How to control your breathing
When most fighters struggle with cardiovascular conditioning and increase their endurance, they think the key should be in their road work and the amount of time they spend increasing their heart rate. Sometimes this is the case, but the secret may lie in another aspect of your training. There are things that some fighters do, habits that some fighters have that rob them of the oxygen they need. Like poor conditioning, these habits leave them gasping and blowing for air. If you put in the right amount of time in the gym, tackle the road often enough and exercise with the intensity you need, then it can all come down to better breathing.
First, breathe through your nose, not through your mouth. Yes, it also helps prevent you from being opened with your mouth and breaking your jaw, but it is also important to get the proper oxygen supply to your system. What it does is it allows you to breathe deeper into your diaphragm. When you breathe deeper into your diaphragm, it causes your stomach to expand, putting downward pressure on your stomach and forcing more air into your lungs. It increases blood flow to and from your heart, making you more efficient. Practice it in the gym, especially when you start to get tired and feel the tendency to fight with your mouth open. This will increase the cardiovascular demands on your system and will ultimately help create good breathing habits that you can take with you into the ring.
Next, make sure you do not hold your breath. When you hold your breath consistently during sparring or during real competition, you are probably depriving your body of oxygen. When this happens, your cells need to get their fuel from an alternative source and cause what is called lactic acid fermentation. This is basically what lactic acid build up means and this is what causes that burning, sore, tired feeling you get as the rounds progress. That muscle ache and fatigue is the feeling that comes when you try to claim energy from cells that are deprived of oxygen.
Finally … relax. Oh, it sounds so easy, but it’s really hard for some fighters to do. Understandably, having someone throw fists at you and try to turn off your lights is not everyone’s idea of an enjoyable evening in town. However, when you fight tense, you breathe shallowly and take in less oxygen. You also get more muscle-tired faster and it makes you FEEL more tired. This feeling is partly an illusion, but is also related to the points above. When you are not relaxed, you consume more nerve energy, waste your reserves to stay 100 percent full and do not let your body move freely and act naturally.
Once you learn to control your breathing, you will become stronger, you will be able to produce more intensity (fight at a greater pace) with less effort and will probably have encountered an oxygen supply that you never knew you had. not. You will find new excitement from the simple task of controlling your breathing and it will be like getting your second wind, the first time.
Written by Doug Ward – TITLE Box