Breathing Effort In Swimming

Competitive swimming is one of the ultimate challenges for breathing, as you have to inhale as much as possible in the shortest time possible, so that you can return your body to the optimal position for generating propulsive force. This creates an enormous strain on your inspiratory muscles and it is no surprise to find that as a swimmer you’ll experience significant fatigue of your breathing muscles.

This challenge is worsened by the fact that when you are lying horizontally in the water, your breathing muscles are up to 16% weaker than when you’re upright so are less able to generate the forces needed to breathe in quickly. Furthermore, research shows that fatigue of your breathing muscles reduces blood flow to your arms and legs, which can slow you down by reducing the flow of oxygen to those muscles. This is the case in both inspiratory muscle fatigue and expiratory muscle fatigue, both of which impair exercise performance.

Breathing Effort In Cycling

The hunched position adopted during cycling can create breathing problems. The contents of your abdomen (mainly your liver and gut) become compressed and pushed up against your main breathing muscle, the diaphragm. This restricts its normal movement and can make breathing feel much harder.

Research shows that cycling as little as 20km at race pace induces significant fatigue of the inspiratory muscles. A research group at the University of Birmingham showed that inspiratory muscle training (IMT) reduces this breathing fatigue and improves cycling time trial performance by a staggering 4.6% (that’s equivalent to slicing around 2 minutes off your 40k PB) after just 6-weeks of inspiratory muscle training.

Breathing Effort In Running

The work of breathing during running can be substantial following events such as marathons, as well as shorter, intense bouts of running. Research also shows that fatigue of the breathing muscles may result in diversion of blood away from the leg muscles. This means that the supply of oxygen to your legs is reduced and your performance is impaired. However, research indicates that 4-weeks of IMT improves inspiratory muscle strength, 800m running performance and decreases limb blood flow change rate.

Boost Your Breathing Stamina

Disciplined breathing technique will improve breathing comfort during swimming, cycling and running. POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) specifically targets your breathing muscles, increasing their strength and stamina by around 30%, significantly improving your swimming performance, cycling performance and running performance by helping to eliminate breathing fatigue.

Research shows it is beneficial to warm-up your breathing muscles with POWERbreathe IMT. It can also reduce lactate by 16% when used in recovery.

Suitable Products to Improve Your Breathing Stamina