Simple Exercises to Improve Lung Capacity

Holding Your BreathCredit:

For whatever reason you may need to increase your lung capacity, such as swimming, singing, instrument playing, sports or just fun, if you do these exercises daily, you'll be well on your way to holding your breath longer. 

Note: Doing these exercises at a higher altitude will speed up the process, this is due to the less concentrated oxygen as you get higher. Your body will adjust to this concentration of oxygen and intake more air to make up for it.

First Exercise - Breathing

Simply breathing deeply for several minutes each day will significantly increase your lung capacity.

  • Three or four times a day, for approximately two minutes each time,practice breathing deeply.
  • To do this, you must inhale as much air as you can (make sure you open your mouth very wide to allow maximum airflow), hold it for several seconds and then exhale until there is no air left in your lungs.
  • If you allow your chest and diaphragm to expand by relaxing you abdominal muscles, you will be able to inhale much more air into your lungs.

Second Exercise - Blowing Balloons

Blowing balloons will increase both the strength and size of your lung sacs. 

  • Inhale as much as you can to fill your lungs to capacity, this will get them used to holding as much air as their capable and they will slowly stretch to allow for more.
  • Blow slowly into the balloon, as the balloon gets larger it will become increasingly difficult to keep going. This will increase the strength of your lungs.

Third Exercise - Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular training will increase the level of oxygen your body needs to operate and therefore find ways to use air more efficiently. Good exercises for this kind of goal include:

  1. Swimming (see below)
  2. Running
  3. Sports - such as soccer or rugby
  4. Cycling
  5. Many others

Fourth Exercise - SwimmingHolding Your Breath SwimCredit:

Whilst swimming, extra pressure is put on your diaphragm, decreasing the amount of air your body is able to intake. This will increase the efficiency of your respiratory system in and out of the water. 

Several exercises can be done whilst in the water, not just swimming, some of these include:

  • Weight training: make you sure you increase the weight due to buoyancy factors
  • Water aerobics: easy, low-stress activity
  • Breathing underwater: using a snorkel or other tube whilst underwater will increase the pressure on your lungs; the deeper you go the higher the pressure.


As you can see it is very simple to increase the length of time you can hold you breath as well as your lung strength. Most of these activities can be either performed while watching T.V. or in the car, while the others can be simply built into most exercise routines.