Breathing Effort In Rugby

The physical demands of rugby are highly specific to each player’s positional role. Nevertheless, all players require high levels of aerobic fitness, lactate tolerance, strength and power.

Although most activity in rugby is sub-maximal, the intermittent sprints, tackling, scrums, rucks and mauls are supra-maximal, taking you above 100% of your maximum fitness capacity. It’s this pattern of exertion that places extreme demands on your breathing and where POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training benefits rugby players.

In fact, following intense sprinting, your breathing will be driven to its highest levels, inducing extreme breathlessness. So, to continue contributing to the game, your breathing must recover quickly.

Also unique to rugby is the involvement of high intensity upper body activity. This induces conflicting demands upon your breathing muscles, which as well as bringing about breathing, are essential when involving the upper body. This includes fixing, twisting and flexing of your trunk. In fact, your breathing muscles contribute to stabilising and turning the trunk during a scrum, ruck, maul, plus kicking and passing. It’s no surprise that breathing muscle fatigue affects more than just your sprinting ability.

Furthermore, during an intense game of rugby, blood flow and oxygen delivery to your legs is restricted because your inspiratory muscles fatigue, impairing performance. This is called metaboreflex – a ‘survival’ instinct, with your body choosing to breathe over the need to ‘perform’. However, if your main breathing muscle (diaphragm), is strong and well trained, greater blood flow to your limbs can be maintained.

How To Make Your Lungs More Powerful

POWERbreathe IMT specifically targets your breathing muscles. It’s a form of resistance training, likened to ‘dumbbells for your diaphragm’. Developed by sports scientists, it exercises your breathing muscles, improving strength, stamina and eliminating breathing fatigue. This is especially beneficial in rugby as the ‘ball in play’ time has rapidly increased throughout the professional era. POWERbreathe IMT provides a combative solution to these ever-growing physical demands of the sport.

Scientific studies also show POWERbreathe IMT will help you warm-up more effectively, as well as, cool-down and recover more quickly. Researchers in Brazil found that breathing against a small inspiratory load straight after exercise reduces lactate by 16%. It also showed lactate reduced as soon as exercise stopped, as just 5-mins after using an inspiratory load, lactate concentration was equivalent to 15-mins passive recovery. And this study provides evidence that IMT improves recovery time during high intensity, intermittent exercise in repetitive sprint athletes, such as rugby players.

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