man and woman perfoming inspiratory muscle warm up with POWERbreathe

Research has shown that a standard pre-exercise warm-up routine fails to prepare the inspiratory muscles or the rigours of exercise1. However, trials on competitive rowers using POWERbreathe IMT prior to exercise, improves rowing performance significantly and reduces breathlessness.2

Furthermore, this 2022 study looked into understanding the effects of inspiratory muscle pre-activation on high-intensity running and passive recovery, as applied to active subjects.

For inspiratory muscle pre-activation, subjects used the POWERbreathe K5 to perform 2 sets of 15 breaths, with a 40% maximal inspiratory mouth pressure load (40% of the MIP), with a 60-second rest between sets. Results suggest that this respiratory strategy enhances exercise, recovery and the multidimensional approach to understanding the effects of physiological adjustments on these conditions.

Neglecting to warm your breathing muscles prior to exercise will lead to excessive breathlessness from the start. Using POWERbreathe IMT prior to exercise, on a lower load setting, is ideal for warming-up your breathing muscles.

POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training Warm-Up

Your POWERbreathe K3, K4 and K5 features a Warm-up Mode within the Options setting. This will automatically set a proportion of your normal training level for you. If you have any other model of POWERbreathe you first need to determine your current training setting.

The POWERbreathe K1 and K2 will display your training load on the handset.  For warm up exercises, previous research shows a setting of approximately 40% of your normal training resistance is beneficial. More recent research shows that performing inspiratory muscle warm-up exercises with POWERbreathe IMT with 45%, 50% and 60% of MIP however, resulted in higher improvement in respiratory parameters. This research uses the POWERbreathe K5 for measuring MIP a the POWERbreathe Plus Medium Resistance for inspiratory warm-up. 

If you’re using a mechanical POWERbreathe Classic or Plus model, you can determine your current training setting by checking the position of the training level indicator on the numbered scale. For guidance use the following table to calculate your ideal warm up load from your current training load.

IMT warm-up training loads

With your POWERbreathe IMT device set at the appropriate level, perform two sets of 30 breaths with one minutes’ rest between each set. Try to breathe in fully and forcefully. It is best if you can complete this routine no more than 10 minutes before starting your workout, training session, match or competition.