This is something I work with my clients who have stress management issues. It works for everyone to help engage the rest and digest part of your nervous system.
The lower the stress the better your health and results in the gym.
This is how box breathing is suggested to be performed. There are a few different variations, but this is the one I utilize.
Count to 4. Inhale through your nose for 4/belly expands not your chest with this breath.
Hold 6 seconds.
Exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds.
Hold for 6 seconds.
Repeat cycle with 4 seconds inhales through the nose.
I use 6 seconds on holds and exhales versus the usual 4 you will see written on it in various articles.
Next time you feel tense give this a go. 4-5 breathes is all that is needed to feel lighter and less tense.
I am currently at 17 straight breathes before I lose focus. See how long you can do it to really improve the detoxification pathway that is your lungs.
By being in a rest and digest state you will be able to recover your workouts, improve how you more often than not, but also lower anxiety. Give box breathing a go at red lights, cooling down from a workout, or to unwind before bed.
The better your body recovers the better you will perform, look, and most of all, feel!
About Jeff Black
Jeff is a nationally recognized health and fitness coach, public speaker, podcast host for The Excellence Cartel, owner of Iron House Strength & Conditioning, bodybuilder, and Osteogenesis Imperfecta Advocate. He is also a roundtable expert on IntenseMuscle.com.
Today, Jeff works collectively with some of the top coaches in the health and fitness space presenting to other coaches and individuals on health and fitness. He has a passion for leadership and serving others to help them be their own hero. He is recognized for his results, but above all else, the passion he has for the coach’s heart he holds dear.