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Breathing Tips to Optimise Cycling Performance

Pedaling fast and breathing heavily are the two things that every cyclist must be familiar with. When it comes to cycling, the objective is to pedal fast and breathe fully. However, many do not realize that efficient breathing can improve the cycling performance.  


Lung capacity will decrease as you age. After you get to 30, about 10% of lung capacity is lost per decade. This means that a cyclist in their twenty-somethings has twice the lung capacity of someone over 80. To help slow down this process, you can learn maximizing the amount of oxygen in your lungs per breath. 


The idea of learning to breathe may sound like a waste of time. Nevertheless, what if performing breathing exercises could actually work to help you bike harder for longer? 


Read on to find out some strategies that can help train your breathing muscles. 


  •  Try belly breathing 
  • Belly breathing is the secret weapon in breathing effectiveness. The technique involves the ability to round up your diaphragm to push air in and out of your lungs -- as much as you can. Weakened diaphragm and shallow chest breathing may be a result from a lot of time you spent sitting in front of a TV or a computer. That is why you have to practice to breathe through your belly -- as this can help expand abdomen and exercise your diaphragm muscle. 

    The objective of belly breathing is to exhale for three seconds, and inhale for three seconds. You will start to notice the benefits if you are able to get your breathing down to about 10 breaths a minute. Basically, you can practice anywhere -- whether you are at home, at work, or even when you are on the bus.  To help you get familiar with proper belly breathing, try this exercise off the bike.

  • Count your pedal stroke breath
  • It can be challenging when you have to control your breathing while you are cycling in rough terrain or while climbing. To help bring your concentration back to breathing, count your breaths to your pedal strokes’ rhythm. You can practice it first on a bike trainer or flat familiar roads.

  • Try nasal breathing
  • This exercise involves sole breathing through your nose during high intensity force. To achieve a more efficient nasal breathing, it is usually at medium-to-high intensities. Breathing through your nose takes advantage of your lungs’ ability in extracting oxygen -- which results in 10 to 20 percent more oxygen supply. 

  • Use breathing exercise device
  • To improve endurance of your respiratory muscles, you can use a breathing exercise device to achieve more significant breathing effectiveness. This device can be a great cycling essential for you. 

    A breathing exercise device from WellO2 not only will improve your breathing performance and efficiency when cycling, but also your overall respiratory well-being. The device combines counter pressure exhaling and inhaling and steam breathing. 

    Find out more about how WellO2 can strengthen your sports performance -- be it cycling, running, or other exercises here