Breathing: The Missing Puzzle Piece in Your Training

I’ve talked about why nasal breathing is so important, the guys have a video on how to cue it, and I also gave you three simple ways to incorporate it into your client’s training.

I am now going to explain why breathing is the missing puzzle piece in your client’s programming.

The act of breathing is a functional movement.

When you were born that was the first movement you performed.

Babies breathe beautifully, moving their bellies up and down. Their natural body mechanics are amazing! There’s a quote that I’ve been looking for to no avail, so to paraphrase, babies are born geniuses and the act of living de-geniuses them. Which is totally true! We’ve all seen the picture of a random baby squatting:


Perfect squat!

However, there is something sad about this picture. Today this baby is probably 10 years old and can’t even touch his toes. The body mechanics he had as a young child are long gone, and his nervous system has re-wired itself to move a different way.

Unfortunately, the older you get the more stubborn your nervous system gets.

Breathing 2

When people come into our gym, we repeatedly see the same dysfunctional movement patterns. People lack mobility in certain places and stability in other place. They don’t know how to hinge, they don’t know how to squat, and, they don’t know how to BREATHE.

People don’t have the mobility or stability to hinge through their hips so their body can start hinging elsewhere.

Breathing 3

People’s thoracic spine becomes so locked up that the body is forced to obtain movement from other places.

The same goes with breathing!!

As soon as you stop moving and sitting for multiple hours a day, your diaphragm gets compressed. When that happens, your body starts breathing with other muscles. You start breathing with all your accessory muscles and your nervous system re-trains itself to breathe in a dysfunctional pattern. 

Breathing 4

As a trainer, I’m sure you’re doing an awesome job at teaching people how to move correctly, but, have you overlooked one of the body’s most important movements? Are you teaching your clients how to breathe?

This is especially necessary for those clients for whom it seems that nothing works. Those clients whose correctives won’t stick, and whose movement quality won’t progress as fast as you think it should. Breathing could be the missing puzzle piece in your programming!

It doesn’t have to be very complicated, but be patient. You want to integrate it slowly.

You can’t expect someone to nasal breathe throughout a whole workout. You have to sneak it in there. As a “Fitness Professional” your clients don’t come to you to learn how to breathe.

So here’s a quick tip:

Breathing 5

Remember, it’s a movement. If you were re-training someone’s nervous system to hinge through the hips, you wouldn’t start them off with a 200 lbs. deadlift.


Everything is a progression.

The end 🙂

Lucy Hendricks