Are you aware of your breathing pattern when you swing? “Do you breathe in or out when you take the club back” is usually a comment from your playing partner to distract you when you are about to take some cash off them in a “friendly match”. There is great value in focusing on whether you inhale or exhale in your backswing and you may be missing the secret to helping you move better and hit better shots more often.
During the backswing
Do I even breathe in my backswing? Its probably something you have never even thought about. If you are looking to move better in the backswing then this could be a winner for you. In our backswing we want to breathe in, why? When we breathe in it allows us to expand, so our ribcage expands and allows greater room for our organs to move which increases our range of rotation in the backswing. If you are tight and struggle for range of motion in your backswing, then give it a try.
Now try slowly breathing in as you start to create a backswing and just keep breathing in until you feel you have expanded and see how far you can rotate back. Now breathe out whilst trying to do the same backswing and see whether you are able to create the same range of movement.
What about my breathing in my downswing?
Have you noticed how many of the best players lose height in transition? Part of this is due to their body compressing in the downswing so the opposite happens to the backswing. So, in your downswing you want to focus on breathing out and feel like your ribcage is compressing on the top of your pelvis.
Now that we have a clearer understanding of the breathing patterns within our golf swing, let's try just doing a few turns without a club. Put your hands on your shoulders so they cross and then start to make a backswing focusing on breathing in nice and smoothly as you complete the backswing which should feel like there is plenty of torque. Now as we start the downswing nice and slowly focus on breathing out and feel like you compress your upper body on your lower body and then as you come into the finish position you should feel nice and tall again.
Give it a try and let us know how it goes.