How do the lungs really work when we train?




Here at GTF we do plenty of breathing work, especially before things like running in order to optimise our training performance. In today’s short blog we have a little look at the mechanisms of breathing, something we often do without even thinking, as a follow up to the article we shared on our Facebook page from CrossFit.com yesterday.


Simply, during the process of breathing we see our diaphragm (the muscle that sits below our lungs) contract and pull that rib cage to expand, increasing the volume of air that we can contain in our lungs, it then relaxes as air is expelled. There are a huge amount of muscles involved in our breath and the extent to which they are used at any one time varies depending on a number of different factors.


Of course, as we train and start to exercise harder, the volume of air moving in and out of our lungs increases and so does our breath rate in order to meet the demands of our body and what it needs to optimise to gas exchange process to keep us functioning well at rest and during training.


Of course, our ventilation rate has a limit here which is just one of the reasons why we cannot continue to just go harder and harder - we will eventually need to rest from intensity.


And a little fun fact to finish off for you - the lungs are never actually totally empty of air!!


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