Tactical Breathing

Tai Chi

If you need a guaranteed way to decrease your stress under a pressure intense situation, then the answer is here. Tactical breathing is a method of breathing that is used to decrease one’s stress level. This pattern of breathing is used by elite SWAT teams and special ops personnel worldwide, particularly when engaged in a highly stressful situation. The breathing is completed by performing the following:

  • Inhale through the nose for a count of 4
  • Hold for a count of 4
  • Exhale through the mouth for a count of 4
  • Hold for a count of 4
  • Repeat in a cyclical fashion

This type of breathing serves many functions, when executed in a time of stress. Firstly, it lowers the users respiration rate, heart rate and blood pressure. This is important for stabilizing the body to respond to the stressor in an accurate manner, especially if executing a skill is required. Furthermore, using this breathing pattern allows there to be an increased intake of oxygen. This is of vital importance, since when in a stressful situation, the first thing that needs to be done, in order to accurately respond to the stressor is to make a decision. More oxygen to the brain calms the mind and aids in the ability to make rational choices.

The use of the tactical breathing technique can come in handy in other areas of life, such as: before a test or presentation, before a competition or even when addressing relationship concerns with a partner. I personally use it and teach my clients to use it during the rest phase of interval training workouts and during the stretch and cool down phase of the workout.

Ajay Ramnarine
Third Degree Black Belt Martial Arts Sensei
Certified Personal Training Specialist 
Certified Coach

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