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I am trying to learn how to breathe better for all of the different types of exercises I do - working out, grappling, and cycling.

I've read a lot about how to breathe and different techniques to improve breathing etc. what I really want to know is at points when one is really struggling to maintain breathing rhythm, and really feels like they need to take in air (which will interrupt the correct rhythm) what is better to do? Although it feels like taking in an extra bit of air is really satisfying it seems like its the wrong thing to do and that i should put more effort into keeping the rhythm and ensuring I breathe out all that i can before taking in more air.

My question is: will taking in air like this just be a short term gain and mean that in the longer term (towards the end of the workout) the body will not appreciate it (as I didn't manage to breathe out all of the air)?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your body is remarkably adaptable, and if you feel you need to breathe more, go ahead and do so. Trying to maintain an artificial rhythm at higher exertion levels can be counterproductive. Just ignore it, and let your body breathe on its own rhythm.

That being said, there are a few times in working out and grappling that you may want to control your breathing to match the exercise, but for the most part (especially during cardiac/endurance type training) you want to let your body breathe naturally.

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