Breathing Techniques for an Effective Cross Training Workout

Research indicates that a person breathes about 20,000 times per day. However, has it occurred to you that you have been doing it all wrong? Breathing seems so natural that while eating or doing any other normal activity, we don’t seem to think about it much. The only time breathing becomes noticeable is when huffing and puffing during a CrossFit workout.

Breathing is much more than oxygen coming in and carbon dioxide going out. By the mere fact that we have been breathing doesn’t mean that we have been right all the way. There are a lot of possible ways you could improve your breathing. Benefits from enhanced breathing include stress reduction, lower blood pressure, increased brain size, improved athletic performance among others. Below are the techniques to help you achieve this.

Deep Breathing at Rest

Proper breathing can help relieve stress by increasing the parasympathetic nervous system activity. This system works in the opposite of fight or flight response system thus giving you a more tranquil and calmer demeanor.

If you can, work on your breathing while lying on the ground and your feet raised up against a wall. The advantage of this posture is that it eliminates gravity and its effects on the equation. Then, put one of your hands on your chest and the other one in the abdominal area. Take deep, focused breaths for about a minute or two ensuring that you spend much time on both inhalation and exhalation. The key to this technique is to ensure your abdominals rise before your chest.

Breathing While Warming Up

Breathing has an impact on your athletic performance, and this is why you should take advantage of the warm-up session in your CrossFit training schedule to refocus on your breath. Take time foam rolling your upper body especially the sections that are hindering your correct breathing ability. Then, perform the deep breathing exercise as explained above before moving into your active warm-up. Focusing on your breath before exercising ensures a reinforcement of proper breathing movements before engaging in the high-intensity interval training. Doing this will lessen your huffing and puffing leading to an effective CrossFit workout.

Breathing When Working Out

If you want to remember how and when to breath as you work out, you can use the Valsalva Maneuver technique which comprises taking a deep breath immediately before lifting and then holding your breath as you do the lifting. This method is important in creating an intra-abdominal pressure which in turn creates a strong foundation and allows you to handle the much greater weight.
When lifting sub-maximal loads, bracing is recommended. This involves activating your core musculature thus creating a super fitness in your mid-section. This helps you to stabilize your core and as such goes a long way in reducing the risk of injury.

If you have been keen on counting your macros, stretching, hydrating and foam rolling, you should also try and integrate your breathing into your CrossFit workout plan. Just one or two minutes a day can enhance your breathing and take your workouts and performance to another level.

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