Why You Shouldn’t Breathe Into the Walls

Michael Butler
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Dominate Your Turns By Not Breathing Into the Walls

Ever wonder why some snowboarders and skiers stick to the outside when negotiating a turn? It’s because that’s the fastest line through that turn.

And interestingly, the science behind that formula also explains how you can dominate turns on the bike. Basically it all involves the relationship of lean angle and surface area. The lean angle is the angle between your vertical line and your line of travel.

According to the laws of physics, the wider your stance or the more your in the turn, the more surface area you have sliding through the corner.

Applying this formula on the bike, a wide line or a wide apex line = more surface area, which = more speed. This works because as you turn, the inside (your inner wheel) and outside (your outer wheel) move independently since they contact the terrain at different points. So while the outside wheel is going faster, the inside is going slower.

As riders, we have a tendency to automatically breathe into the turn, which causes us to sit up (or stand up in the case of a downhill) and reduces our surface area.

You swim all the way to the wall.

Your mouth’s wide open as you prepare to breathe in.

The thought sinking in your head: "I’ll just get a sip of water…I’ll do it this one time…"

Don’t do it.

Putting your mouth on the wall can cause many issues. The most prevalent – especially for beginners – is the feeling of the water – that’s supposed to be in your mouth – going down your throat. If that water has some kind of cleaning product in it, you’re going to feel like you’re drinking straight out of the swimming pool filter.

It feels so good – especially in those first few weeks of swimming – to be touching the wall. Resist this urge!

Touching the wall is only going to take away from your ability to judge where you are in the water. You have no way of knowing when your face has broken the surface, when your knees have bent properly, or when you can start heading towards the other end of the pool.

You keep your head down and in proper position.

You stick your behind out and curl your toes under. For some reason, you’re blowing out.

Who are those teachers? You need to breathe into walls in order for them to hear how it sounds. The wall is a receiver … you need to direct the sound into the wall, exactly the same as when concentrating on your alignment. You’re the bell that’s about to ring … time to get cracking.

Breathe into the wall and listen to the sound that you make. If you hear fluttering, it means that your diaphragm is moving too much during and after the inhale. Work on the holds at the extreme ends of your flexibility spectrum.

Go from a bad position to a good position and hold it as long as you can. Then, breathe out while you stay in the good position. Hold it completely still. The goal is to not let your abs move on your next inhale. Use the tips of your fingers to feel the contraction of your abs. Additionally, if you hear or sense the diaphragm moving around during your inhale and exhale, you should also work on your breathing.

Next, to optimize the efficiency of your breathing, you need to exhale completely. Build up enough speed and momentum to be able to get your air out in one strong burst.

You rip in and out of the wall faster.

No matter how hard you stop, that air wants to get out and can make it difficult to stop.

Teaches breath discipline.

Breath is a precious resource. It’s hard to appreciate the importance of breathing until it’s taken away.

They say that the average healthy person breathes about 19,000 times in a day. 19,000! To put that into perspective, take a deep breath now. Okay, put that bag of crisps down and try to match that 19,000 number. That bag of crisps could sustain life for a family of four in a developing country for about a week.

Life is weird, right?

The point is breathing is a precious resource that you’d rather save for the really important things in life.

But what we do normally is to spend our valuable breaths on “nothing”. Just because you need to breathe every few minutes, you give yourself the luxury just to breathe whenever you feel like it.

In doing so, you are not breathing properly. You’re taking shallow breaths, holding in your lungs for as long as possible before exhaling. It’s a habit you haven’t considered, because you may barely notice it. But this breathing pattern has been known to affect your body negatively.

The Next Step

The Recovery Zone

The Recovery Zone is where you recover the energy you spent while you were training. Ideally, it should be the same place as the Domicile Zone, which is where you sleep.

Recovery activities include serving and receiving server, talking to your opponents and having fun and creativity. When playing a physical sport your body recovers by resting and removing lactic acid from muscles. Over time, this process is called super compensation.

When you spend a lot of time in the Recovery Zone, you burn less fat and can damage your body’s ability to recover after exercise. This is why the intensity and the length of each exercise can’t be too long in the Recovery Zone.