REPerformance Fitness & Lifestyle Platform | Free Trial

Breathing 101


Hey REPers, Coach Christmas here with some Breathing 101 tips!

Breathing. We do it without even thinking about it most of our lives. But how is breathing important regarding health?

You literally can’t live without oxygen.
Regulating your breathing pattern can allow you to either elevate your heart rate or reduce your heart.
Breathing exercises can have a direct change in one’s mood and thought process, allowing for clear decision making and thoughtful verbal and physical response.

Athletes, students and yourself, can benefit from breathing exercises.
Below, I’ve included some interesting breathing exercises for different situations that you may find yourself in.


1) 4-7-8 technique

I’ve heard this technique is great to do just before bed or any time you’re in need of a moment of calm.

  • Place the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Hold this position for the duration of the exercise.
  • Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
  • Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.

Start with four cycles to feel the effects, though it’s noted you should do no more than 8 reps in one sitting.

2) Double Breathing

This rapid breathing technique activates the breath in short bursts. It’s these active movements that excite the sympathetic nervous system (network of nerves that activates your fight or flight response) and make you more alert. To practice double breathing:

  • Inhale through the nose with a short, sharp inhalation followed directly by a long, strong inhale.
  • Then without pausing, exhale through the nose and mouth with a short, then long exhale.

Repeat 5 times then pause for a short break before beginning your next round.

3) Valsalva Breathing

The Valsalva maneuver creates a lot of internal pressure in your torso. You do this by bracing. Think of when someone is about to bodycheck you in a sport like hockey. This creates a level of rigidity that protects your spine and core while you’re lifting heavy weight and it makes for a more efficient lift. Rigid structures transfer force better than spongy structures. Your body naturally performs the Valsalva maneuver whenever you’re lifting or pushing something heavy. This breathing technique is probably the one your students will utilize the most in their lives so let’s look at how to do it.

  • Take a big belly breath. When you take your big breath, you want your belly to expand, but you don’t want your chest to get big. Think “breathe into my belly.” You’re not really breathing air into your belly. That’s just a cue for you to get the deep breath we’re looking for.
  • Close your glottis and exhale against it. The glottis is what allows air to go in and out of your windpipe when you breathe. When you close your glottis and exhale against it, air can’t escape your lungs, which in turn elevates intra-abdominal and intra-thoracic pressure. This provides your “core” the stability it needs to perform a heavy lift.
  • Perform the entire lift while continuing to exhale against your closed glottis. Do not let air out while going down or when you’re coming back up with the lift. Keep exhaling against your closed glottis for the entirety of the lift.
  • Let the air escape from your glottis after the exertion. After you complete the rep, you can release the air from your glottis.Repeat the process for the next rep.

Try these breathing techniques and use the opportunity to push and exceed your performance limits!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *