Proper Breathing in Parkour: How Do You Do It

Parkour is not just about making cool and breathtaking stunts but also involves techniques on how you can properly and safely execute these moves. To do this, you need proper training that will include proper breathing techniques essential to withstand vigorous training and help your muscles stay active for longer periods.

To do proper breathing in parkour, you must know how much air you need to perform a move. In making high-impact moves in parkour, you need to relax the core muscles and breath out as you approach landing. While up in the air, breathe in, and intensify the core muscles to control the limbs better. Remember never to hold your breath.

Parkour is a physically demanding sport, and it involves a lot of high-impact activities that will require muscle strength. However, do not worry since there are techniques you can do to lengthen muscle endurance and use air efficiently to your advantage, like breathing. This article will guide you on how to do proper breathing in parkour and the benefits of mastering the proper breathing technique. It also includes how proper breathing can help you in your training sessions.

The Best Breathing Strategies In Parkour

Breathing is a natural process in the body, but you can improve this to match your demands in performing different levels of moves in parkour.

Breathing During High-Impact Activities

When doing high-impact activities such as landing from heights, it is recommended to build tension in the muscles as soon as you fall by breathing in, but breath out of your mouth just like screaming out air mentally without the noise before impact.

Breath out gradually and do not apply a conscious force to breathe; put in one blow. When you breathe out, your limbs can move freely, which you need when landing or doing explosive movements.

It is ideal to stop breathing as soon as you reach the ground to avoid a tense landing impact. Remember to breathe in through your nose and out to your mouth.

Do not hold your breath to keep oxygen from circulating in your body. The landing will feel easier and safer if you do this.

Breathing While Doing Tricks in The Air

Making moves in the air requires a different breathing strategy. In moves like flipping and spinning, you need to build your core muscles, and you can do this by breathing in enough air.

As you breathe in, your core muscles tighten, building up the tension needed to control the limbs efficiently in the air. You typically need to tuck your body slightly in flips and spins, and breathing in is exactly what you need to do to achieve this.

The diaphragm is the main muscle involved in breathing; as you inhale, it moves downward, allowing the lungs to expand and harvest air while pressing the abdominal organs and tightening the belly or the core muscles.

Breathing While Running and Performing Ground Moves

Parkour involves a lot of low jumping and running that requires endurance. To achieve this, breathing properly maintains constant breathing rates and rhythmic breathing patterns.

Rhythmic breathing gives a constant supply to the brain and muscles to help you focus and decrease the chance of injuries while making ground moves.

It can also keep the heart rate at normal rates even during strenuous activities, causing you to be tired. You can do this according to your preference, and you can breathe through your nose and out through your mouth or vice versa.

The most important factor here is that you are comfortable, and you can get the amount of oxygen you need while moving without tiring quickly.

Benefits of Proper Breathing In Parkour

Often, especially for beginners, breathing is less focused since it is a process in the body that happens even when you do not think about it. However, learning proper breathing is crucial to achieving many things in parkour, and here are the benefits and advantages you should know.

It Helps Improve Blood Flow

Breathing comes in many kinds and deep breaths wherein the diaphragm is more involved, improving the body’s blood flow.

When you maintain a constant breathing rate, oxygen is delivered efficiently to the muscles, allowing the body as it should.

In parkour, a good blood flow is important to keep the muscles active while making moves. Also, it will ensure that all of your body is well-oxygenated and carried by the blood with no obstruction.

After all, parkour is a whole body workout.

It Helps You Concentrate

When oxygen levels in the blood are maintained, it helps the mind focus. This will allow the traceur to concentrate on the obstacles in front.

As you pay attention to your breathing, the mind becomes more focused, disengaging the mind from distracting thoughts.

Stress and distractions are sometimes why athletes get injured, and this can be avoided by concentration through proper breathing. It is simple but vital for safer parkour.

It Calms Down Fear and Anxiety

Parkour is perceived as dangerous and sometimes can cause even athletes to fear performing new and complex moves.

It is natural to shake or be nervous when doing this, but it is important to know a technique to calm down fear before performing, and here is where proper breathing comes in.

Deep breathing before performing a trick will certainly help. You can do this by taking deep and slow breaths, which will signal the brain or the nervous system to calm down. It will slow the heart rate and will reduce your anxiety.

Remember, though, that this takes practice, and you should consider including this in your training list to feel calmer during your parkour training sessions.

It Increases Energy Level

Since breathing improves blood flow, it can boost oxygenation in the body, leading to increased energy levels. You can do different breathing to increase or decrease the energy level you need.

In fact, sometimes breathing can be why you feel exhausted in the middle of the day. Shallow breaths can lead to an imbalance in carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood that can cause this tiredness and unmotivated.

When you breathe deeply, you allow oxygen to circulate to your body, fueling up energy levels that you need to function, especially in strength and flexibility, requiring activities like parkour.

The next time you feel tired or bored during training sessions, do breathing exercises to ramp up the energy you need.

