Mehr Luft durch effektive Atmung

It's nothing new that we need oxygen to live and to perform in sports. The lungs are pulled in and pushed out by inhaling and exhaling. Within the lungs, the oxygen is transported via the red blood cells to the places where it is needed - into "our muscles". Simple and yet complicated, because everyone knows the feeling of simply not getting enough air and becoming completely acidic. Here you can find out how to prevent stitches and what the difference between chest and abdominal breathing is.

With increased energy consumption, our body needs additional oxygen. It should be mentioned here that our lungs never reach the limit of their capacity even under maximum exertion, although at maximum speed you often have the feeling that not enough oxygen is getting to the muscles.

The energy metabolism is responsible for this. Since the body has to work in anaerobic energy metabolism, other parameters such as the size of the heart and capillarization influence the transport of oxygen to the muscles.

Thanks to the breathing reflex

Many athletes try to orient themselves to a self-imposed breathing rhythm when swimming (2-stroke, 3-stroke) or running (inhale 3 steps and exhale 4 steps). But our body also has a breathing reflex, which tries to regulate too high a concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood.

In diving, so-called hyperventilation can have dangerous consequences. Most of the carbon dioxide is normally exhaled. However, despite the lack of oxygen, a sufficient breathing reflex does not occur during the diving process, since the carbon dioxide threshold value, which starts the breathing reflex, is not reached. This can lead to fainting underwater.

Therefore: Do not pay attention to a certain rhythm when running and swimming. Even and calm breathing supports the right rhythm by itself.

When swimming, the breathing time is determined by the respective swimming style. Depending on their ability and pace, everyone can decide when and how often they want to breathe. Depending on the level of stress, we sometimes need more or less oxygen. When swimming, the respiratory muscles generally have to do less work than in other disciplines. The reason for this is the water situation.

Side stitch goodbye!

Especially when running, everyone knows the problem with annoying side stitches. A stabbing pain forces the athlete to take unwanted breaks in walking. Tension in the auxiliary respiratory muscle, the diaphragm, is partly responsible for this. An incorrect breathing rhythm, weak trunk muscles or too little time between eating and training trigger this annoyance.

What can I do about side stitches?

  1. Conscious deep inhalation and emphasized exhalation
  2. Press your hand on the painful area and breathe consciously
  3. As you inhale, raise your arms overhead and slightly stretch your abdominal muscles
  4. Exhale as the non-painful side leg strikes.

Chest or belly breathing?

To prevent shortness of breath, we should breathe deeply enough and utilize our full volume. During abdominal breathing, the abdomen rises and falls. The main muscle is the diaphragm. When breathing through the chest, the chest rises and falls. It is the less effective form of the two breaths and is mainly performed at rest.

Contrast exercise to feel the chest and abdominal breathing: "Breathe and Run"

  1. Run at a relaxed pace and stride. Pay attention to the lightness of your steps and perceive your rhythm.
  2. He will hold his breath for the next 20 steps. After that, you continue walking calmly and evenly.
  3. During the next 20 steps, stretch your stomach out so that it gets bigger. After that it runs normally. Try to see if you feel a change.
  4. For the next 20 steps, pull in your stomach, making it smaller.

After that it runs normally. Try to see if you feel a change.

  1. After exhaling, hold your chest in this position for the next 20 steps
  2. Then inhale and hold the chest "in the big form" for the next 20 steps
  3. Now let's combine the whole thing. Make the stomach small and the chest big for 10 steps each. Then continue walking 10 steps with a big stomach and a small chest.

Before the competition...

Relaxation exercise: “Breathe away the nervousness and fear”

 The pulse calms down and relaxation occurs through deliberately long and calm breaths

  • Breathe in slowly through your nose while counting to 4 internally
  • Hold your breath and count to 4 internally
  • Exhale slowly while counting to 8 internally
  • Hold your breath and count to 4 internally
  • ….and start all over again

And off we go...


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