Top breathing exercises for everyday and professional use
After you have performed the Bolt test, you can better assess your performance. The longer you can hold your breath after a relaxed exhalation without feeling excessive hunger for air, the better your fitness level. The duration of this relaxed breathing space can be used in the breath-hold test for an orientating grading with which you can determine your personal fitness level.
< 10 seconds of paused breathing. Very poor fitness level. Breathing at rest is irregular and you occasionally gasp for air. Shortness of breath occurs even with light physical exertion or even when speaking.
10-20 seconds of paused breathing. Borderline compensated fitness level. Breathing is often increased at > 12 breaths per minute even at rest. Problems with medium loads in everyday life possible (e.g., climbing stairs, walking faster).
20-30 seconds of paused breathing. Average level of fitness. Breathing is calm and even. All everyday activities are mastered without much effort.
30-40 seconds of paused breathing. Good level of fitness. These values indicate a good suitability for sports.
40 seconds of paused breathing. Very good level of fitness.
There are several very effective techniques that can greatly improve your personal fitness. Already in pre-Christian times more than 2000 years ago, breathing techniques were developed in India and China with which one could optimize oneself, for example to achieve a trance-like state. Chinese scholars wrote down the following technique in the book on the breathing of Master Great Nothing of Mount Sung: “Count one and two 100 times. When you’ve blocked the breath for as long as possible, release it gently. Inhale a little more and block the (breath) again. When (you) get hot, exhale with (the sound of) ho. If (you) get cold, blow out the breath and release it with (the sound) Ch’ui. If you can breathe like this and count to 1000, you will not need seeds or medicine.” Even today there are many breath coaches who use effective techniques to help people in everyday life and to achieve a higher level of fitness, or otherwise to improve health in general.
The first method that comes to mind is called 1:4:2 and is a universal method that can be used in everyday life.
With proper guidance, breath retention can be practiced, gradually increasing the duration of the retention if it does not in any way interfere with the rhythm, regularity, and equality of inhalation and exhalation. The recommended ratio between inhalation, retention and exhalation times is 1:4:2 and is recommended by Anthony Robbins. After mastering holding the breath after the inhale, one attempts to hold the breath after the exhale by gradually increasing the time the breath is held.
Specifically, according to Robbins, breathe in for 1 second, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and then breathe out for 2 seconds. It is certainly no coincidence that the exercise is very similar to the technique used by breathing and fitness expert Wim Hof, who, like Robbins, recognized the essential importance of optimized breathing for health and fitness. Wim Hoff relies on a special form of hyperventilation that works as follows. Hyperventilation is known to cause a drop in blood CO2 levels, resulting in more alkaline blood. Some claims of this method are that these physiological changes persist long after the breathing session ends—but this has yet to be supported. The body strives to stay in homeostasis and will employ mechanisms to bring your blood back to a normal pH level quickly. In brief, the method can be applied in the following way.
- Sit comfortably with your back straight.
- Take 30 accelerated breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
- Take a deep breath after the accelerated breaths. Hold your breath as long as you can.
- If you feel the need to breathe inward, take a deep breath and hold it for another 10 seconds.
- Repeat this process as many times as you like.
As you can see, there are crucial parallels between these various well-known methods. This is no coincidence, but the result of years of experience and the inclusion of ancient knowledge in functional breathing techniques that can also be used in everyday life. Wim Hof has proven that his method can also have a positive effect on psychological problems such as bipolar disorders. One can breathe out of isolation, depression, pain and fear! Taking medication with strong side effects can be avoided in many cases. The true, healthy self is thus becoming stronger and stronger, so that people can better deal with psychological problems. Physical pain can also be better managed with one of Wim Hof’s breathing techniques. Wim developed the following exercise for people plagued by pain.
- Sit or lie down comfortably. When you are relaxed, focus your attention on the part of your body that hurts. Take 5 deep breaths.
- Then inhale 20 times, releasing after each breath.
- On the last exhale, expel all your air, inhale again, and hold your breath for 10 seconds.
- In these 10 seconds you concentrate on the painful area and press the persistent breath there. Also tighten the muscles at the pain centre.
- Release the breath and with it any tension. Think of your pain as a signal. Tune into this signal. This changes the chemistry of the signal in a positive way.
You will see that it works. You don’t have to believe us unconditionally; you can also rely on the word of various top athletes.
Mary Decker, an American athlete and 1983 gold medallist, has set many world records in the 1500m and 3000m, including 6 in one year!
It’s also worth noting that runner Emil Zátopek, who was a four-time Olympic champion, 18-time world record holder, and three-time European champion and is considered one of the best athletes of all time, also incorporated breath-hold exercises into his training, which, as you can see, yielded great results led.
If competitive athletes use optimized breathing, then we can also assume that optimized breathing can have a positive influence on many of people’s fitness level. Bayern star Thomas Müller is the best example of such self-optimization. He works with fellow experts and knows how to activate certain abilities in his body through optimized breathing. When such a star believes in it, it proves the deeper, scientific truth behind optimized breathing. So these are not unscientific, esoteric claims that cannot be proven, but instead these claims are based on historical facts and current science. Everyone can convince themselves of the positive physical and psychological effects if he or she integrates these techniques, which are ultimately a positive attitude towards life, into his or her life.
Push your limits through the active use of optimized breathing techniques and become a more complete and healthier person who can achieve his or her goals at any time. Become a total breathing pro and experience the total energy boost!