Increase your lung capacity

Table of contents:

Increase your lung capacity
Increase your lung capacity

If you do a lot of sports, you need a good amount of oxygen to complete it successfully. There are ways to increase the volume of your lungs, but there are also ways to increase the amount of air your lungs can hold and the effectiveness with which they can absorb oxygen. If you do these exercises daily you will see your lung capacity increase quickly.


Method 1 of 3: Method 1: Increase your lung capacity quickly

Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 1
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 1

Step 1. Breathe deeply

You can increase the amount of air your lungs can absorb in a short time, without having to exercise or train for a long time. The trick is to breathe regularly and deeply.

  • Exhale slowly and completely. Practice this a few times before you start. Don't leave air in your lungs. This allows you to inhale more air on the next breath.
  • Lower your diaphragm by relaxing your abs. Your abs will expand as your diaphragm moves down, creating more space around your lungs to fill them with air.
  • Spread your arms out, moving them farther from your body to open your chest.
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 2
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 2

Step 2. Breathe in deeply

It is best to fill your lungs to 80-85% of their capacity so that your body also has some room to relax. You don't want to fill your lungs to their full capacity if that means your muscles are too tense and you feel uncomfortable.

  • Have a friend with you who can monitor your breathing, if possible. You can pass out, and then it's good if your friend can come to the rescue right away.
  • You don't have to blow with your cheeks. The muscles in your face should be loose and relaxed; the muscles in your abdomen and diaphragm have to work properly.
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 3
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 3

Step 3. Throw water on your face

Do this while holding your breath. Scientists have discovered that throwing water in your face slows your heart rate, which is the first stage of the mammalian diving reflex.

  • Your body is preparing to dive underwater, which requires it to adjust the heart rate to be effective and send oxygen through the blood to keep you alive.
  • Take cold, but not ice-cold water. Ice water activates another reflex in your body that causes you to hyperventilate or breathe quickly. Hyperventilation prevents you from holding your breath for long.
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 4
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 4

Step 4. Relax your muscles and hold your breath

Try meditating, or close your eyes. The less energy you expend, the longer your body can hold its breath.

  • Count to 100 in your head. Focus only on the number you recite in your head and your goal of reaching 100.
  • Write down the number you have reached when you can no longer hold your breath. You want to pass that number on the next attempt.
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 5
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 5

Step 5. Exhale slowly and repeat 3-4 times

Do not let the air escape too quickly. Exhale as slowly as possible, in an even flow. Once you've done this once, do the exercise again from the beginning.

  • After 3-4 times, your lungs can already hold a lot more air than twenty minutes ago.
  • Doing this exercise regularly will also train your lungs in the long run.
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 6
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 6

Step 6. Try simple breathing exercises

You can do these exercises at home, while watching TV, or at the office, or wherever.

  • Blowing up balloons is a good method to increase your lung capacity. Another method is to tape a long, light strip of paper to the tip of your nose with masking tape, and try to keep it in the air by blowing against it for as long as you can. Take your time and if you do it often you will be able to keep the paper in the air for longer and longer.
  • Another method is to stick a long, light piece of paper (or tissue) to the tip of your nose and blow it in the air for as long as you can. Take your time and practice regularly and you will be able to keep the piece of paper in the air for longer and longer as your lung capacity increases.
  • Breathing exercises during daily activities can be very helpful. Inhale for 2-20 seconds, exhale for 10-20 seconds and build up slowly. You will soon see that you can exhale for 45 seconds to 2 minutes if you practice enough! You can easily do this while driving, sitting in your office, watching TV, playing a game, sitting in school or just when you're bored!
  • Try to hyperventilate before holding your breath. Hyperventilating simply means breathing in and out very quickly. Caution: Hyperventilating before diving can be dangerous as the urge to breathe can be slowed down to the point that you pass out!

Method 2 of 3: Physical exercises to increase lung capacity

Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 7
Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 7

Step 1. Practice in the water

Exercising in water adds an element of resistance to your workout. Your body has to work extra hard to get enough oxygen into your blood, making it great exercise for your lungs.

