You don’t think about breathing—you just do it. When you’re sleeping, scrolling through Twitter or walking down the street, inhaling and exhaling come naturally. Things only get complicated in the event of abnormal movement. Yes—we’re talking about exercise.

How can you burn fat, improve performance and minimize dog-like panting when exerting that extra energy? Read on for the breathing techniques for every workout routine.


We love running, but we don’t love running short of breath. According to Olympic running coach Jack Daniels, most runners don’t breathe properly. His advice? A 2:2 breathing pattern. Inhale for two strides and exhale for two strides. An even pattern (1:1 for sprinting, 2:2 for running, 3:3 for jogging) maximizes the amount of oxygen entering the body and minimizes injury.

Strength Training

It might not be cardio, but strength training can still make you lose your breath. It’s important to remember to exhale when lifting weights. Holding your breath for too long increases pressure in the chest—not good. If you need a reminder, write the word “breathe” on the inside of your wrist when you’re lifting. A gentle prompt is never a bad thing.


Spinning is all the rage—the stationary bike is to 2015 what the treadmill was to 1998. If your shoulders rise when you’re furiously pedaling, you’re breathing incorrectly. The trick to correct breathing? Your diaphragm! Inhale through your nose and let your stomach expand to make sure your breath is coming from your major respiration muscle.


Yoga is all about balance, and that extends to your oxygen intake. Support yourself with a steady stream of air—if you breathe in for five seconds, breathe out for five seconds. Keep it equal and you’re sure to nama-staybalanced.


Author: Carly Walsh