Proper Breathing Technique for Exercising

Proper Breathing Technique for Exercising

Many of us don’t realize how important it is to breathe during exercising. It can be the difference between getting through your workout effectively or feeling light headed and dizzy. It isn’t always as easy as breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, is it? There are different intensities for every exercise so is the breathing for each the same? An article for “Greatist,” posted by Jordan Shakeshaft, is a great read and very informative for those learning proper breathing technique.


Nailing the right running form, tempo, and strategy can be challenging enough, but a runner’s work doesn’t end there. Huffing and puffing your way ‘round the track won’t get you to the finish line. In fact, studies show that improper breathing technique can impair speed and performance.

How to do it right: While there’s no golden rule, many runners find it most comfortable to take one breath for every two foot strikes, says Alison McConnell, a breathing expert and author of Breathe Strong Perform Better. This means taking two steps (one left, one right) while breathing in, and two steps while breathing out — also known as the 2:2 rhythm.

Why it works: Because the diaphragm and surrounding organs are all subject to the forces of gravity, McConnell says, synchronizing the breath to running cadence will keep the organs from putting unnecessary pressure on the diaphragm, which can impede breathing (and make running more uncomfortable than it needs to be!).

The Nose vs. Mouth Debate: While there have been some studies comparing nasal and oral breathing during exercise, most have used small sample sizes with somewhat inconclusive results. “My advice is to breathe via the mouth during exercise, as this is the route of least resistance,” McConnell says. “Breathing through the nose during exercise just makes it needlessly hard.”