How to REALLY breathe in boxing?

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by TylerDurdennn, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. TylerDurdennn White Belt

    Aug 14, 2011
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    Ok so i've already heard the advice 'breathe out with every punch' and 'breathe in through your nose, exhale through your mouth' and 'inhale after your punches' but this is a really unclear type of advice.

    I mean OK, but when to inhale, howmuch to inhale, howmuch to exhale with every punch?

    Do you exhale your whole breath with every punch, and fully inhale after every punch?
    I can't seem to be able to do this, when throwing combos you have to 'wait' up for catching your breath.
    If i wanted to exhale and inhale with every punch, then throwing a 1-2-1 combo would take 3-4 seconds. You can't inhale after every thrown punch and still throw one punch after the other in a quick fashion right? Or am i handicapped in breathing?

    Or do you take one big breath and then 'spread' your breath into pieces according to the punches you're gonna throw? Example if you throw a four punch combination you exhale 4 times a little bit and don't inhale between the punches but after the fourth punch?

    I am asking this because i am really confused about how to breathe, and i get different tips from coaches. My coach says you shouldn't change anything to your breathing, just keep breathing as normally and relaxed, but i find this is a crappy piece of advice since you can't keep breathing normally when boxing.

    I am sooo exhausted after just one round of boxing. After one round i hyperventilate and stand there like an exhausted dog breathing my lungs in between rounds.
    I think this is because i still didn't figure out how, when, and howmuch to breathe in and exhale, since otherwise my cardio is 'OK' but after a round of sparring i look 'totally not ok'

    I see everyone in my gym being somewhat tired after a round as normal, breathing normal or slightly speed up 'Puff.. puff.. puff.. still standing totally straight
    Me in the gym im like the only guy hanging almost on the ground of exhaustion hyperventilating loud like GHUHH!GHUHH!!GHUHH!GHUH! like i'm having a major panic or heart attack

    Can someone explain me in details how to breath when throwing punches, and when throwing different combinations?

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  2. billvp** Blue Belt

    Aug 24, 2009
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    like your coach said, breathe as you do every day normally ... in through your nose, out through your nose (breathing with your mouth open in boxing can get your jaw broken)

    exhale on punches/combos if you want to (or hold your breath) you have to exhale some time obviously

    I exhaled / breathed-out through my nose slightly on punches & combos (a little each time I threw a punch in a combo) ... some people (like one of the Peterson brothers) make loud noises when they exhale through their mouth, but that's not necessarily due to breathing out of their mouth - part of that is likely to try to influence judging

    sometimes it is adrenaline causing you to be exhausted after a round or so
  3. TylerDurdennn White Belt

    Aug 14, 2011
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    Ok so basicly there's no need to inhale or exhale between quick following punches.
    Yeah that makes sense but holding in my breath really tenses me up even more, and makes me gas out quicker.

    You're right about the adrenaline thing. When sparring a smaller/weaker guy i don't have many issues, because i don't feel much of a rush.

    When sparring a stronger and more experienced guy, or a guy i know will try to hurt me on purpose, the adrenaline is rushing and makes me feel broken at the end.

    Also the major adrenaline takes away any real pain i noticed. OK, i can still feel pain, but not the excruciating kind of pain. Or maybe i never got really punched that hard yet. That's a positive thing of the adrenaline.

    The bad part is it slows down my movements, like i see a punch coming but this adrenaline makes my movements slower due to stiffness and i fail to evade/block while if i were relaxed i surely would've evaded that punch.

    Do you think a good adrenaline rush makes you less sensible to getting Knocked Out or doesn't this make a difference? I'm talking about the same punch arriving on the same spot with the same power and speed.
  4. zapataxiv Brown Belt

    Jul 22, 2008
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    data plan roaming
    more than likely that is case adrenaline or not when you get hit clean you know it.
    i wouldn't blame it all on the adrenaline alot of what your talking about has to do with experience. the more practice you get the looser you feel when you spar so it makes everything easier. breathing is a key component that really comes with experience once you get some more time under your belt you will be breathing normally in the ring

    when i spar i dont really breathe to out of the normal (at least when im in shape). just doing mitts or bag work though i usually let out a little hiss/ breath with each punch( my old coach was a muay thai/enshin guy). really though it varies for everybody
  5. Payak Brown Belt

    Apr 6, 2008
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    my teacher in muay boran taught me not to breath out, even boxers make a kind of ssss noise with there mouth, not really breathing out however.
    there is a point where you breath out your body relaxes, you dont want your body relaxed on the point of impact, relaxed until impact but not before, breathing out will cause this problem.
    most people are taught to breath out however, we disagree.
  6. NorCalNinja Odins Triangle

    Apr 25, 2011
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    The Universe
    I cant breath through my nose so I breath out hard through my mouth when I strike. It gives you more power to exhale while striking and hardens and tenses the midsection so you have extra defense when you are throwing cuz throwing is when your defense is the weakest.

    But im not a pro, and probably have many unorthodox ways.
  7. Bill Mountjoy White Belt

    Bill Mountjoy
    Aug 14, 2014
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    Boxer Breathing Technique

    December 13, 2009 by Johnny N Boxing Training, Boxing Workouts 62 Comments

    Boxer Breathing Technique

    A very basic breathing technique that will increase your boxing performance and endurance in the ring!

    I am embarrassed to admit that it has taken me about 8 years of competitive-level experience in a wide variety of sports to finally learn how to breathe correctly. It is a very simple technique and opens up a whole new world of physical performance gains for anybody that uses them.


    The proper way to breathe correctly is to breathe only through your nose for both inhaling and exhaling.

    Before you start to resist and state that you heard of a million other different explanations for breathing, please hear me out.

    How to Breathe With Your Nose

    Breathe in with your nose; Breathe out with your nose
    Inhaling will seem difficult at first because you will feel like you
  8. Babba Purple Belt

    Sep 29, 2009
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    couldnt agree more.

  9. R.J.B. White Belt

    Sep 9, 2017
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    If you exhale you raise your thoracic diaphragm.

    When you attempt to improve your sense of balance , or apply more power, you naturally have a tendency to deepen your breathing and lower your diaphragm.

    Easily tested: stand on one leg. How does your breathing alter? I think that you will have taken a deeper breath than usual and adopted a deeper breathing pattern. Similarly, lift a heavy weight, or imagine you are doing so. Consider your breathing. Are you breathing deeper or shallower?

    Also, you can adopt a deeper breathing pattern and then a shallower breathing pattern, and consider which one grants a stronger body posture.

    On the basis of the above, it is preferable to inhale and lower your diaphragm during a punch, as it will result in an improved sense of balance and ability to apply power.

    However, either way, synchronising your breathing one inhale or exhale to one punch sounds dubious, especially in regard to combinations. Breathing should typically take precedence over all, or nearly all, other actions. On this basis, your breathing pattern should occur concurrently with, but not be dictated by, other performed actions. If you sacrifice the integrity and rhythm of your breathing pattern, in order to attempt to synchronise it with an ad hoc punching pattern, then you will run out of breath and energy a lot faster than you otherwise would.

    That being said, you can adopt a deeper breathing pattern and, as a related effect, improve your sense of balance and ability to apply power.

    On a side note, having watched famous boxers, it can be identified which ones frequently exhale when punching as they lose so much power: Joe Calzaghe, Canello Alvarez, Vladimir Klitschko. And which ones don't: Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Floyd Mayweather.

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