How Should You Breathe Before, During, and After a Workout?

Breathing isn't as simple as you might think! Find out how you should breathe before, after, and during a workout. 

Ben Greenfield
2-minute read

How Should You Breathe Before, During, and After a Workout?

 by Ben Greenfield

An often neglected component of fitness and exercise is breathing technique. You’re probably thinking, “Hey Ben, get over it, I know how to breathe!”

But it’s not quite so simple. In the episode How to Breathe the Right Way, I teach you everything you need to know about diaphragmatic breathing and supplying your muscles with as much oxygen as possible during your workout.

But how you breathe the rest of the day is very important too! Specifically, if you engage in shallow, chest breathing (usually through your mouth) while you’re at your office, driving your car, talking on your phone, or cleaning the house, then you’ll find yourself less energized by the time you get to your workout.

I’ve personally been experimenting with the best way to breathe during the day to ensure that I actually breathe the right way during a workout. And here are the 3 Quick and Dirty Tips I’ve discovered:

  • Start your day with deep breathing. Before I get out of bed, I do 5 minutes of deep, nasal breathing to ensure that I begin the day with as much oxygen coursing through my body as possible.
  • Do deep breathing before the workout. Before I jump into exercise, I close my eyes and simply take a few deep breaths in and out through my nose. This sets the stage to breathe properly during the workout.
  • During the workout, I don’t shove breathing to the back burner. Instead, I focus on breathing deeply through my nose, and exhaling from deep within my belly. I’ve found that even when lifting heavy and sprinting, I can still breathe through my nose and stay fully oxygenated.

If you’ve done yoga, you’re probably already familiar with this breathing concept. But it goes way above and beyond yoga, and you can actually do deep, relaxing nasal breathing even when you’re doing a hard weight training session or interval training!

For more questions about how to breathe during a workout, just visit Facebook.com/GetFitGuy.

Woman doing yoga from Shutterstock

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.