Kickboxing in itself is a very taxing activity. You give all you can during class and you’re left with nothing in the tank. But why are some days easier than others? Some days you feel strong while other days, you simply want to drop. The answer may have to do with the way you breathe. Having the ability to control your breathing properly will enhance your performance during training. Remember, your body needs that oxygen intake to continue the aggressive training and sometimes it’s easy to forget to breathe hold your breath while you perform techniques and combinations. Here are 3 steps to help you better control your breathing.
1. Say the word “house”
House? Sounds odd, but it will help you tremendously. Here’s why. Have you ever watched a professional boxing or kickboxing match and hear the competitors continuously grunt as they punch and kick? That grunt is actually a breathing method. By grunting as they attack or perform a technique, they are essentially exhaling, instead of holding in their breaths. It’s a memo to your brain that you have to breathe. Make sense? Now back to the word house. Say it. Say it loud and proud while you punch and kick. When you say the word house, you’re doing the same thing the professionals do as they grunt. You’re exhaling. Try it the next time you’re in class and you’ll notice that your breathing and energy level will improve. It may be silly at first, but it beats holding your breath.
2. Yell out any word you want
So you’ve tried saying the word house for while and it’s improved your breathing. You feel a lot better during training and you notice that things are getting a little easier to get through. But now, you’re getting strange looks from other trainees from time to time. People think you’re weird and maybe you want to change that. Here’s when you start saying any word you want while performing your techniques. The idea is to create that memo for your brain to remember to exhale and breath. Gradually move from saying the word “house” to saying anything that you can easily remember, and lock that into your muscle memory. People will often say or yell things such as “hi”, “ha”, “rock”, “bop”, “bah”, etc. The main point is that you let a breath out and exhale so that you aren’t restricting airflow in and out of your lungs. Holding your breath is the last thing you want to do while you punch, kick and perform combinations.
3. Simply grunt
By now you should be yelling the phrase of your choice as you perform techniques. Yelling should be second nature as you punch, kick and perform combinations. Your breathing is on point and the instructors aren’t yelling at you every other second to breathe. Great! Congratulate yourself, because you’re doing exactly what a professional athlete would do. Now, to continue your progress, you can stick to yelling your phrase of choice or simply gravitate towards grunting. The last step in this process is to simplify things. Instead of yelling words or phrases, gradually move on to grunting or exhaling your breath while you perform techniques. Those phrases you were used to yelling were meant only to act as a reminder and to train yourself on proper breathing patterns. Now that you’ve gotten used to it, move onto breathing out entirely by itself, but by all means stick to your phrase if you need to. Prime examples of what you’d expect to hear from professionals or more experienced trainees would be sounds such as “shhh” and “ssss”.
And there you have it. This simple but effective technique will help you enhance your training. A genius kickboxing technique if you will. Try step 1 for the first week and step 2 for the next 2 weeks after. Once you’re on week 3, your breathing patterns will have been dramatically improved as well as your overall ability to perform. Feel great, enjoy yourself and continue your success for a better, healthier you.
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