Breathing Ladders to Instantly Improve Your Cardio

Feb 8, 2012 at 0:01
Feb 8, 2012
by James Wilson  
 
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One of the most overlooked aspects of cardio training is the quality of your breathing. Too many riders are breathing excessively with the chest and mouth and not enough with the nose and diaphragm, resulting in increased upper body tension and inefficient breathing.

By learning how to drive your breathing from the diaphragm you can instantly improve the amount of oxygen you take in with each breathe as well as control how much carbon dioxide you exhale, resulting in improved cardio capacity without actually doing a single interval or training ride. Once you have learned how to breathe more efficiently you will get more out of your cardio workouts instead of just reinforcing bad breathing habits.

In this video I show you how to check your breathing and also show you a cool kettlebell swing workout called Breathing Ladders that will help you train this important skill. You can find a breakdown of the Breathing Ladder workout below. If you are not familiar with how to do a proper kettlebell swing then check out this video covering the basic kettlebell exercises.

Views: 11,429    Faves: 70    Comments: 6


Swing Breathing Ladder

Begin at:
1 single arm swing +1 single arm = 1 breath for recovery
2 single arm swing +2 single arm swing = 2 breaths
3 single arm swing +3 single arm swing = 3 breaths
4 single arm swing +4 single arm swing = 4 breaths
5 single arm swing +5 single arm swing = 5 breaths
6 single arm swing +6 single arm swing = 6 breaths
7 single arm swing +7 single arm swing = 7 breaths
8 single arm swing +8 single arm swing = 8 breaths
9 single arm swing +9 single arm swing = 9 breaths
10 single arm swing +10 single arm swing = 10 breaths

When this is easy then progress up to 8+8 = 8 breathes and then stick with 8 breathes as your recovery as you build up to the 10+10

When this is easy then progress up to 6=6 = 6 breathes and then stick with 8 breathes as your recovery as you build up to the 10+10

When this is easy then progress up to 5+5 = 5 breathes and then stick with 8 breathes as your recovery as you build up to the 10+10

When this is easy you can increase the size of the kettlebell you are using.



MTB Strength Training Systems is the world leader in integrated performance training programs for the unique demands of mountain biking. As the strength and conditioning coach for World Cup Teams and 3 National Championships, his programs have been proven at the highest levels. James has helped thousands of riders just like you improve their speed, endurance and skills on the trail. Visit www.bikejames.com to sign up for the free Trail Rider Fundamentals Video Mini-Course.

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25 Comments

  • + 27
 I like to focus on steadily increasing the size of my bong hits in order to increase lung capacity
  • + 2
 Buahahahaha.....
  • + 4
 hells yes!!! bong hits are great for practicing lung capasity!!! the biger the hoot, the more air you can take in.. its a win win..
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Could do that.. Or you could take a cue from this absolute boss and get healthy the rad way (proven to aid cycling)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAGENje0zRk&feature=relmfu
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Yeah thanks for the good info, would love to see more training stuff on Pinkbike. Psychological training also. What's the best way to breathe in a DH race? Or maybe I should ask how do you remember to breathe in a race? You would probably reply: Practice.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Watch that heavy thing you're swinging about with those bare feet sonny !!
  • + 12
 erm, thats what she said?
  • + 1
 Aye, yer wee wellies will help you no end when you drop even a 1kg dumb bell on them... Give it up baby!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Forgive me for being British. Good videos with some great stuff, but they're always so wordy.
  • + 11
 you are forgiven...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 May just pop down the gym now, I think I've found today's workout!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dont want to be a nay-sayer, but VO2 max is improved a very nominal amount by increased lung capacity. Increasing cardiac output is what leads to an increase in vo2 max.
  • + 1
 VO2 max is 97% determined by genetics, you can only increase what you have by a very small percentage no matter how many kettle bells you swing around like a monkey!

You either got it or you don't.
  • + 1
 Thats actually not true. 25-50% of VO2max is based on genetics. Training has been shown in many trials as well as in practical application to increase a persons VO2 max.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i totally prodded my spleen trying this
[Reply]
  • + 1
 good video. i can use this for surfing too!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Soon the wind will be back in the sails
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Plenty of power but breathing lacks a bit this is great, thanks.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Souds very useful...
[Reply]
  • + 0
 if that ball hits your knee or shin, it's bye bye mtbiking.stupid exercise
  • + 4
 If you don't have enough coordination for a kettlebell swing, you have no business on a bike.
  • + 1
 good luck to your knees
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I can see myself busting knee with those swings...
[Reply]

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