Yeah, yeah. You all know that breathing exercises can help you stay calm under pressure. You've heard it a million times. But did you know that it can also give your workout a next-level boost?
With the Tokyo Olympics on the horizon, peak performance specialist Nam Baldwin, from Equalize Training, is busy coaching a pretty impressive roster of surfers - including select members of the Aussie Olympic team - plus, the most successful canoe slalom athlete of all time, Jess Fox (below). However, his sessions don’t use weights or require sweating. Instead, Baldwin teaches elite athletes (as well as peeps like us) how to use their breath to their advantage.
“My training helps not only athletes with recovery, but also with calming their nervous system and managing better under a high heart-rate scenario,” he explains. “If you’re breathing better when you’re stressing out due to high heart rate and high action activity, you’ll get more from the workout.”
You don't need to just take his word. Former trainee Peruvian world champion surfer Sofía Mulánovich (pictured in the main image above) says, “I think that Nam’s breathwork system is amazing! I felt I had so much more control over my body after just two sessions, and I felt a lot calmer, too."
By harnessing your breath, Baldwin says athletes can safely put in more, leading to more effective training or results.
Intrigued? Thought so.
Give it a go with this breathing warm-up before you tackle your next sweat sesh.
The champion breathing warm-up
“Take time to warm-up your lungs and breathing muscles by using only your nose to breathe at the start of your training session,” says Baldwin. “This will facilitate better overall oxygenation for when you go into the harder work later.
"Try breathing rhythmically, such as in for 6 seconds, breathing out for 6 seconds, as this helps you to maintain good communication between heart and brain. This duration will decrease as your heart rate increases, but you can still maintain rhythm. Do this for the first 3 to 4 minutes of your workout.”