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Four Respiration Exercises to Increase Your Lung Strength and Breathing Capacity

Posted Jan 30 2013 8:47am
Image courtesey of dream designs /

Image courtesey of dream designs /

By Ken Stanfield

Like other important organs in our bodies, the lungs can be strengthened and trained to perform at an optimal level through the repetition of certain exercises.  It often seems strange that something as basic to our nature as breathing could be something that we have to actively practice, but if you want to be less wheezy when you go for a run or a hike, or if you suffer from asthma, breathing exercises are  a crucial factor in increasing lung capacity and mitigating against some of the issues that plague people with breathing difficulties.
Sure, breathing is an involuntary action, but it is also the one action that provides the very foundation of our existence on a moment-by-moment basis.  So, it makes sense that effective breathing is not only important for issues related directly to the lungs and airways, but also to a myriad of body issues that are indirectly impacted by every breath we take.

If you wanted to boost your muscle mass , you might pump some iron in a regimented fashion – so too is it possible to systematically strengthen your lungs through the routine implementation of certain breathing exercises.

In this piece I’ll outline a handful of such breathing measures that you can begin incorporate into a daily lung workout, which will prove beneficial in many ways.

Exercise #1

Standing on the flat ground with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees loose (not locked), bend over and exhale as forcefully and as long as you possibly can.  Rise back to a straight position while inhaling with a similar vigor, filling your lungs with as much air as you can possibly draw in.  Hold this deep breath as you maintain your posture for as long as possible – up to 20 seconds – while slowly extending your arms above your head until your hands come together.  Stretch.  Now, relax.  Gradually lower your arms back to your side and bend your waste again as you exhale.  Repeat six to eight times.

Exercise #2

Stand straight and tall.  Exhale every last bit of oxygen out of your body.  Now slowly begin inhaling – little by little – and feel your lungs gradually puffing out and your ribs stretching, until your lungs have expanded to their full capacity.  Hold.  Count to 20 (or as long as possible).  Maintain a straight posture with your arms crossing behind you and resting loosely on your lower back.  Exhale slowly.  Expel all of this breath.  Repeat four to six times.

Exercise #3

For this exercise , we’re going to get off our feet and lie flat on our back in a comfortable position, our left hand on our belly and the right above it on the chest.  Take a deep breath through your nose and feel the air coming up from the abdomen where the left hand resides.  You will observe that hand rise above the right hand .  When it has risen as high as it can go, exhale through your mouth while counting to eight, squeezing your abs to ensure that every last bit of air is expelled.  Continue to do this six to eight times.

Exercise #4

Stand up straight (notice a theme here?) and this time close your eyes.  Take a deep breath and then and rid your lungs of it slowly but fully.  Inhale again.  Slowly, but with gusto.  Hold your breath for one second.  Repeat, expect this time hold your breath for two seconds.  Then three.  All the way to eight.  Remember to keep your eyes closed and focus on three things: inhaling, exhaling and the number you are on.

Author Bio:

Ken Stanfield is a respiratory health guru and freelance writer .  His writing currently appears on behalf of nebulizer supplier

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