5 Reasons Why You Should Be Cuing Nasal Breathing with Your Clients

We just got back from a great seminar this past weekend in Lexington KY called the Train Like a Girl Seminar. This was a really great seminar, featuring some of the best coaches in the industry. The cool thing was all of the coaches were really on the same page, so the attendees left with a great action plan, instead of confused on conflicting information. I really recommend you check out the next one, I’ll make sure to send out links when it happens.

Of course we talked about the FMS, and our good friend Lucy Hendricks did a hands section on breathing. Lucy has really focused her education on restorative breathing, and even though she doesn’t claim to be an expert, she really knows her stuff. So while we were there I asked Lucy if she could contribute some information on the basics of breathing, and she was glad to help!

Check out Lucy’s article below, and learn the basics of nasal breathing. This is an intriguing topic, but we have seen AMAZING results working with people on this. You’re going to love it!

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Cuing Nasal Breathing with Your Clients

Belly breathing has been popular in the fitness industry for quite some time, but what about nasal breathing? I know for some people this isn’t new information, but, this really needs to start getting out there. It’s a complete game changer.

I’m going to give you 5 reasons why you should be getting your clients to shut their mouths and start nasal breathing throughout their workout.

No one should mouth breathe unless they’re getting chased by a tiger or pushing 400lbs on the prowler.

  1. Better Sleep
  2. Your client might be getting 6-8 hours of sleep at night, but, are they getting the restorative sleep they need? Probably not! If they’re mouth breathing, then, they’re not belly breathing. Your diaphragm is the only muscle that isn’t paralyzed during REM sleep. This means if you’re using all your accessory muscles to breathe, your body is never able to completely shut down. You want your body to completely shut off at night. How else are you going to recover?

    Get your clients nasal breathing! It will help them recover faster from their workouts, which will give them get better results!

    Nasal Breathing
  3. Increased T-Spine Mobility and Lumbar Stability
  4. This one might be a little tricky for clients to understand. This is when I tell my clients “We’re turning a muscle on that hasn’t been working, so other muscles can finally relax”. Now I know it’s not that simple, but, at the same time it kind of is. If you get your diaphragm working optimally, your accessory muscles will no longer have to do take over and breathe for you.

    How often do you have clients walk in with locked up upper backs, or stiff neck and shoulders? Almost every day, right?

    Getting your clients to breathe optimally will get them moving better, which will make your job remarkably easier

  5. Your Blood, Muscles, and Brain Need All the Oxygen They Can Get
  6. When you mouth breathe, you breathe too much and too fast. You are probably breathing in a lot of oxygen and recycling it right back out. Your body needs enough time to do that exchange the right way (Of course you’re observing some or you’d be dead 😉 but definitely not optimal levels).

    When I have my clients do 2 minutes of nasal breathing on the floor, some say they feel high, melted, or completely relaxed. Those people just got oxygen into their muscles and brain. How cool is that?!

  7. No More Stuffy Noses
  8. The number one complaint I get from clients is that their noses are always stuffy. These clients believe nasal breathing isn’t an option for them. However, mouth breathing is most likely causing their stuffiness! When you mouth breathe, you over breathe, taking in too much air. Your brain wants the air flow to slow down. As a result, it will send signals down to your goblet cells in order to produce mucous and slow down breathing.

  9. Fight or Flight.

This one is most important. We all know the difference between the Parasympathetic Nervous system and the Sympathetic Nervous system. If someone is huffing and puffing after deadlifting 200lbs for a few reps I will let that go. Is it optimal? Ehh.. that could be a pretty long discussion, but, as long as they’re keeping good form and not hurting themselves, I’m okay with it. What’s not okay is if someone is mouth breathing, shallow breathing, and holding their breath during the dynamic warm-up. I don’t want clients to be in a fight or flight state while they’re doing something as simple as knee circles or bird dog.

Cue nasal breathing as much as you can. Let your clients go all out on the prowler or on their heavy lifts, but always finish with nasal breathing. Don’t let your clients leave until they turn on their parasympathetic nervous system on. Get them down on the floor and have them nasal breathe for about 40 breaths (I say 40 breaths because, let’s be honest, we know they’ll only actually do 20).

The list can go on forever, but I think these 5 reasons should be enough to start cuing it! Next time I’ll be talking about how to incorporate nasal breathing with your clients, and methods you can use if they are struggling with it.


Lucy Hendricks