Exercise-Induced Asthma – and POWERbreathe

Pip Windsor from Phsyio2Breathe is an expert with over 20 years’ experience in the treatment of Breathing Pattern Disorders (BPD) and Asthma Education and is an MDT Certified BradCliff Method® Practitioner (a structured research-based physiotherapy assessment and treatment programme for breathing pattern disorders).

Pip has written this article about Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA) for Evolved Physiotherapy & Performance, a clinic specialising in injury recovery, strength and conditioning, sports psychology and endurance coaching.

Pip begins by asking ‘what is asthma’ and suggests a few solutions that could help; one of which is strengthening the breathing muscles with POWERbreathe to make them more efficient and less prone to fatigue. Pip then offers 3 tips on how best to breathe.

Read the full article Exercise-Induced Asthma >

Proper Breathing – POWERbreathe Can Help

Your primary breathing muscle is your diaphragm; a dome shaped thin sheet of muscle separating your rib cage from your abdomen.

When you inhale this dome shape flattens out as your diaphragm contracts, pushing down on the contents of your abdomen (your gut) and increasing the space in your chest cavity.

Because your gut has to go somewhere as your diaphragm descends, it forces it down and out and your tummy expands. Because of this, this natural, healthy and proper way of breathing is often referred to as abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.

If you do already have a good breathing technique it can often go awry when you start exercising as you demand more air and your breathing increases to compensate. This is when your breathing technique can change from good diaphragmatic breathing to reverse breathing i.e. pulling in your tummy as you breathe in and letting your tummy go as you breathe out.

Because your diaphragm is a muscle, you can train it like any other muscle to become stronger and helping you retain that good diaphragmatic breathing even when pushed to your limit. POWERbreathe targets your inspiratory muscles – not only your diaphragm but also your intercostal muscles, the tiny muscles in between your ribs, which are recruited during a slightly forced respiration.

You’ll notice when training with POWERbreathe that you have to work harder to breathe in. This is the effect of resistance training acting on your inspiratory muscles. When breathing out, POWERbreathe offers no resistance because when you exhale normally, your diaphragm and intercostals naturally relax and move back up, pushing the air from your lungs.

Proper breathing is key for gymnasts

The Hybrid Perspective, Linking Gymnastics and Movement Science, recently began a series of articles about the importance of proper breathing in gymnastics.

In Part 1, 5 Reasons Why Training Proper Breathing Is Key Dr. Dave Tilley emphasises what a big deal breathing really is and how it will be a huge talking point at his two Gymnastics Live Seminars: one on spine injury prevention and one on mobility.

Dr. Tilley says, “Periods of fatigue shouldn’t be the only time they pay attention to it (breathing pattern). Athletes and coaches should be aware of proper breathing through all of practice, and I feel working it should also be a regular part of training. There is much support in the idea that mastering breathing plays a huge role in core control, power output, the state of their nervous system, mobility, recovery, and battling fatigue. In the next two weeks I’m going to share some background to breathing, along with 5 reasons behind why I work it at every practice with our gymnasts.

Part 2, 5 Reasons Why Training Proper Breathing Is Key (Pt 2): Tapping Into The Nervous System & Enhancing Mobility is also now available and looks into more important ideas related to the benefits of training and using proper breathing patterns and why breathing is so important for gymnasts to work on.

In this his second article, Dr. Tilley talks about how proper breathing patterns can make quite a substantial effect on the nervous system and how he has seen good success in using breathing drills and light self soft tissue work before he does mobility with gymnastics athletes/patients he works with.

Further into the article Dr. Tilley emphasises the importance of proper breathing patterns, using the core to act as a stable base to enhance movement in the arms and legs, especially during stretching. “Keeping the core stable can help fixate one end of the tissue trying to be mobilized, and breathing goes right along with this. As noted with the earlier parts of the post, it may also help to assist in relaxation for the nervous system rather than pushing hard and possibly inducing a perception of threat.”

Part 3, Increase Routine Endurance and Breathing Drill Videos is now also available and talks about how proper breathing can improve cardiovascular abilities during gymnastics routines.