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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Nov 25

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12921-4


language: English

Effects of a nasal breathing protocol on physical fitness and pulmonary function in young basketball players

Luca CAVAGGIONI 1, 2 , Athos TRECROCI 1, Damiano FORMENTI 3, Rosalba COURTNEY 4, Giacomo DASCANIO 1, Raffaele SCURATI 1, Lucio ONGARO 1, Giampietro ALBERTI 1

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy; 2 Obesity Unit and Laboratory of Nutrition and Obesity Research, Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy; 3 Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy; 4 Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia


BACKGROUND: Respiratory muscle training has been shown to provide positive effects for both health and performance purposes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a six-week period of nasal breathing on pulmonary function and cardio-respiratory fitness in young basketball players.
METHODS: Thirty-four, male, basketball players were enrolled and assigned either to experimental group (EG) or to control group (CG). All participants were tested for Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1), Shuttle Sprint Test (SST), Forced Vitality Capacity (FVC), Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1) and Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF). EG group followed reduced breathing frequency training program focused on intermittent running exercises while performing nasal breathing.
RESULTS: The main findings were significant interactions in Yo-Yo IR1 test, FVC, FEV1 and PEF (p<0.05) in favour of EG compared to CG. Conversely, no significant changes were detected between EG and CG in the SST total time.
CONCLUSIONS: Young basketball players may benefit from nasal breathing protocol during their regular training practice leading remarkable improvements in both physical fitness and pulmonary function.

KEY WORDS: Nasal breathing; Pulmonary function; Basketball; Diaphragmatic breathing

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