10 Best Exercises to Increase Lung Capacity

Oxygen is critical for your body’s survival. Keeping the organ that distributes oxygen to your body healthy should be of utmost importance. Your lungs have the arduous task of delivering oxygen to every part of your body. Keeping up and improving lung function is something that everyone should be thinking about. Without proper lung function, your body will rapidly start to deteriorate, which is why you should be constantly researching methods on keeping your lungs healthy and even improving it.

This post will talk about various exercises that can be used to maintain and even strengthen your lungs and improve their functionality.



Aerobics involves using large muscles groups together while following a specific rhythm. Getting involved with aerobics can significantly help enhance your lung capacity, while also strengthening your heart at the same time. Aerobics will help your body process oxygen more efficiently as it trains your breathing. Cardio machines, spinning, running, swimming, walking, hiking, aerobics classes, dancing, cross country skiing, and kickboxing are all excellent examples of aerobic exercise.

Muscle Tightening Exercises


Muscle tightening exercises are extremely good for your upper body and also for your lungs. These exercises help to strengthen the muscles that aid in breathing, and in turn, will help the functionality fo your lungs. Examples of muscle tightening exercises include pilates, callisthenics,  and yoga. One thing to keep in mind is that these exercises need to be performed religiously in order for your efforts to bear fruit.

Water-Based Exercises


Working out in the water is an amazing way to train your body. The water acts as resistance and thus strengthens your body at a faster rate. Furthermore, with the added resistance, your body will need to work harder to supply oxygen to your blood. Design a training regime to do in the pool. Follow that regime stringently and watch as your lungs become more efficient in not time. Examples of water-based exercises are swimming, water aerobics, and aqua jogging.

Cardio Exercise


A cardio workout is probably the best way to increase lung function and capacity. The basic of how cardiovascular exercise helps your lungs is that the faster you get tired, the harder your lungs have to work. This, in turn, enhances them in every way. Cardio exercises are also one of the easiest to do and can be performed anywhere with little or no equipment. Running, brisk walking, swimming, biking, and working out on cardio equipment are all excellent examples of cardiovascular exercise.

High Elevation Exercise


The higher up you go, the less oxygen there is in the air. Working out where the air is thinner is tough on the body, but nevertheless is a fantastic way to increase your lung capacity. If you follow a good regime or routine, you will be able to notice changes in no time. However, be very careful when you work out at high elevations because you could develop altitude sickness. Starting slowly in a great way to avoid sickness. Take your time to proceed higher and higher, starting at lower elevations before climbing in altitude.

Pushing Out


Pushing out requires you to stand on flat ground and bend over your waist. While in that position, keep your knees loose and expel as much air as possible. Inhale as you slowly stand up, and when your lungs are full, hold your breath for 20 seconds. Also, stretch your arms above your head as you stand up. After 20 seconds, relax, exhale slowly, and lower your arms. Repeat this exercise four times.

Rib Stretch


While standing, expel all the air from your lungs. Slowly draw your breath and let your lungs expand to the fullest. Hold your breath for 20 seconds and while you are counting, keep your hands on your hips with the thumbs pointing to the front and the little fingers to the back. Relax and exhale slowly. Repeat this exercise three times.

Abdominal Breathing


This exercise requires you to lie on your back. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Take a deep, slow breath and feel your stomach pulling. You want to see the hand on your abdomen rise higher than the one on your chest. Exhale through your mouth, then breathe in through your nose and hold your breath for seven seconds. Breathe out while counting to eight and squeeze your stomach muscles to make sure all the air is out. Repeat this exercise three times.

The Oriental Breath


The oriental breath involves taking three small breaths through your nose. However, do not exhale immediately. Take another breath while raising your arms in front of your body to shoulder level. For the next inhalation, open your arms wide, and on the last inhale, raise your arms overhead. When exhaling, circle your arms back to their original positions. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

Numbered Breathing


This exercise involves visualising numbers in your head while you breathe. To begin, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Let all the air from your lungs out. Inhale slowly again while picturing the number “1”. Exhale after holding your breath for two seconds. Again, inhale slowly as you picture the number “3” and exhale after holding your breath for three seconds. Repeat this process until you reach the number “8” and then do it over one more time.

Check out our other article which explains some tips to help you in your journey to better lung health.


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