If you’ve just finished a sprint and are totally out of breath, is it ok to slump over with your hands on your knees? It’s a natural position for many athletes, but some of us remember coaches telling us we’ll get more air if we stand up tall and raise our arms up high.
Photo by Simon Thalmann.
It turns out slumping over is actually better for breathing. According to kinesiologist Lorrie Brilla, bending over helps your diaphragm (the major breathing muscle) suck in more air. In her research, exercisers who bent over with their hands on their knees were able to lower their heart rate more quickly than those who stood up with hands behind their head.
The position also helps you use your abs to breathe out more forcefully, and may signal your nervous system to relax. Read more at the link below for the details on how your body position helps you recover between intervals.