It Improves Muscle Endurance

Controlled breathing promotes muscle endurance simply because it can reduce the air amount you need during exercise leading to less carbon dioxide production in the muscles.

This is important since low oxygen and a high amount of carbon in the muscles as glucose is broken down during training can produce lactic acid, a factor in muscle soreness on top of the microdamage that happens to muscle tissues.

Low oxygen concentrations can be minimized when you breathe properly during rigorous training and parkour adventures, allowing oxygen to flow from your lungs to the muscle tissue. This will allow you to do more movements without getting exhausted easily.

This is a particularly important factor in parkour since you can continue to train longer, maximizing your fitness and progress faster in parkour.

It Reduces Muscle Pains and Aids In The Recovery Time

Athletes, including traceurs, also engage in breathing exercises like yoga and meditation because they can reduce muscle soreness and pains.

Deep breathing causes the muscles to relax and brings oxygen to strained areas to dissipate the pain, and this can be the key to conquering muscle soreness in parkour.

At the same time, as oxygen through breathing reaches injured areas, recovery time lessens, entailing a higher chance of being back on track again.

It Improves Heart and Lung Functions

Lungs are the major organs that allow oxygen to be circulated throughout the body, and improving their condition is essential to do intense exercises.

When you master proper breathing that includes lung stretching, you can increase the amount of lung space that can accommodate oxygen. This trait is advantageous to having a bigger air reserve during high-intensity workouts.

Also, proper breathing improves the heart function to stabilize the heart rate variability needed to deliver the blood to its destination.

It also means that the heart works proportionately to your body’s activity level, which is a characteristic of a healthy body.

Understanding Proper Vs. Wrong Breathing Technique For Parkour

Identifying proper breathing is easier said than done. It will be challenging to pinpoint proper breathing from Identifying proper breathing is easier said than done. However, here are some signs that can help you assess your breathing status.

Signs of Proper Breathing

Breathing is a common term, but the definition of proper breathing has been arbitrary. So the best way to define this can be based on a general principle.

Proper normal breathing starts in the nose, and then the air goes to the lungs as the stomach moves out due to the expansion of the diaphragm.

At the same time, the mouth can be an entry and exit point of the air in cases where more oxygen is needed, such as during workouts or increased physical activity.

Breathing is unconsciously done, but proper breathing is ideal in many ways. The best way is to use the nose and the belly together to put the air in the lungs efficiently. Of course, you should always be comfortable in any breathing style you do.

You will know when you are breathing properly when your breaths are smooth and controlled, and you do not strain for air while you train or move.

Once you know how to breathe in different situations properly, you can learn more techniques. Here is an article I wrote for the easiest parkour moves where you can start practicing proper breathing.

Signs of Wrong Breathing Process

Wrong breathing practice can be easily distinguished by the limitations in the performer’s capacity to withstand intense training. You can suffer from short breaths and easy exhaustion even when doing moderate exercises without proper breathing.

This can be caused by stress, improper posture, or small lung capacity. Do not worry if you started in this state since proper training can certainly improve this.

In addition, it is a bad practice to hold your breath. Remember to avoid this as possible.

I know it is very tempting to hold your breath in situations like explosive landings in parkour, but you should not do this because it will cut off the supply of oxygen in your brain needed for focus and flexibility.

It can also cause low heart rates due to lack of oxygen, leading to carbon dioxide build-up that will make you feel disoriented, which is the last thing you will want to happen in parkour. You can hold it for split seconds but not too long because you might pass out.

Since parkour is risky, you should do it with utmost safety hence do not engage in complex parkour moves without proper training and preparation, including breathing exercises.

Build up your pace gradually and take your time to make the complex moves you want in time without sacrificing safety.

Wrong breathing may be a result of overthinking how to do it properly. Breathing comes naturally, and when you overthink it, it can lead to anxiety and mood swings.

As you do breathing exercises more often, the better the body can remember this and will come out without conscious thought, becoming a habit.

Breathing Techniques You Should Learn In Parkour

Breathing is so much more than just inhaling and exhaling through your nose. It is an autonomic action in the body, but you should familiarize yourself with variations. It will help to know this to match the proper breathing variation to your need.

Abdominal Breathing: Get Those Abdominal Muscles Get To Work!

Abdominal breathing is also called diaphragmatic breathing, which involves the diaphragm, a muscle needed in respiration.

To do this breathing exercise, breathe in through your nose with your lips pursed so that the stomach enlarges and moves out. Tighten your core muscles and exhale through your nose.

Do deep breathing with abdominal muscles in work to increase lung elasticity and capacity. It can stabilize the heartbeat helpful when doing high-intensity exercises and during landing stunts.

It would be best to practice abdominal breathing to do it comfortably and naturally as you progress.

Rhythmic Breathing: Distribute The Stress Evenly While You Move

This breathing technique is recommended when your activity involves running like in parkour. As you run on the ground, the body is subjected to constant force as you move your foot.

Practice breathing in tune with the movement of your foot or while you run. Breathe rhythmically as the foot strikes the ground before you do the trick.

