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There are a couple of exercises where nose breathing is essential. For example, many yoga practices employ the ujjayi breath (or victorious breath) to send oxygen to the muscles and warm the body. But that doesn’t necessarily hold true for cardiovascular exercises like running or cycling, says Kim Woolrich, biokineticist at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. And you’ll have different choices of breathing in weight training. Here are the ins and outs:
It’ll be easier to breathe through your mouth as you’ll struggle to get enough oxygen if you breathe through your nose. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about how you’re breathing. Try to breathe deeply – from your stomach – and stay relaxed, says Woolrich. And avoid short and shallow breaths.
Here you can breathe through your nose, mouth or both – whichever feels most comfortable. Most people find it easier to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth during weight training. Whatever you do, remember to breathe out on the exertion phase of the exercise and in on the easier phase. So, for example, if you’re doing bicep curls you’ll breathe in when you lift the weights and out as you lower them.