Frontiers in Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine – Inspiratory Muscle Training

Frontiers in Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine is a series of seminars launched by The Centre for Sports Medicine & Human Performance at Brunel University and is set to address important questions in the fields of cardiovascular and respiratory physiology, biomechanics and psychology of sport and exercise.

The seminar series is free and open to everyone with an academic interest in sports and exercise science and medicine.

Seminar 3:

Mechanisms underlying improvements in exercise tolerance following inspiratory muscle training

takes place on Wednesday, 24th April 2013 (Heinz Wolff Building, Room 224) and will consist of:

  • Professor Alison McConnell, Brunel University, presenting ‘Inspiratory Muscle Training: History and Putative Mechanisms’.
  • Dr. Lee Romer, Brunel University, presenting ‘The role of respiratory muscle fatigue and metaboreflex influences upon exercising limb blood flow and performance’.
  • Dr. Emma Ross, University of Brighton, presenting ‘The role of feedback from exercising muscles in central fatigue’.
  • Dr. Caroline Jolley, University of Brighton, presenting ‘The role of the respiratory muscles in dyspnoea and exercise tolerance’.

The final discussion will be looking at the next steps for inspiratory muscle training research.

You can visit the Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance website for more information, and if you’d like to attend then please contact

Respiratory Physiology is one of the three broad themes of research at the CSMHP and has contributed significantly to the received wisdom that breathing does not limit human exercise tolerance. Professor McConnell leads this research group in which the focus is on understanding potential respiratory limitations to exercise tolerance and performance.

The research group has shown that the inspiratory muscles need to perform such a huge task that they can ‘steal’ blood from other exercising limbs to supplement their work; the effect of which is to limit the performance of other working muscles, impairing performance by making the exercise feel harder. Improving the efficiency of the lungs has the knock-on effect of increasing the performance of your other working muscle groups.

POWERbreathe trains the respiratory muscles to maximise sports performance, improve fitness and reduce breathlessness in people with breathing problems, using resistance training i.e. training against a load. As you inhale against the load, your inspiratory muscles are made to work much harder which induces improvements in the strength capacity and metabolic efficiency of the inspiratory muscles and thereby increasing their power and endurance.

POWERbreathe not only helps athletes though, as inspiratory muscle training has been shown to be of benefit to those with breathing difficulties, specifically in relieving the symptoms of asthma by improving lung function and by improving exercise tolerance, breathlessness and quality of life in patients with chronic lung disease (emphysema and bronchitis) and heart disease.

Find more about how POWERbreathe can benefit those involved in sports and exercise, performing arts, uniformed services and those with health and medical concerns, or how POWERbreathe works.

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