You can exhale through the mouth as you land your feet on the ground distributing stress evenly while you move. By doing so, the probability of injury will be lesser as you do your thing.

Square Breathing: Restore the Calmness In You

This is also called box breathing since it involves four parts that can calm the body and mind under stress. It is deep breathing wherein you hold your breath for four counts on top of inhalation and after exhalation.

While doing this, the mind will focus on breathing, signaling the central nervous system to relax and stay calm.

It is best to do this under stressful conditions, like when nervous about making a parkour move. It takes time to learn this, but it will surely be worth it once you experience its advantage.

Nasal and Mouth Breathing: Ideal for Moderate Activities

Breathing involves the nose and mouth, and you can also choose what will be the most you will use during certain activities. Nasal breathing involves only the nose, where you inhale and exhale in this organ.

In contrast, mouth breathing is about breathing in and out through the mouth, and this is ideal for increased oxygen intake, especially during intense activities.

However, professionals may use the nose and mouth together and have their way of breathing during moderate to demanding activities. You can explore and experiment on what sequence will best work for you.

Simple Activities You Can Do To Improve Breathing

You might be wondering what some exercises other than breathing drills you can do in your house and gym that will improve your breathing are. To give you some insights, I listed some in this section.

Simple Walking

Walking is on top of the list when building up endurance. You can increase the speed and walking distance to increase lung capacity leading to improved breathing.

For a budding traceur, it is important to start with light activities such as simple walking before performing parkour moves that need good muscle control and body condition.

Stretching The Muscles

The blood will circulate more efficiently when you do stretching exercises, reducing lactic acid build-up and boosting oxygen levels. Make it a habit to do stretching often to increase lung capacity and obtain good breathing rhythms.

Strength Training

Strength training focuses on the muscles making the muscle cells efficient in harvesting oxygen from the blood. By weight lifting, for instance, you can gain control over how you will breathe due to the demand of the exercise.

It also encourages the body to do full core muscle engagement that can train the diaphragm. Being out of breath while strength training is natural, and you can certainly dodge this problem by controlling your breath.


Swimming is a good exercise to include in the list since it loosens up respiratory muscles and other muscles in the torso to support breathing while in water. Your heart rate climbs when in a high-intensity activity in response to the need for oxygen.

When swimming, the body is subjected to changing temperatures that can also raise the heart, allowing you to train your muscles in response to various stimuli.

Swimming is an aerobic exercise, and it is essential for improving lung capacity and activating large muscle groups that you can take advantage of doing parkour.

Tips To Master Proper Breathing Easily

Professional athletes started as beginners, and they were not masters of proper breathing too, but they were able to get the best technique that would work for them. Here are some tips for mastering proper breathing like a pro.

Work Out The Lungs

The lungs are the number one organ involved in breathing, and you have to make sure that you exercise your lungs well to breathe well. Of course, in coordination with the heart, the body can deliver oxygenated blood to the muscles efficiently.

You can work your lungs by running, walking, and jumping, giving the heart and lungs the right amount of exercise to improve lung capacity and breathing muscles.

Shift Between Mouth and Nose Breathing

As I have mentioned, each athlete has different breathing techniques, but it will be ideal to experiment with what will work for you if you are a beginner.

You can do nasal breathing and mouth breathing together or shift alternately. As you train, explore, and make proper breathing a second nature.

Practice Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal breathing is the most used type since it can encompass many things and benefits. Master this breathing technique by training your diaphragm regularly. Once familiar, you can change your breathing techniques easily with practice.

Work On Your Level

It is important to work on your level since not all athletes are the same. Know what your limits are and train to extend those limits.

If you find deep or rhythmic breathing hard at your level, train harder to master it. It will take time, but it will be worth all the effort.

Always Warm Up and Cool Down

You should always warm-up and cool down in any physical activity. When you warm up, your heart rate rises, and you need to prepare yourself for high-intensity workouts.

Gently move your body and upgrade your movement to increase the blood flow to the lungs, heart, and muscles.

Also, it prepares the body for activities that require air and will reduce the likelihood of having muscle soreness and injuries while you train.

At the same time, cool-down exercises are equally important as warm-ups since they gradually slow down the heart and breathing rates and return muscles to their relaxed state.

It prevents concentrating pain and soreness in one area and restores the body to its optimal physiological state.

Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

You have to maintain a healthy lifestyle to improve your breathing. Always include in your exercise routines your lung capacity and heart.

Also, maintain ideal weight by eating a proper diet. Lastly, quit or avoid smoking as much as possible to keep the lungs healthy.


Breathing techniques in parkour play a great role in your mastery and safety. It comes with many benefits, both physically and mentally. Take a few minutes every day to practice proper breathing for better performance in this demanding sport. I know that you can master this in no time as you train your body to unlock new parkour moves and a new skill, proper breathing, so you do not have to worry about running out of breath next time. Take a few minutes every day to practice proper breathing for better performance in this demanding sport.

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