Is There Any Benefit To Strengthening My Breathing Muscles?

It makes sense to say that; in order to ensure that you do not get out of your breath you need to improve the breathing muscles.  When you are inhaling, you use the chest wall muscles and the diaphragm so as to suck in the air.

You then relax the muscles so as to push the air back out.  After exercises that are strenuous, these muscles may sometimes fatigue.

This observation prompted Alison McConnell, a British researcher at the London’s Brunel University to develop an “inspiratory muscles trainer” that is referred to as Powerbreathe.

This is a power device which is very similar to the inhaler that is used by the asthmatic patients.  It is designed purposely to strengthen those muscles that are used in the inhaling in almost the same way in which the weights are used in the strengthening of the muscles of your arms.

If you take about 30 breaths through this device twice everyday, you will gradually and slowly increase the resistance.

It will in short strengthen your muscles, increase the endurance and decrease the incidences of feeling out of breath.


There is only one problem with this.  The initial studies by different researchers did not find any significant benefits of training of the inspiratory muscles despite the fact that the subjects that were involved in the studies reported experiencing reduction in the feeling of out of breath.  After the testing of the classic laboratory measures of the aerobic endurance without success, most of the researchers came to the conclusion that the breathing is not one of the limiting factors in the endurance.

It is important to note that; instead, the limits are determined by the ability of making use of the oxygen.

The only exception is the people that are suffering from conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in which this form of respiratory exercises has for very long time been standard.


Most of the athletes are seriously concerned with the way in which they perform in the competitions rather than in the laboratory.  Various recent studies have tended to demonstrate there are small though significant benefits in some sports such as rowing, cycling and swimming.

For example, study that  was conducted  in 2010 in New Zealand and which involved  16  competitive simmers  that were  put on the  Powerbreathe training program for six weeks found out that  8 did the  proper thing while the other 8  used  device that  was the same but they  were  given program of training  that did not cause  the strengthening of  their inspiratory muscles.


The swimmers are in general good candidate for this form of training because of two reasons; they must control their rates of breathing in a way that it matches their stroke. Secondly, they must overcome the pressure of water such that they expand their chest after inhaling air.

There are some theories that attend to explain why this training works.

The simplest is that breathing muscles that are stronger allow the pumping in of more oxygen when one is tired.

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