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Breathing for Enhanced Recovery

Back in my youth my Karate instructor Jack Parker imparted one of the most important pieces of knowledge I’ve ever received.

He told me about recovery time, or how quickly your body can recuperate between bouts of hard exercise. After all, if I can get a fuller recovery between rounds in a sparring match than my opponent then I’ll be in a better position to take advantage in the next round. If I’m blowing and tired looking, it gives him the psychological edge, no one is confident when they’re blowing, or as Vince Gironda was quoted as saying:

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all”

Speed of recovery and improving recovery time is essential.

And it is all down to breathing.

If you can control the breathe you can control the rest of the body. Every meditation system starts out by teaching you to breath, inhaling deep into the abdomen and fully exhaling. This is because breathing is both a reflexive and voluntary mechanism, it spans the bridge between the conscious and unconscious.

This is good for preparing the mind and body, but we need to adjust it for the midst of battle where it the exhalation that is key. As already said, breathing is both reflexive and voluntary,  we want to trigger the inhalation reflex. We do this by blowing out hard and aggressively then allowing the body to do the in breath on its own terms. The harder you can exhale, the faster the body will inhale, and it will breath in far quicker than if you tried to do it consciously. Just think of how fast you pull your hand away when you accidentally touch a hot surface, the reflex action is lightning fast, faster than you would be your own.

Try this in between rounds, sets, even in between reps next time your training hard. This video is the latter part of an intense bodyweight conditioning drill, if you watch in between the rounds you can see me employing the  recovery breathing technique so as to be able to perform the next round.


Try the breathing technique, even try the bodyweight workout shown…



PS – 1 week until Steve Cotter lands at Dublin Airport, have you booked your place yet on his Bodyweight/Kettlebell weekend seminar?

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