Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 91–95 | Cite as

Acute responses of breathing techniques in maximal inspiratory pressure

  • Vasileios Stavrou
  • Vasileios Voutselas
  • Eleni Karetsi
  • Konstantinos I. Gourgoulianis
Original Article



The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of three breathing techniques [normal breath (NB), breath holding (BH) and intermittent breath holding (IBH)] on finswimmers’ heart rate (HR), arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2) and maximum inspiratory pressure (PImax).


Ten young finswimmers (15.8 ± 0.5 years) performed 8 × 25 m freestyle leg kick trials under the three different breathing occasions (NB, BH and IBH). HR, SpO2 and PImax were recorded immediately after the end of each test.


The results showed lower SpO2 values immediately after the end of IBH technique in correlation with the other breathing techniques (IBH: 88 ± 0.9%; BH: 93.3 ± 0.7%; NB: 98.3 ± 0.3%; p < 0.001). Additionally, HR was higher after IBH compared to the other breathing techniques (IBH: 177 ± 4.2 bpm−1; BH: 165.7 ± 7.9 bpm−1; NB: 158.3 ± 2.2 bpm−1, p < 0.001) and PImax was also higher after the IBH compared to the other two techniques (IBH: 168.3 ± 5.3 cmH2O; BH: 166 ± 11 cmH2O; NB: 161.7 ± 11.4 cmH2O; p < 0.05).


The data from the present study support that BH and even more so IBH training acutely increase the inspiratory muscles strength. This is an important training tool to improve the inspiratory muscle performance in athletes.


Breathe frequency Sub-maximal exercise Finswimming 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Cardio-Pulmonary Testing, Department of Respiratory MedicineUniversity of ThessalyLarissaGreece
  2. 2.School of Physical Education and Sport ScienceUniversity of ThessalyTrikalaGreece

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