Peak Performance: The Role of Better Breathing in Sports

Ever felt like out of breath when you had just started running? It happens to the best of us.

But what this means is that your stamina is too low and your breathing patterns are off! So, what can you do about it?

Research shows that practicing several breathing techniques can improve performance in exercising and playing sports.

There is an emphasis on special breathing techniques and patterns since breathing can also cause hindrance while playing certain sports as the oxygen is restricted! However, with consistent exercise and proper breathing exercises, you can improve your breathing. This helps to regulate your performance and cause better breathing in sports, especially for professional athletes.

The Importance of Breath Control in Athletics

While working out and eating healthy helps in becoming fit, the role of breathing can also greatly impact performance in various sports. This includes trying out multiple breathing techniques with different frequencies and depths.

This is especially effective in the case of athletic, solo sports. Also known as track and field sports – these include running, jumping, sprinting, jogging, throwing, etc.

When you are running or doing exercises or movements that are a part of these least hot sports, your muscles are active, leading to the use of large amounts of oxygen. This causes increased breathing. Hence, it is essential to control your breathing, in order to succeed in these sports. Pro tip: Breathing through both nose and mouth helps you achieve the optimal breathing that is required for athletic sports. Exhaling through the mouth quickly helps in releasing carbon dioxide.

What are the Benefits of Breathing Exercises in Sports?

There are a variety of physical as well as mental health benefits of proper breathing in sports.

Apart from building stamina, it helps to enhance overall cardiovascular fitness and it improves the function of the lungs and the heart.

Moreover, the use of different breathing techniques can help reduce stress and release anger – promoting the overall performance of the body and its organs.

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Similarly, breathing exercises for sports athletes are key as they help in focus better. It also promotes better workout during training sessions and in turn, performing well at competitions and matches. A lot of psychologists suggest different breathing patterns to overcome anxiety and stress. This also applies to athletes as extreme sports and fitness training can take a toll on the mental health of an individual. As a result, breathing exercises such as rapid breathing can help them relax and maintain the overall health of the mind and the body.


Q. Which sports promote proper breathing?

Running, walking and aerobic sports improve the overall breathing.

Q. What is better breathing in sports?

If you are breathing an average of 5.5 breaths per minute, then it is ideal breathing to play different sports for hours.

Q. How to hold your breath longer?

You can try box breathing or diaphragmatic breathing exercises to hold your breath for longer!

Author’s Opinion

For peak performance, whether you are an aspiring or professional athlete, you need to learn how to breathe properly. This is done by practicing different breathing exercises.

After researching the role of breathing in sports and fitness, I surely want to try this out before going on a walk or jog! You can also try it out, there is no harm in it!

What do you think?

Written by Usama

Usama J. is a passionate writer about the sports and works as an in house sports journalist at Openiun, and covered many international sporting events including ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.