How to breathe correctly… A trivial question? Doesn’t have to be. Breathing is a gateway to multiple processes in a body and a great way to control stress. No surprise that most martial arts masters train how to breath. A boxer never punches without exhaling simultaneously as this would incredibly decrease their power. So why many cyclists don’t even think about improving how they breath?

Simply by following the advice on proper breathing provided in this article, you will be able to:

  • Sustain a tempo ride much easier
  • Relax your body much faster when beginning your training (helps a lot when biking after work)
  • Accelerate much easier and of course, go faster…

So what is wrong with how we breath?

  • The increasing stress of modern life makes us breathe too fast and less deep
  • Our breathing is simply too shallow
  • Shallow breathing does not exercise the lungs enough, so they lose some of their function, causing a further reduction in vitality.

The latter means that while breathing during your training is important, it also matters how you breath during the day in order to keep the lungs vital.

I Asked a Yoga Expert…

If there is a domain that deals with breathing the most it would be yoga. Breathing in yoga is called ‘Pranayama’. Yoga practitioners understand how to breath and they can even massage their interior organs by applying breathing techniques in different yoga poses.

This is why I’ve asked a well­-known yoga teacher Dr. Melissa West.

Can yoga breathing can help cyclists while riding and possibly after wards as well? Why?

Using the full potential of your lungs can increase your aerobic capacity and help prevent injury. Practicing breathing on the yoga mat will help to teach you how to fill your lungs completely with air and then slowly release. This will help to slowly build your lung capacity. Deep breathing will help to circulate more oxygen to your muscles and increase
oxygen uptake to your brain. Over the course of your ride this will reduce your fatigue and help you stay more relaxed. 

How to breathe properly?

I also asked Melissa to give us a few simple tips on how to breathe properly in yoga. She was very kind and directed me to a few of her great videos. Even this short introduction helped me a lot in learning to breathe more deeply:
UPDATED: So here is the new video made exclusively for cyclists… enjoy!

If you want to invest some more time check out this exercise to increase your lung capacity

and here you can try different yoga breathing techniques

However, yoga doesn’t help cyclists only with breathing. There is a lot more that you can do. Try out this yoga for cyclists workout by Melisa. (This one is not for free).

Did this article inspire you to improve your breathing? Did you notice any results? Share them with us in comments…