It doesn’t really matter if you’re a professional cycling athlete or just an enthusiast, either way, we’re sure you already know how a bad breathing technique can really damage your overall performance. Through breathing, your body is supposed to deliver all the necessary oxygen to your muscles in order to not only increase your resistance when cycling but speed too.
The best and first thing to do, is to understand the difference between chest breathing and belly breathing. The first one does not include a special breathing technique and is the most commonly breathing type that we all do. Unfortunately, this one cannot fully feed your muscles with all the necessary oxygen in order to better perform and resist through your cycling activity.
Keep in mind just one thing: One of the main reasons why you feel so quickly tired, might be because of a bad breathing technique, or better said, it might happen due to the lack of oxygen in your body. That brings us to the second, deeper breathing type: belly breathing.
Here’s the most efficient breathing technique (through belly)
If you’re searching for an efficient breathing technique to support your cycling activity but not only, you’ve come to the right place. Start practicing the technique we’re about to show you, before you start cycling. Include it to your lifestyle, even when you’re not involved in any physical activity at all.
First, you need to regulate your posture. Be sure to stand straight and tall without letting your shoulders go forward as they normally do. Start focusing on your breathing. You’re probably noticing that your breathing is not very rhythmical and at least half of it is done by your mouth. Keep your focus on breathing and start fixing its rhythm and close your mouth. Filter the air through your nostril because they are supposed to do that! Try not to breathe with your mouth, ever…
After balancing your nostril breathing, try to make deeper inhales by letting your tummy blow. You should feel your belly breathing, not your chest! It is very important to let the oxygen goes as lower as it can go in your lungs. Diaphragm gives a major help. It is the muscle located below our lungs and it should do almost all the breathing process. Train this muscle and learn how to manage moving it without keeping your focus on it all the time. This breathing technique might seem easy, but in most cases it is not properly practiced.
Did you know?
Al Lee, is the author of “Perfect Breathing” who promises to change your life through efficient breathing techniques. He says: “Breathing efficiency is like improving your gas mileage: Studies have shown that with a bit of training, you can improve your breathing efficiency into the 10-percent range, which translates into a 3- to 5-percent improvement in performance!”
The final and most important step
After learning and owning this technique, you’ve finally arrived at the final and most important step: How to practice it when cycling?
Think about it… How many times have you ever though if you’re breathing in the right way when you’re on a bike, or is breathing the one thing that has made you not achieve your goal even though you know you can? Not so many, right?
Not feeding your muscles especially when in the middle of a high physical activity, will make your blood pressure increase and heart rate speed up. You will need a miracle to break your limits in these conditions. Try practicing the above technique off the bike for at least 15 minutes per day. Start with the “5 seconds” rule. It requires 5 seconds belly-inhale, and other 5 to exhale. Then, after learning it properly, you can start increasing the time (seconds) of each breathing step.
When on a bike, this breathing technique will be a perfect rhythmical distraction for your mind in order to keep moving and feeding your body with all the necessary oxygen. Keep in mind, using your diaphragm is essential! Very soon, you will make this efficient breathing technique part of your everyday breathing. Without having to putt an effort in it that at all! It will become a part of you…
You can find all this and more on Trifind.com The American Triathlon Calendar