I have noticed athletes struggling to catch their breath after exercise, cardio, or competition. Whenever there is rest time, I have noticed athletes’ breath very heavily only through their mouth, resulting in the chest/thoracic breathing pattern. Their technique to calm down is very shallow, irregular, and very rapid (Davis, Eschelman, McKay 2008).

In the article, Randomized, controlled trial of breath therapy for patients with chronic low-back pain it states that “Breath therapy appears to be as good as physical therapy (Mehling, Hamel, Acree, Byl, Hecht 2005).

There is many physiological processes of breathing, various breathing techniques, and therapeutic effects (hypertension, CLBP, immune activity and stress level). It takes several months of dedicated practice to become proficient with these breathing exercises.   

Breathing is performance enhancement believe it or not. Athlete’s typical goal is to be able to perform at their optimal performance level. Showing these techniques will help them improve calming down, relaxing, reduce fatigue, reduce muscle tension, and perform at their fullest.

Breathing as a method of therapy for athletes seem to struggle to calm down and catch their breath. Having athletes focus on their breathing will be able to execute the exercises at the fitness level they want.

A breathing exercise: awareness and relaxation
If you have trouble relaxing, this is a good technique to practice.

Lay supine with my knees bent to prevent more pain on my lower back, and to experience position autosuggestion (Davis et al., 2008).  Within the 10 minutes, you will experienced a clear mind, releasing energy, and a positive attitude once completing the exercise.You will become relaxed and not have to think about everything that is going on in your  life at the moment. You might have to try this exercise again to improve the technique more since it take months to get the technique correct so you can experience all the benefits of the breathing therapy.

For more techniques, click on the link and take a look at the book, The relaxation & stress reduction workbook.

Davis, M., Eshelman, E., & McKay, M. (2008). The relaxation & stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Mehling, W., Hamel, K., Acree, M., Byl, N., & Hecht, F. (2005). Randomized, controlled trial of breath therapy for patients with chronic low-back pain. Alternative Therapies In Health & Medicine, 11(4), 44-52.