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It's a topic which is rarely discussed, but one which can make a big difference. After all, almost no exercise is improved by holding one's breath during its execution.
-Aerobic exertions (ie, not sprints which are anaerobic, but swims, runs, biking, elliptical, etc) call for a good breathing rhythm. A typical aerobic breathing rhythm is 2:2, that is, breathing in for 2 steps and exhaling during 2 steps. Swimmers know all about breathing rhythm, typically one breath every two strokes or maybe every three strokes, and exhaling with face down in the water. I like to swim with breaths every 4 strokes, but it's just endurance swims, not speed.
- Breathing during sprints (as in HIIT): Sprints are of short duration. Many sprinters inhale once every 10-20 yards. Slow deep breaths, slow exhales. Panting is counterproductive. However you breathe in sprints of any sort, you will not keep up with oxygen needs. You can pant and gasp after you finish.
- Breathing during planks: Planks are typically 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Lots of trainers' advice is slow "in thru nose, out thru mouth," while others suggest in and out both thru nose. The latter is better.
- Breathing with resistance work: As the weights get heavier, breathing patterns become more important. Typically, inhaling during the eccentric motion and exhaling during the concentric motion. (Eccentric and Concentric movements). An exception might be an exertion which demands special core stability, like weighted squats. In such cases, a deep breath can be taken before the eccentric movement begins, and the breath held until exhaled on the concentric stand-up.
Also, with the powerlifts, there is no federal law against taking an extra breath after 5 or 6 reps of an eight rep set, at the end of a concentric motion. Why not? It's not meant to be a sprint. The purpose of weights is just to stress the heck out of muscle to the point of some micro-tears, not to be anaerobic cardio even if it tends to be.
I have a good breathing tip for runners. I ran for years and when running races/marathons it was my breathing rate that would limit me. What I would do is breath the normal deep breath and just as my lungs seemed full I would do a sudden forced inhale for that extra little bit of air. This is something you must force so don't think you are already doing it. It is a chest raise and almost a gasp like you do just before a sneeze.
Since I would do this after becoming winded or probably more correctly running at a rate that was being limited by my ability to take in more air, I could actually notice the difference. If I did not increase my speed my breathing rate would slow and my need for more air seemed to decrease. Or I could increase my speed and once again reach an equilibrium between breathing and speed.
I have no idea if any other runners use this or not. I used to read runners magazine and never heard of anyone doing it.