Inspiratory muscle training and endurance sport performance

Jun 03, 2010

An Indiana University study found that strengthening inspiratory muscles by performing daily breathing exercises for six weeks significantly reduced the amount of oxygen these same breathing muscles required during exercise, possibly making more oxygen available for other muscles.

Louise Turner, a researcher in the Department of Kinesiology, said just the act of during an endurance activity, such as running, swimming or cycling performed at maximum intensity, can account for 10 to 15 percent of an athlete's total . While inspiratory training (IMT) has been shown to improve performance in endurance sports, Turner's study sought to shed light on how IMT does this.

"This study helps to provide further insight into the potential mechanisms responsible for the improved whole-body previously reported following IMT," she said.

About the study:

  • The double blind, placebo-controlled study involved 16 male ages 18 to 40.
  • IMT involves the use of a hand-held device that provides resistance as one inhales through it, requiring greater use of inspiratory muscles. For half of the study participants, the IMT device was set to a level that provided resistance as the subjects took a fast forceful breath in. For six weeks they took 30 breaths at this setting twice a day. The cyclists in the control group did the same exercises with the IMT adjusted to a minimal level.
  • After six weeks, when the study participants mimicked the breathing required for low, moderate and maximum intensity activities, the inspiratory muscles required around 1 percent less during the low intensity exercise and required 3 to 4 percent less during the high intensity exercise.
Muscles need oxygen to produce energy. Turner's research also is looking at the next component of this equation, whether more oxygen is actually available to other muscles, particularly those in the legs, because less oxygen is being used by the breathing muscles.

IMT has been used as an intervention in pulmonary diseases and conditions, such as asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis, and also is marketed as a means for improving athletic performance in cyclists, runners and swimmers.

Explore further: Teen vaccinations up but HPV coverage remains low overall

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Interval training can cut exercise hours sharply

Feb 25, 2010

(AP) -- People who complain they have no time to exercise may soon need another excuse. Some experts say intense exercise sessions could help people squeeze an entire week's workout into less than an hour. Intense exercise ...

New study: pine bark extract boosts nitric oxide production

Oct 17, 2007

A study to be published in the October edition of Hypertension Research reveals Pycnogenol, (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, helps individuals by enhancing healthy ...

The new exercise HIT: do less

Mar 12, 2010

The usual excuse of "lack of time" for not doing enough exercise is blown away by new research published in The Journal of Physiology.

Recommended for you

Preterm children's brains can catch up years later

2 hours ago

There's some good news for parents of preterm babies – latest research from the University of Adelaide shows that by the time they become teenagers, the brains of many preterm children can perform almost as well as those ...

Mortality rates increase due to extreme heat and cold

2 hours ago

Epidemiological studies have repeatedly shown that death rates rise in association with extremely hot weather. The heat wave in Western Europe in the summer of 2003, for example, resulted in about 22,000 extra deaths. A team ...

It takes more than practice to excel, psychologist reports

3 hours ago

Case Western Reserve University's new assistant professor of psychology Brooke N. Macnamara, PhD, and colleagues have overturned a 20-year-old theory that people who excel in their fields are those who practiced the most.

User comments : 0