Thursday, 24 March 2011
Breathing Techniques to Improve Performance
Breathing techniques are very important for all different types of training; however they are often overlooked as a non-essential minor detail with respect to overall performance. This couldn’t be any further from the truth and the following article breaks down the benefits to performance, basic breathing techniques and guidance on improving individual focus. So whatever your goal; lowering your overall heart rate without lowering exercise intensity, increasing your one repetition max (1RM) or developing improved focus and concentration the following information may prove invaluable in helping you achieve it.
When studying the basic anatomy of the lung we discover, although a single organ, each lung is divided into a series of lobes. The right lung is composed of three lobes; the upper, middle and lower. The left lung is similar in construction but only has two lobes the upper and lower. For the purpose of the article I want to focus on just the distinction between the upper and lower lobe and there relationship with two different types of common breathing.
Shallow breathing involves the contraction of intercostal muscles in between the ribs and normally only draws air into the upper lobes. Deep breathing by comparison relies on the intercostal muscles alongside the activation of the diaphragm (large sheet of muscle similar in appearance to a parachute positioned internally at the bottom of the abdomen). It aids in breathing by moving down upon contraction increasing the space within your thorax (upper part of the torso). This creates a negative pressure within the thorax causing the lungs to expand and air to be drawn in. This causes air to be drawn into the lower lobes first, where gaseous exchange can take place more efficiently as well as utilising more of the lungs surface area.
Dan. J. Byrne