Do you ever think about or notice how you are breathing? Take a minute to stop, be quiet, and be aware of your breathing.  Notice what parts of your body move when you breath and how often you breathe.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

tow rope

Breathing 

Breathing is often overlooked during activity as something we can improve as it is just happens automatic. There are complex systems within our body that automatically determine and alter our breathing to meet the needs and demands of the body. Those needs are dependent on and affected by multiple things, most commonly they are altered by your type and level of activity. However, we do have some control over how we breathe. We can help our bodies to breathe in a relaxed and efficient way. Therefore we can support breathing in a relaxed and efficient way when we ride.

Breathing & Your Riding

Having good breathing when you ride can really assist your riding, so let’s have a look at how you can influence your breathing. If you ride in a good body position, you are relaxed and carry minimal tension then you will support efficient breathing. If your breathing is efficient you reduce the demands of the activity, your mind will be open and you will have the ability to focus and enjoy your ride.

How do we achieve efficient breathing while on the bike? Breathing efficiently while on the bike comes back to riding in the correct position – Your ‘A” Riding position

Riding position:  The A riding position allows your diaphragm and the rib muscles to work efficiently to increase the size of your chest allowing good airflow and thus oxygen into your lungs and body. Your body struggles to achieve this efficient breathing if you are in the rounded back position, you carry tension across your upper body with your shoulders elevated. Let me prove my point with a little exercise for you to try.

Exercise:

Either sitting or standing;

  • Pull your shoulders up towards your ears and slouch through your mid back (a humped shape), now try and take in a deep breath – hard nearly impossible? This is what you ask your body to do when you ride in a rounded back position.
  • Relax your shoulders, sit tall, engage your core, now take a breath – so much easier and yes so much easier when on the bike in your correct “A” riding position.

Slouched, humped back

Relaxed shoulders, straight back

2. Core Control:  You need to have good core control to be able to achieve and maintain the “A” riding position.  Remember good core control allows us to relax our arms and legs. To achieve efficient breathing you need to have good core control to relax your arms, to have soft elbows (they should not be locked) and empty those hands. You do not want to carry tension through your arms or hands. If there is tension in your hands and arms there is tension in your chest and your breathing pattern will be compromised.

One of the key ways to determine if you are using your core well and whether you arms are loose is being aware of how heavily you lean on you arms on the handlebars. In your riding position you should be able to effectively remove your hands from the handlebars. Your arms should not be working to prop you up. If you are leaning heavily on your arms, or the palms of your hands get sore on your handlebar grips, it is a sure sign that your core muscles are not working efficiently.

Good relaxed “C” shaped elbows

Locked “V” shaped elbows

Use core strength to ensure your arms are not propping you up

Why is it important? 

The importance of good efficient breathing goes well beyond the bike. There are many benefits to efficient breathing.  Efficient breathing helps reduce the demands of an activity,  helps centre and focus us, help reduce anxiety and engage our senses. All things that will allow us to enjoy and grow as a rider as well as positively influence other aspects of our lives.

Whether you are a beginner or experienced rider, improving your breathing on the bike has benefits for us all. Those benefits go well beyond the bike to our everyday activities.

Note: You can do some training off the bike to help teach your body and brain about how to breathe efficiently.  There are many resources to help you achieve this.  A few suggestions include; videos and information online, Pilates, Tai chi, Yoga. To help you in your search you may find that it is often called diaphragmatic breathing.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

Smile when you ride

Be Comfortable on your Bike Seat

Riding in Cooler Weather

Riding in Wet Conditions

Be Visible on the Bike

'Fun Up' the Kids Bike/Biking

Clothing & Bags

Padded Bike Pants & Underwear

Bike Tops and Jackets

Headbands & Neck Warmers for Biking

Bags, Baskets & Panniers for Biking

Rider Safety & Protection

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Gloves

Protective Padding

Bike Lights

Bike Bells

First Aid & Personal Care

Hydration

Bike Tow Ropes

Bike Parts & Care

Bike Saddles

Handlebar Grips

Bike Locks

Bike Carriers

Bike & Chain Cleaning

Bike Tools & Tool Kits to Carry

Kids Bike Seats & Bikes

Rear Kids Bike Seats

Mid Kids Bike Seats

Front Kids Bike Seats

Towing Kids who ride their own Bike

Bike Trailers for Kids

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Kids Balance Bikes

goUnders

Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

Solution Finder

Kids & Youth

Padded Bike Underwear

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Riding Clothing

Jackets for Biking/Outdoors

Protective Padding

Bike Gloves

Bike Bells

Handlebar Grips

Bike Locks

Hydration

Women

Padded Bike Pants & Underwear

Bike Saddles

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Tops & Jackets

Bike Gloves

Protective Padding

Bike Bells

Hydration

Handlebar Grips

Family 

Riding with - 1 year old

Riding with - 2 year old

Riding with - 3 year old

Riding with - 4/5 year old

Riding with - 6+ year old

Ride More Places with Kids

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Men

Padded Bike Underwear

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Saddle

Bike Gloves

Protective Padding

Handlebar Grips

Bike Bell

Smile when you ride

Be Comfortable on your Bike Seat

Riding in Cooler Weather

Riding in Wet Conditions

Be Visible on the Bike

'Fun Up' the Kids Bike/Biking

goUnders

Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

Solution Finder

Bikepath Riding

Beginner to Fitness

Commuting

Multi-Day

Multi-Day with Kids

Kids Attached or Towed on Bikepaths

Grow & Improve your Bikepath Riding

Ride more Bikepaths

Mountain Biking

Women Beginner to Intermediate

Kids Mountain Biking

Multi-Day

Multi-Day with Kids

Mountain Biking with Kids Attached or Towed

Ride more Mountain Bike Trails

Riding in Traffic

Kids Attached or Towed in Traffic

Family Riding

Multiday Bikepath Riding with Kids

Kids Mountain Biking

Ride More Places with Kids

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Multi-Day Riding

Multi-Day Mountain Biking

Multi-Day Bikepath

Ride more Multi-Day Rides

goUnders

Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

Solution Finder

Kids Attached or Towed Buying Guides

Rear Kids Bike Seat

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat

Front Kids Bike Seat 

Towing Kids who ride their own bikes

Kids Bike Trailers

Kids & Youth Buying Guides

Kids Bike Helmets

Kids Riding Clothing

Kids Padded Bike Pants

Kids Padded Protection

Kids Handlebar Grips 

Kids Balance Bike

Comfort on the Bike Buying Guides 

Bike Saddle

Padded Bike Pants

Bike Jackets

Carrying Gear 

Handlebar Grip

Hydration

Rider Safety and Protection Buying Guides

Bike Helmet

Mountain Bike Helmet

Protective Padding

Be Visible 

Bike Glove

Bike Light 

Mountain Bike Light

First Aid & Personal Care 

Gear & Care for Bikes Buying Guides

Bike Carriers

Bike Cleaning

Chain Cleaning and Lube

Women & Families Learning

Comfort on your Bike Seat

Improve your Riding

Carrying Gear

Ride More Places

Ride more Bikepaths

Ride more NZ Cycle Trails

Ride more Mountain Bike Trails

Ride more Multi-Day Rides

Ride more Places with Kids

Riding Gear

Bike Helmets

Padded Bike Underwear & Pants

Bike Gloves

Bike Jackets

Protective Padding

Bike Locks

Bike Tools to Carry

Handlebar Grips

Kids Bike Seats

Front Kids Bike Seats

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seats

Rear Kids Bike Seats

Kids Bike Seats - Attached

Types of Riding

Bikepath Riding