Here are the rules. There are only two.
Rule #1: you will perform burpees and nose breaths in an ascending ladder of reps, starting at one rep of each, then doing two of each, three of each, eventually ending at ten reps of both burpees and nose breaths.
Rule #2: you must breathe through your nose the entire workout. *Mouth breathe anytime during the burpees or the recovery and your workout is over.
What you will learn:
You don’t breathe.
Well…you DO breathe. You just don’t…ah…do it very well.
Bold claim I know, especially since most of us haven’t met. But I can still prove it to you.
Are you sitting in a chair as you read this? Are you hunched over in said chair? Caught you! I know I know…we really are back to that song and dance again.
And trust me. I hear you, “yeah Nate we get it. Sitting’s the new smoking, blah, blah, snore.”
Well aside from playing havoc on your hips, your ankles, your shoulders, sitting hunched over virtually shuts down your diaphragm. And if you cannot tap into that important muscle, you’ve just sucker-punched your ability to draw deeper fuller breaths into the belly when it counts, fully oxygenate your working muscles and brain, and run that time that you’ve been telling your buddies FOR YEARS that you can really do (if only the conditions were right!).
So lucky you, we created the Get Strong Burpee Breathing Breath Ladder challenge. This will also help you learn how to control your breathing.
But before you all start burpee-ing away, let’s tease out even more of the ugliness that occurs with terrible breathing.
For starters, your cortisol levels elevate, pushing you further into a stressed out state, making it not only harder to recover in time for that next run, but also to be the creative, productive, and patient human being you want to be.
Two, you don’t gulp as much oxygen with each breathe, meaning not as much oxygen creeps into your arms, legs, your brain. Feeling a little tiiiiired this afternoon? Yeah it’s not just the slight drop in caffeine that’s killing you. All the gas in the world doesn’t help your car if the intake and tail pipe are clogged. Give your engine a little air!
And three, since you practice over 22,000 breaths throughout the day, your stressed-out crappy shallow chest breathing begets…hold on…even more stressed-out crappy shallow chest breathing.
Pile on a lot of running miles, a whole heap of fatigue, and dash of shoulder to shoulder competition, and you’re stuck with what you’ve been practicing your entire life.
That’s right, when push comes to gasp, this usually means erratic breathing, painful side cramps, and (sigh) falling-off-the-rails slow running when you’re really trying for something different.
Fortunately you CAN chart a new course for yourself with this workout. The burpee breathe ladder will not only reset your breathing but give you the tools to build it back up.
Get Strong or Die Trying Burpee Breath Ladder Workout.
How to video on Burpees (preview from The 30 Day Challenge)
Back to the rules: perform 1-10 burpees combined with 1-10 nose breaths done as follows:
1 burpee, 1 nose breath. 2 burpees, 2 nose breaths…10 burpees, 10 nose breaths.
***Remember: mouth breathe anytime during the burpees or the nose breaths and your workout is over!***
Why nose breathing?
Well, it kickstarts your belly breathing and gets that diaphragm functioning at full capacity. Not only will you be pulling more air in, you’ll feel calmer and in more control during the workout itself.
Additionally, deep diaphragmatic breathing stabilizes your hips and spine for more powerful, efficient, injury free running.
Additionally, you’ll learn that when it comes to speed and intensity you always have a choice.
As soon as those legs burn and the sweat stings the eyes, you’ll want to open your mouth wide and suck in air for all your worth. But like the big wave surfer who gets pulled under for a while, there’s another and better way to fighting the wave. It’s called not fighting the wave.
So how slow easy and efficient can your burpees be? How slow steady and deep can your nose breathing be while doing burpees? The slower the two are, the calmer and more relaxed you are, and the more recovery you sneak in between what would otherwise be a crushing burpee set.
Practice our Burpee Breath ladder workout once a week and you’ll more easily connect your breathing with your movement and master your panic levels the next time you hit defcon five. Your breathing and running cadence will also effortlessly link the next time you lace up, lifting you to a more calming, efficient, and dare we say transcendent running experience! Further, your now stronger engaged hip-stabilizing diaphragm will ensure many more miles of efficient pain-free running for years to come.