly exhale, allowing the hand on your rib cage to move down.

Breathing through pursed lips

By breathing while your lips are pursed, each breath will be more effective and your breathing pattern will improve. It is best to sit down or stand in an upright position when doing this exercise. Ensure you are standing in a relaxed position, with shoulders and neck loose. Inhale very slowly through your nose for about two seconds. To exhale pucker your lips and blow out through your lips for about five seconds.

Resistive exercises

Progression resistive exercises can help build the diaphragm muscles. These exercises do this by applying pressure to your diaphragm when it is fully contracted. Laying down straight on a flat surface is the best position for this exercise.  You can create different strengths of resistance by applying pressure through the use of weights and positioning.  The benefits of this exercise will be noticed in the long term as opposed to short term.

Manual Assisted Cough

Although as bizarre as this may sound a manual assisted cough is a good inspiratory muscle training exercise. An assisted cough helps to clear mucus build up in the lungs and also prevents respiratory infections. Lastly assisted cough also builds up your cough strength. This exercise should be undertaken when the stomach is empty or if you feel as though you have mucus build up in your lungs. Take a long deep breath, and then have someone push in and toward the rib as you cough.  Keep a tissue handy as any mucus that comes out can be dispersed of in the tissue.

If you regularly exercise then it is important that you perform a warm up routine. Neglecting breathing exercises correctly can lead to breathlessness. Inspiratory Muscle Training can be used to specifically warm-up these muscles prior to exercise, using a reduced load setting.