080217 "How to Prep your lungs for Intense Exercise"

Just like any other muscle group or organ in the body, the lungs need to be mobilized, stretched and primed for intense exercise. As most of us are gearing up for sport seasons the may require our optimal lung capacity, I am here today to offer some strategies for warming the lungs up before bouts of exercise. 

I will preface this post by saying that these suggestions are solely what work for me, what I have seen be successful and by no means are medically advisable for all athletes. If you have breathing problems or are removing from sickness, be smart about your training. 

1) Slow and Steady. If you have 5-20 miles to run, there is a particular way you can open your lungs up and stretch your diaphragm. I see too often that when the workout or training involves lower aerobic intensity, very little attention is paid to warm up breathing. To Begin, I recommend doing what is called "box breathing". This involves sitting in a comfortable position where the back is straight and diagram can extend unobstructed.
-begin by inhaling for 2 seconds. Hold that breath for exactly 2 seconds. Exhale that breath for 2 seconds, and relax (without re-breathing) for 2 seconds. 
-on the next breath, inhale for 3 seconds. Hold for 3 seconds, Exhale for 3 seconds, relax for 3 seconds. 
-continue on this progression for up to 10 seconds. 
The goal is not just mastery of breath pacing and oxygen consumption butt also mental control. Slowing your breathing during longer inhales and exhales, help control anxiety and keep you focused. 
When you get to +5 seconds, you lose the ability to just fill the chest with air and are forced to expand the diaphragm lower and lower, breathing deeper and deeper. This pays off when you are on longer aerobic runs and deeper breaths will help exchange more gasses in the body and keep you from cramping or the dreaded Co2 burn. 

2) Tabata. Tabata timing has been shown to really bring out the best of an athletes performance. The format is; 8X :20 work/:10 rest. I use Tabata timing and monostructural movements like running, rowing, biking to bring about deep and efficient breathing in a quick tempo. 
Begin by doping to light dynamic movement. Full Range of Motion about all the key joints is best. 
-For the first round of work, begin simple at about 60% of total output. I call this, "establishing a baseline. This is easy on a rower or bike as you have a screen right in front of you!
- For Rounds 2,3,4 You pick up the pace, where your movements get faster but your breathing stays controlled. Breathing deep and steady as your heart rises helps control mental stress and awakens your sympathetic Nervous System. 
-Rounds 5,6,7 Are all our sprints, steady breathing but movement is fast and emphasis is on bringing the heart rate to peak levels. If you can, breath solely through your NOSE during the work periods to increase diaphragm depth. 
-Round 8 you will return to baseline, breathing will be more focused on expelling CO2 with heavy EXHALES. Breath through the nose and exhale HARD through the mouth. 

3) The Cinco. Because many of us are CrossFit atheltes, we have multi-joint movements that we need to prep for each training session. Another way I can use this dynamic warm up for my joints as well as my lungs is by setting a clock for 5 minutes. I will choose 3 bodyweight movements that are complementary to the workout that I have programmed for the day. I will cycle through those 3 exercises for 12 reps each, for the 5 minutes. The catch is that every :30 I will stop where I am and do 5 burpees as fast as possible, continuing. 
-Burpees suck. Burpees make you lay on the ground, inhibiting inhalation. This is uncomfortable. This is why I do them. 
-Burpees take a lot of effort to get down and up off the floor, Jumping and clapping over head. This movement forces oxygen consumption.
-The complex movements put your brain to task, making breathing NOT the sole factor. 
Good consistent breathing during exercise takes practice and moving while breathing is a great way to prime the lungs, the brain and test yourself against your performance. 

Priming the Lungs before training will benefit your performance, it is a fact. Diaphragmatic Breathing increases O2 gas exchange and can defer muscle fatigue. Developing a good routine to open the lungs should be something that all atheltes incorporate in their training. Use the examples I have given and feel free to develop your own! Good Luck and keep on breathin


Rotator Cuff Mobility Sequence W/ 2.5# weights or bands

Tabata 5m Burpee Line Touches

 7x romanian deadlift
7 x snatch high pull
 7x muscle snatch
 7x tempo overhead squat @ 23X1
 7x snatch balance
 7x power snatch to OHS (hold PSn receiving position each time, each rep little deeper)
 7x snatch pull under
7x hang (squat) snatch

Spend 10 Mins, WOrking Snatch Complex;
->:02 Snatch Lift Off
-Mid Thigh Snatch
-Snatch From Floor

*****ITS CRISTINS 38th BIRTHDAY!!!!!!******
10 Wall Ball
3 Snatch 135/95



Row 1000m 

Then, 3X

10 Double KB Deadlift + 20m Farmer Carry

10 Single KB Goblet Squat



Lat Band Mobility/ Bully Stretch/ Banded Row


Run over Kipping Progression for 5 Minutes

-Push Pull

-Skip (hip FLexion)

-Bridge (hip Extension)



For Time

42 Pull Up

42 KB Swing 53/35

42 Slam Ball Russian Twist

30 Pull Up

30 KB Swing 

30 Slam Ball Russian Twist

18 Pull Up

18 KB Swing

18 Slam Ball Russian Twist


Cash Out :

50 Hip Touches

1;00 L Sit Hold




Tricep/ Lat/ Hip Distraction Stretching


:20 Jumping Jacks

:20 Burpee

:20 Mountain CLimbers

:20 Lunges

:20 Jump Squat

:20 Cossack Lunges

:20 Iron Cross

:20 Scorpion

:20 Single Leg GLute Bridge L

:20 Single Leg Glute Bridge R

:20 Arm Haulers

:20 Piked HSPU


Clean and Jerk Warm Up

-high Pull

-muscle clean +3 Press

-tempo front squat +3 push Press

-Hang Power Clean+ Front Squat

-High hang Pull Under+ 3 Push Jerk

-Hang Squat Clean + 3 Split Jerk


Have athletes work for 18 minutes to establish a heavy Clean and Jerk Weight. 

-look for correct form, from ground to knee. If no good, have athlete pull from above knee.

-stay over bar longer

-Work Grip Position on jerk if overhead looks weak



@ 60% of established Clean and Jerk, 

Perform 30 Clean and Jerks For TIme

*Score is time and load.