Breathing is something most do with little notice. However, imagine if just taking a breath is difficult. That’ll get your attention. For those with certain health conditions, such as asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis and heart failure, struggling with dyspnea can be a part of their daily life. And especially during exercise.
Training your respiratory muscle increases their strength and endurance. Research has shown that this functional improvement lessens the incidence of breathing difficulty. But this breathing benefit is not limited to the sick. For example cyclists, runners, rowers and swimmers can improve their endurance performance through target training their respiratory muscles.
The use of a respiratory muscle training device is a breathing apparatus specifically design to increase strength and endurance of your respiratory muscles. Essentially, the device works by causing a resistance during inhalation or exhalation. This resistance requires the muscles involved in breathing to work harder. Thus, the gadget targets the conditioning of only muscles used to breath.
Does training your respiratory muscles improve exercise capacity or is it a placebo effect? The act of breathing during an endurance activity requires the use of oxygen. Conditioned muscles use oxygen more efficiently, thus more oxygen is available for the work of locomotion muscles. Therefore, using a device that trains your respiratory muscles does positively contribute to the function of other muscles.
However, the benefit of improving your ventilation efficiency with a device is relatively small. But for those with dyspnea a minor improvement can feel significant. In regards to endurance performance of a well trained athlete, delaying muscle fatigue may provide that little edge needed to win.