How to Increase Lung Capacity


Authored by Victor Roffel in Exercise 
Published on 10-19-2009

Exceptional lung capacity is a must when attempting to be good at an activity that requires excellent endurance. The extra ‘pep’ will allow you to stay on higher levels of performance for longer periods of time.

Increasing lung capacity can either be tricky or ridiculously easy. Some methods may seem glaringly obvious while other methods may seem completely unfamiliar. Although it is impossible to manipulate lung size, it is possible to increase the air taken in and out with every breath. You can also increase the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles.

Breathing technique

Learning how to breathe correctly with proper technique will help you increase lung capacity. That’s right, most people are breathing wrongly. This is because your body adapts to the path of least resistance. In this case, your body breathes just enough to support the body’s function.

To start off, you should be breathing with your nose and not your mouth. There are many reasons why breathing with your nose is better than your mouth. For example, your body does not extract as much oxygen when breathing with your mouth as opposed to using your nose.

Take deep breaths and inhale into your stomach, not your chest. Hold the air inside for about a second and exhale slowly. This will help your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles. Keep in mind that this should be how you breathe when at rest and when doing low intensity cardiovascular exercise.

Practicing blowing into a balloon will also help in increasing lung capacity and teaching you how to breathe deeply.


Acclimatization is the adaption of the body to its environment. In this case, adaption to altitude. People who live on high altitudes will naturally have better lung capacity than those who live on low altitudes. This is because the air is thinner on high altitudes and the body adapts by increasing lung capacity.

The old belief is to live high and train low. This allows maximum cardiovascular benefits and will help in whatever activity that requires good lung capacity. Although many people have experienced good benefits, it is still not very popular with coaches around the world.

Cardiovascular exercise

Performing cardiovascular exercise several times a week will help tremendously. The adaption in the body through cardiovascular exercise is probably the best method to increase lung capacity. Start out slow with 2 sessions of cardiovascular exercise a week for 20 minutes per session and as your body adapts and gets stronger, increase the sessions to as much as 7 sessions a week for 45 minutes per session.

Some examples of cardiovascular exercise that are extremely effective are jogging, cycling and swimming. Make sure to get your doctor’s consultation if you have been inactive for a long period of time.

There are many other methods to increase lung capacity. The methods mentioned are merely some of the more popular and effective ones. If you would spend some time to try them out and research for more methods, increasing lung capacity is not hard at all.


  • Nose Breathing Has Many Benefits Over Mouth Respiration
  • Altitude Training

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