In December 2012 the Highlanders signed a Global Sponsorship Agreement with POWERbreathe. Since then they’ve been using their POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training devices religiously as part of their training.

The Highlanders are a professional New Zealand rugby union team based in Dunedin that competes in Super Rugby, the largest professional rugby union competition in the Southern Hemisphere.

POWERbreathe got together with the Highlanders to help the team specifically target their breathing muscles, using POWERbreathe breathing training devices to exercise the breathing muscles to improve their strength and endurance. This respiratory training would prove extremely beneficial to each team member because in rugby extreme demands are placed on the breathing muscles. All rugby players require a high level of aerobic fitness, lactate tolerance, strength and power; all reasons why POWERbreathe should be an integral part of rugby fitness training.

The Highlanders coaching staff realised the benefits of Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) and have developed a special training programme for the team.  Duncan, from POWERbreathe, visited the Highlanders in March this year (2013) to see how they’d incorporated POWERbreathe training into their routine, and to offer training advice and guidance if needed.

Duncan was welcomed by the coaching staff and team members, all of whom seemed comfortable with their POWERbreathe training, which can be seen in Duncan’s photos on the official POWERbreatheUK Facebook page, and video.

The ‘fly-on-the-wall’ video shows how all the team use their POWERbreathe in between gym training and during match practice. Michael Lawrence who oversees the compliance said he was “very pleased with the enthusiasm and dedication the players have put into this aspect of their training. They have all stuck with it as they can feel the benefits when running on the field.”

Duncan is back in the UK now but the Highlanders POWERbreathe training continues, and we hope to bring you more news as and when we receive it. We’d like to thank the coaches for their work in developing a POWERbreathe training program for the team, and for implementing it so quickly and thoroughly. Duncan would also like to thank the Highlanders team players and all coaching staff for their hospitality – he’s looking forward to keeping in touch and assisting with training developments.