Q: Matt, what is your opinion of only inhaling through your nose when doing the Hindu pushups and Hindu squats you teach in Combat Conditioning? Is it a good idea?
A: Mike, this is an important question and I’m glad you asked. I am not in favor of nose-only breathing for either exercise. Inhale through your nostrils and direct your focus inward to your body’s center, then let the gas out of the tank by exhaling with an open mouth. When you inhale and exhale only through your nose, it can and does lead to inordinate amounts of internal tension in the body. You want your body to be strong, flexible and loose. Nasal breathing on both the inhale and exhale is a bad idea.
I used to practice nasal breathing only when engaged in various martial arts practices as I was told that it creates a quiescent state of mind. Well, it may do that, to a certain degree, but it simultaneously creates internal tension that is undesirable.
There is a reason that boxers exhale through their mouths when throwing as well as taking a punch. With a mouth exhale you allow more force to move through your body when you strike. When being hit, an exhale through the mouth allows your body to brush off the pain associated with the blow.
Make sure you apply the “inhale through the nose and exhale out the mouth” method when you do the exercises in Combat Conditioning as well as the Farmer Burns Course. It’ll make a huge difference. You’ll get stronger and looser instead of stronger and tighter.
Here endeth the lesson.