Deep Breathing Exercise
To practice deep breathing use the following exercise. You may also use this exercise to recover normal breathing quickly when you become "winded." When breathing quickly and heavily during Taekwondo training, such as during free-sparring, deep breathing will allow you to resume a normal breathing rate quickly. Be careful when performing the exercise when not winded so you do not hyperventilate. If you feel dizzy, stop! Use this breathing exercise at your own risk.
- Stand in an attention stance. Breathe normally.
- Step the left foot about 12-inches to the left, relax the body, and, while deeply inhaling through the nose, raise both arms up, outward, and forward with the hands open as if you were putting your arms around a large beach ball. Inhale using the diaphragm until the lungs feel full of air; think about air filling your abdomen rather than your lungs.
- While holding the breath, pull the hands inward toward the upper chest, rotating the hands palm down as they approach the chest, ending with the palms facing down, one hand over the other just in front of the upper chest as if they were resting on top of a post.
- As you slowly force the breath out through pursed lips, slowly and deliberately push the hands down as if you were forcing the post deeper into the ground. Tense the abdomen and think about forcing oxygen into the bloodstream. By slowly releasing air, you will prevent you blood pressure from rising too high. When the hands reach belt level, tighten the abdomen and quickly and forcibly exhale all the remaining air in the lungs through an open mouth, while snapping the hands and body into a parallel ready stance.
- Repeat the cycle until you breathing rate returns to normal.