  • Do your normal stretching exercises and strength training in the water. Make sure to adjust your weights to make them feel lighter in the water. Do this routine for a few days until you get used to it.
  • Take everything in the water. Stand up to your neck in the water, and do your exercises while standing in the water. This may seem like no good for anything, but don't worry. Moving the blood to your chest cavity and putting pressure on your body will give you shorter, faster breaths when you exercise in the water. Research shows that your lung capacity drops to 75% in the beginning, and your body will compensate for that. If your training in the water lasts long enough, and you do it regularly, your airways will work more efficiently, increasing your lung capacity.

    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 8
    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 8

    Step 2. Engage in strenuous cardiovascular activity

    Exercising is a great way to increase your lung capacity. Exhaust your body for at least 30 minutes so your lungs have to work really hard. This hard work is rewarded with better lung capacity.

    • Try aerobics. You'd be surprised how much lung capacity you can develop during short bursts of intense exercise.
    • Go cycling. By taking a sprint every now and then, your body has to pump more blood to the legs; your lungs provide oxygen in the blood.
    • Go running. Run on a treadmill if you want to save your knees and joints. Do a sprint every now and then to make your lungs work extra hard.
    • Swimming - The best sport to work on your fitness. Swimmer's lungs can process oxygen up to three times more efficiently than the lungs of an average person.
    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 9
    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 9

    Step 3. Train at altitude

    When you train at a higher altitude you are sure to improve your lungs to their full strength. The air in the mountains contains less oxygen, making the training harder, which is ultimately good for your lungs.

    • If you want to seriously increase your lung capacity, you need to live at high altitudes during your workout. At 2500m above sea level, the air contains only 74% oxygen compared to the air at sea level. This means that your lungs have to work harder to get the same amount of oxygen into your blood.
    • When you go back down, your body will still have an increased number of red blood cells and hemoglobin -- up to about two weeks -- meaning your entire lung capacity is increased.
    • Be careful not to train too hard at high altitudes as you can develop altitude sickness.

    Method 3 of 3: Long-term exercises to increase lung capacity

    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 10
    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 10

    Step 1. Create resistance

    Your lungs will respond to exercise, so incorporate some resistance training into your routine and you'll see your lung capacity increase.

    Breathe in normally through your nose. Take a deep breath. Exhale through your mouth with your lips close together. Open them only slightly so that the air can just escape, with resistance. Try to do this as often as possible. It gets your alveoli used to holding air for longer, causing them to stretch

    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 11
    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 11

    Step 2. Breathe in more than your brain thinks it can

    Your brain naturally pays attention to the safety of your body, and ensures that your body does not cross boundaries. But the body can do amazing things if you convince your brain that it's okay. Try the following.

    • Breathe in for a count of eight, until your lungs are completely filled. After each count, you should be able to inhale a little more.
    • Take small breaths for the next eight to sixteen counts. Feel your belly expand. You should not feel your shoulders move.
    • Hold your breath for a few more seconds and exhale forcefully.
    • If you feel that your lungs are "empty", continue making a "tssssss" sound (as if you were playing a wind instrument) for as long as you can.
    • Practice this regularly. If you train your brain to push the limits of your body, your breathing will take a giant leap forward.
    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 12
    Increase Your Lung Capacity Step 12

    Step 3. Play a wind instrument

    By playing a wind instrument you give your lungs a regular workout and you also have the pleasure of making music.

    • Learn how to play a woodwind or brass instrument such as a trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, or flute. This will teach you to control your breathing and increase your lung capacity so that you will use all your alveoli.
    • Go play in a marching band. This means you need even more lung capacity because you have to walk while you play.
    • You can also take singing lessons. Singing exercises your diaphragm and can help you practice continuous breathing. Singers must of course have very strong lungs.


    • You've probably known for a long time not to smoke, but you should also stay away from smoky areas where you are exposed to secondhand smoke, as secondhand smoke can also reduce your lung capacity.
    • If you are in a pool, go as far under the water as you can and breathe through a straw. The further underwater you are, the greater the pressure on your chest, making it harder for you to breathe. Make sure you can keep the straw above water, otherwise you will get water in your lungs. Don't surface with your lungs full of air - exhale before coming to the surface or you could get barotrauma (if you've been 2-3 meters under water).


    • If you become lightheaded, breathe normally again.
    • When breathing underwater (for example, when diving), stabilize your depth and never hold your breath or take a deep breath as you go up. Air expands as you go up and your lungs can rupture if you hold your breath.
    • Always swim with someone or in a public place when doing your breathing exercises.

Popular by topic