Strong legs on the bike won’t mean much if you’re gasping for a breath. “Your respiratory muscles are in constant use during cycling,” say exercise physiologist Budd Coates, co-author of “Running on Air.” If they fatigue.. guess what, so do… you!
Research shows that strengthening your “diaphragm and intercostal muscles” (the muscles that hold your ribs together) can greatly improve endurance. And a study published in Journal of Applied Physiology reported that such training may also reduce inflammation and help speed up recovery.
But “if you don’t exhale completely and forcefully” say Coates, you can’t inhale completely.
* This exercise confines your inhales and exhales, forcing the respiratory muscles to work harder. In time you’ll be taking deeper breaths and giving your body what it needs.
> Breathing exercise: Ride easy for 20 minutes to warm up, increase the intensity until you start to breathe a little harder. Close you mouth and breathe through your nose for one minute, then open you mouth and breathe for one minute. Repeat 10 to 20 times in a row.
* (If you find yourself feeling dizzy… stop and breath normal.) __________________________________________________
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