Breathing exercises have long been used by athletes to high degress of success with the greatest Olympian, American Swimmer Michael Phelps, having employed breathing techniques and visualization to power him to a record 23 gold medals.
British road and track cyclist Laura Kenny has won five Olympic gold medals and has spoken about using breathing exervcises to calm her nerves.
A recent study conducted by German, British and Australian researchers has revealed that longer-term interventions involving short-term breathing techniques and breath holding yielded tangible benefits for athletes.
These improvements can be attributed to the psychological and physiological advantages that breathing techniques offer.
The addition of breathing techniques into training protocols enhances athletes’ focus, concentration, and mental processes.
By reducing anxiety and stress levels, these techniques create an optimal mindset for peak performance.
Athletes also experience improved emotional regulation and cognitive function, enabling them to excel in their sporting endeavors.
Breathing techniques also benefit athletes physiologically. Improved oxygen delivery to the muscles contributes to enhanced endurance and overall performance.
Increased lung capacity allows for more efficient breathing and better utilization of oxygen during physical exertion.
These physiological adaptations can positively impact an athlete’s athletic prowess across various sports.
Past research into breathing techniques and their impact on sport found it had a positive impact on sporting performance and these recent finding further highlight the potential of incorporating these techniques into training as a means of assisting athletes to perform at their optimal level.
Head to the Visualization and Breathing section of the OMP app to find Breathing Exercises from the world’s leading coaches in mental performance. Download the OMP App.