Sports Breathing Techniques

 Out of breath? Asthma? Poor stamina? Lactic legs letting you down?
Tess Graham’s sports breathing techniques can help you.


Your performance may be limited by poor stamina, early fatigue, lactic acid build up, respiratory illness, poor sleep quality and performance anxiety. Inefficient, dysfunctional baseline breathing is the common denominator.

 The Solution: Breathing Retraining
The oxygen advantage … for breath-powered sport

On Tess Graham’s  Sports Performance Enhancement program using her own and Buteyko breathing techniques, elite athletes have recorded personal bests within 7 days of commencing breathing training.

Lesson 11 in our Online Breathing Course  and Chapter 20 in Relief from Snoring and Sleep Apnoea are devoted to improving breathing during exercise and sport. Our program is quick, easy-to-follow and effective.

VIDEO: Nose breathing and swimming

Run faster, Play harder, Recover faster, Outlast your opponents

Running_mouth_closed-01 CROPPEDOne of the most basic requirements for an effective training session and peak performance is good oxygenation of your muscles, heart and brain. You can actually control how well your tissues are being oxygenated by how you breathe.

Breathing retraining is about achieving maximal efficiency in the mechanics of breathing and in oxygen consumption and utilisation. Very few people, including elite sports people breathe optimally – at rest or during performance.

Breathing retraining can give you a competitive edge. It improves the quality of training, enhances sports performance, allows rapid recovery and has benefits for general health and sleep quality.

The three major benefits of breathing retraining are:

  1. Greater endurance
  2. Less lactic acid
  3. Greater muscle oxygenation

Additional benefits:

  • Shorter recovery time
  • Maintaining fitness during rest or injury
  • Prevention of exercise-induced asthma (1)
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Improved focus

Buteyko breathing techniques form part of our dedicated sports performance enhancement program and are a particularly potent form of breathing retraining.

Efficient breathers run longer, run faster, run on less litres of air per minute and have less breakdowns just as an efficient well-tuned car runs longer, runs faster, uses less litres of petrol per km and spends less time at the repair shop.

How long before improvements are seen?

Changes in breathing-related symptoms such as blocked nose, excess mucus, lactate, muscle fatigue, chest tightness, exercise-induced asthma and breathlessness and performance anxiety are usually observed within 1-3 days. Measurable improvement in fitness parameters is frequently demonstrated within 6-10 days.

Tess Graham- Physiotherapist, breathing educator, sports breathing coach

Tess has presented her research at the National Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport.


1. Shturman-Ellstein R, Zeballos RJ, Buckley JM, Souhrada JF. “The beneficial effect of nasal breathing on exercise-induced bronchoconstriction”. The American Review of Respiratory Disease, 1978, 118(1):65-73.


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