Harnessing the power of our breath is the low hanging fruit of improving both our bodies and minds. With many of us (thankfully) gliding along with our lungs on autopilot, both in our everyday lives and workouts, it’s something most of us never give a second thought – until we’re rolling around on the floor gulping down air after a particularly vicious stint on the air bike that is.
Mindful breathing, it turns out, doesn’t have to entail incense, gongs or Wim Hoff-esque stints in an ice bath. No, you can incorporate these science backed techniques into your workouts to efficiently build both a strong body and a steady mind. What's more, you'll be learning techniques you can take with you whether you’re facing down a notably grim workout or a less-than-serene day at work.
This ‘burpee breath ladder’ combines a heart rate spiking bodyweight movement with a deliberate focus on your lungs between rounds – setting you up for both the next set, and the day ahead.
You’re going to work in a ladder format, performing one burpee followed by one deep, deliberate breath as outlined below. Immediately after your breath ‘rep’, you’ll move into two burpees, followed by two breaths, then three of each. Continue up the ‘ladder’ in this fashion until you reach fifteen reps of burpees and breathing, respectively, for a total of 120 burpees and a serious dose of mindfulness. Namaste.
Complete the following workout in a ladder format, starting with one of each exercise, then two, then three etc.
Squat down and place both hands on the floor between your feet. Jump your feet back into the top of a press-up and lower your chest to the ground (A). Straighten your arms and hop your feet forwards, before jumping into the air with hands on head (B). Breathe normally throughout your active reps, do not hold your breath, but attempt to find and maintain a rhythm. Exhaling as your chest hits the floor, before quickly inhaling and jumping to your feet is a good place to start.
Stand tall and place your hands on your hips, pressing your fingers into the bottom of your abdomen. Take a deep inhale through your nose, focussing on breathing deep down below your chest, until you feel the expansion of your belly with your hands (A). Gently let the air back out through your nose, feeling your abdomen ‘deflate’ again (B). This is one ‘rep’. As the burpees clock off, you may have to take shorter, sharper breaths, and you may even feel the urge to open your mouth- but attempt to use just your nose for as long as possible.
Note: Ensure to breathe normally while performing your burpees, don't hold your breath.
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