How To Breathe The Correct Way During Workouts


If you are a fitness junkie from a long time, or if you are someone who has just begun their journey to fitness, it would be a very well-known fact to you that once you start working out and doing exercises regularly, your body embarks on a journey different from any other.
To make your body appear fit, toned, and trimmed your body goes through several changes from inside to outside to make it appear in the desired form.

Working out and exercising is never an easy journey and a lot of effort and dedication are required to successfully make this journey a consistent part of one’s life.
You may have had an inspiration who made you embark on this journey in the first place.
If you can relate to your trainer or instructor’s guidelines of breathing properly while exercising, then you are certainly not alone, and your instructor is certainly not wrong in asking you to do so.

Focusing on how you breathe holds great importance while exercising and is the driving factor behind how long you can stay free from fatigue and work out perfectly. 

How Is Our Breathing Quality Affected During Exercise?

The workout focuses on getting the muscles pumped up for burning fat and calories from them. In this way, the muscles are put to work. Since muscles use oxygen as their main “fuel” and the exercise focuses on making the muscles contract and relax to their fullest potential, therefore, within a short time, the muscles run out of oxygen and a breathless, fatigued person is left behind gasping for air.  It is under such circumstances that it is said that the breathing quality greatly impacts your workout and exercise quality. 

How To Breathe Correctly During Exercise?

Here, we are listing some very popular workout exercises, and the ways to properly breathe while doing them to achieve a coordinated workout and breathing routine, which will not only replenish our oxygen supply but also help reduce fatigue.

Pull-Ups & Push-Ups:
While coordinating each respective step with your breathing, start inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
During Push-Ups, inhale for 2 seconds when you go down, and exhale after 2 seconds when you go up. 
During Pull-Ups, inhale for 2 seconds when you go up, and exhale after 2 seconds when you go down.
Once you get used to it, you can easily pick up your pace and coordinate your breaths accordingly.

Again, you need to inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. But here, you need to focus on your abdomen (core) too. When inhaling, try to do so using the abdomen muscles, as it strengthens them. Usually, a small 1-second break is taken after 1 squat is done. Otherwise, inhale and exhale after 2 seconds each.

As difficult as burpees are for everyone, the ideal way of breathing during them is the same. Inhale through the nose, use the core muscles, and exhale through the mouth. Yet again, use a combination of 2:2 seconds for both inhalation and exhalation.

Bench Press:
Bench press follows the same ritual as burpees. Nose and core for inhalation, and mouth for exhalation. In between these, a gap of 2:2 seconds is again required between each bench press.

Yoga Breathing:
Here, you need to use your nose for both inhalation and exhalation. When opening up a pose and expanding your space, inhale. Whereas when the pose closes, and your space contracts, exhale. Breathing should be coordinated at all times.

It is yet another exercise that focuses on the entire body’s muscles. You need to inhale through your nose, using energy from your core area (abdomen), and exhale through your mouth. As a beginner, try to inhale and exhale for an equal period (2:2 seconds). As you get used to this, you may opt for inhaling for 2 seconds, and then exhaling after 4 seconds. This is a perfect means for increasing your stamina, and different durations could be applied depending on your tolerance levels.

For cycling, a simple rule is to be followed. Inhale for 3 seconds through your nose, then exhale for 3 seconds with your mouth. As you inhale, your abdomen muscles are to be used as well. As you grow used to this pattern, you can always switch to a pattern of 3 seconds inhale:6 seconds exhale too.

Using this means of coordinated breathing practices, you are going to bring a revolution in your performance and are bound to perform well at all times. 


  1. Aliverti A. The respiratory muscles during exercise. Breathe (Sheff). 2016;12(2):165-168. doi:10.1183/20734735.008116
  2. Johnson BD, Aaron EA, Babcock MA, Dempsey JA. Respiratory muscle fatigue during exercise: implications for performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996;28(9):1129-1137. doi:10.1097/00005768-199609000-00008

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