The Japan Institute of Sports Science published this study, Maximal inspiratory mouth pressure in Japanese elite male athletes in Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology (August 2016). It explains that maximal inspiratory mouth pressure (MIP) is a common measurement of inspiratory muscle strength. MIP is often used in a variety of exercises to test the effects of inspiratory muscle training (IMT). Understanding MIP characteristics in elite athletes’ is required in order to guide sport-specific inspiratory muscle training programs. This study investigated the MIP characteristics of elite athletes from a variety of sports.
Findings suggest that athletes could benefit from prescribed, sport-specific, inspiratory muscle training or warm-ups.
POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT)
POWERbreathe IMT devices use the principles of resistance training to exercise the inspiratory muscles. This training makes the breathing muscles stronger. Stronger breathing muscles mean improved stamina and reduced fatigue. And as breathing strength and stamina increase so performance improves. There are many studies that show IMT can increase the strength and endurance of the inspiratory muscles. This study from the University of Birmingham concluded just that, and used POWERbreathe to do so. POWERbreathe IMT is also beneficial as part of a sports warm-up, when using it on a reduced load setting on the POWERbreathe Classic or Plus. However the POWERbreathe K3, K4 and K5 all feature a Warm-up Mode which automatically sets a proportion of your normal training level for you. Research has shown that a standard pre-exercise warm-up routine fails to prepare the breathing muscles for the rigours of exercise. POWERbreathe IMT is also a hugely beneficial recovery protocol. A POWERbreathe ‘cool-down’ will help speed lactate clearance more effectively than traditional active recovery strategies. Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil have found that breathing against a small inspiratory load immediately after exercise reduces lactate by 16%.
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“The aim of this study was to determine whether 4 weeks of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) would be accompanied by alteration in cardiopulmonary fitness as assessed through moderate intensity oxygen uptake (V_O2) kinetics and maximal aerobic power (V_ O2max).”
“The improvement of maximal static inspiratory mouth pressure (Pi,max) in training group shows that IMT training enhances inspiratory muscle strength; however, this is not supported by improvement in either VO2 kinetics or VO2max. It is therefore likely that IMT training alone is not of direct benefit to the cardiopulmonary fitness of healthy subjects. However, diaphragmatic fatigue may have a limiting role in maximal constant-load exercise and consequently, IMT might be a useful stratagem of extracting greater volumes of endurance work at high ventilatory loads, which in turn could improve cardio-pulmonary fitness.”
Read Oxygen uptake kinetics and maximal aerobic power are unaffected by inspiratory muscle training in healthy subjects where time to exhaustion is extended >
“The purpose of this study was to determine if inspiratory muscle training (IMT) alters the oxygen cost of breathing (Vo(2RM)) during voluntary hyperpnea.”
“The present study provides novel evidence that IMT reduces the O2 cost of voluntary hyperpnea in highly trained cyclists. This IMT-mediated reduction in the O2 cost of voluntary hyperpnea suggests that reducing the O2 requirements of the respiratory muscles may facilitate an increase in O2 availability to the active muscles during exercise. Thus these data may provide an insight into the possible mechanisms underpinning the previously reported improvements in whole body endurance performance following IMT.”
Read Inspiratory muscle training lowers the oxygen cost of voluntary hyperpnea >
“Severe injuries sustained during combat may classify individuals as undeployable for active service. It is imperative that every effort is made to optimize physical function following such injuries.”
“In this case, a 38-year-old man sustained a gunshot wound during armed combat. The bullet entered via the left axilla and exited from the right side of the abdomen, resulting in severe thoracic and abdominal injuries. The main goals of therapy were to reduce dyspnea on exertion and to enable return to full work duties. A program of high-intensity, interval-based threshold inspiratory muscle training (IMT) was undertaken.”
“Given that IMT was introduced 12 months following the injury, at which point progress had reached a plateau with other rehabilitation strategies, it seems reasonable to attribute the increased maximum forced inspiratory flow recorded at rest and change in the locus of symptom limitation during exercise from the dyspnea to leg fatigue to the introduction of IMT. These data should be seen as hypothesis-generating.”
Clinical Implications and Future Research:
“The flow-volume loops recorded during the CPET allowed us to identify inefficiencies in breathing strategy and respiratory mechanics that were responsible for this patient’s intolerable dyspnea during exercise. Notably, the measurement of Pimax was of no diagnostic value and was used only to prescribe the initial load for IMT. These findings suggest that static measures of the pressure-generating capacity of the inspiratory pump muscles convey little information about how they operate under dynamic conditions such as exercise. In this patient, chest fluoroscopy and the CPET with flow-volume loops provided the most useful diagnostic information. A program of high-intensity IMT should be considered for individuals who demonstrate inspiratory flows during exercise that approximate the maximum inspiratory flow recorded at rest. Further study is needed to confirm the role of IMT in people with diaphragm injury.”
Read Effects of High-Intensity Inspiratory Muscle Training Following a Near-Fatal Gunshot Wound >
“The effects of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) remain controversial. Many studies have examined the effect IMT has on exercise performance, but any changes to the body that come from IMT have yet to be looked at.
This study will look at how someone breathes can change after IMT. Understanding how IMT changes the body can help us use IMT in different treatments.”
Go to Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Respiratory Muscle Mechanics and Haemodynamics in Healthy Adults >
“The effect of respiratory muscle endurance training (RMET) on respiratory muscle (RM) function, dyspnoea and exercise performance was evaluated in spinal cord injury athletes.”
“Respiratory muscle endurance training (RMET) can improve respiratory muscle function, reduce the perception of dyspnoea but modifies only slightly exercise performance in spinal cord injury athletes.”
Read Respiratory Muscle Training in Athletes with Spinal Cord Injury >
“There is considerable evidence that respiratory muscle training improves pulmonary function, quality of life and exercise performance in healthy athletic populations. The benefits for wheelchair athletes are less well understood. This study examined the influence of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) upon respiratory function and repetitive propulsive sprint performance in wheelchair basketball players.”
“Although there was no improvement in sprint performance, participants in both the IMT and sham-IMT reported an improved respiratory muscle function and quality of life.”
Read Effects of inspiratory muscle training on respiratory function and repetitive sprint performance in wheelchair basketball players >
“The aim of this study was to examine the changes of maximal inspiratory mouth pressure (PImax) during a 400-m front crawl swimming trial.”
“Results indicated that during a maximum effort of 400-m front crawl, the reduction of inspiratory muscle strength occurs after 300-m. This should be considered for competitive swimming training by implementing swim race distance-specific respiratory muscle training.”
Read Alterations in maximal inspiratory mouth pressure during a 400-m maximum effort front-crawl swimming trial >
SwimForTri is a swim technique and coaching organisation with a tremendous reputation in the world of swimming and triathlon, run by brother and sister team, Dan and Keeley Bullock.
Dan is a competitive swimmer and has been integrating POWERbreathe training into his swim training sessions and here he has devised a specific swimming POWERbreathe training protocol that can be integrated poolside.
Read SwimForTri Tips for Improved Swimming Performance >
“Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) has been shown to improve time trial performance in competitive athletes across a range of sports. Surprisingly, however, the effect of specific IMT on surface swimming performance remains un-investigated.”
“6 weeks of IMT has a small positive effect on swimming performance in club-level trained swimmers in events shorter than 400m.”
Read Inspiratory muscle training improves 100 and 200 m swimming performance >