As athletes we are always looking for that added edge, that little extra something that makes us better then the next guy. In my mind one such edge is breathing. Yes, breathing! Something we do subconsciously, without thinking, but if trained it can be an ally to a good boxer. How we breath is important in may ways and how we train ourselves to breath properly is even more important. I like adding yoga or pilaties to my workout once or twice a week to help with breathing control. The boxer who controls his breathing will be the least winded. You will also have more energy and look the freshest after a fight.
The thing to understand is there are two basic types of breathing. The first type is abdominal breathing. Abdominal breathing is when you breath though your abdominal region, concentrating on bringing your stomach in when you exhale and out when you inhale. The second type of breathing is rib cage breathing. This is how you breath when you get exhausted. You begin to use secondary muscles located in the front of your neck. These muscles are used to lift the rib cage up and down. This type of breathing can take a lot more energy out of you then abdominal breathing and can lead to you to drop your chin or lean your head forward, opening you up for a possible knockout punch. Another important factor in breathing is knowing where you breath in from. Do you breath in from your mouth or nose? If your breath through your mouth you leave your jaw open for a good knockout punch. The more winded you get the more this will happen. Concentrating on a combination of nose and abdominal breathing will help lead you on the road to success. To help train your breathing and strengthen your core I suggest yoga or pilates. Think your to macho for yoga or pilates? Think again.
Yoga is a great exercise to train your body to breath better. Brought to us from the Hindu religion, yoga is a form of meditation that brings together proper breath and stretching. You’re holding your positions and breathing though your sticking point to help lengthen the muscles and allow proper oxygen flow to the area being worked on. Yoga will help you gain strength and flexibility through isometric position holding. Holding each pose and breathing through what is being felt will allow for a physical and spiritual improvement in your training. It is a great way to end your day or just get over a tough one. Guys, its not just for woman any more.
Pilates is great for core control and breathing. The slow controlled smooth movements are great for your focus and relaxation. It is something extra to add on your days off or when your feeling stressed. Pilates was started by Joseph Pilates. Pilates is known for his work with the ballet. What people don’t know is Mr. Pilates was originally a rehab specialist who worked on injured German soldiers and then became a boxing trainer before he was a ballet guru. He was brought to the US and had his first studio given to him by non other then Max Schmeling, a former Heavy weight champ. So, while some of his exercises my look soft and pretty, they are brought about though adaptations of what he did for soldiers and boxers alike.
Yoga and pilaties will not only help you with your breathing but, it will also increase your abdominal strength as well. A big thing to understand is that the abs are lengthened when you have tight psoas muscles. This will limit the amount of air inhaled per breath. Through these exercises, your abs will be strengthened and the psoas muscles will be stretched to increase your breathing ability.
I am more then sure that adding these two practices to your training will aid in reaching your goals. The controlled breathing and meditation will allow you to use less energy then someone who just comes out to brawl. You will expend less energy and have a clearer mind to help make those crucial split second decisions that can win you the fight. If your to embarrassed to go to your local yoga or pilates studio, I suggest you find a good instructor and see if he or she will come to your gym to work with you and your training partners.
Dr. Pietro Baio DC
Performance Edge Chiropractic, P.C.
7315 Ave U
Brooklyn, NY 11234
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