High altitude training is a technique that is utilized by many professional athletes. Training in a high altitude environment is similar to training with weights strapped to your body. The lower oxygen content of the air puts additional strain on the muscles that pump blood and oxygen through your system, improving development of those muscles and your cardiovascular system overall.
The main difficulty of high altitude training is that high altitude locations are few and far between, requiring considerable expense and travel time. The Training Mask is designed to simulate high altitude locations without having to physically travel to those far flung locations. This saves time and money for the hardcore athlete. But saving time and money isn't the biggest advantage of using a Training Mask. The biggest advantage of using the Training Mask is that it strengthens your thoracic diaphragm.
Importance of the Thoracic Diaphragm
This oft forgotten muscle is one of the most important muscles in terms of athletic performance. Extending across the bottom of your rib cage, this muscle separates your heart and lungs from your abdomen. It is fully responsible for controlling breathing in newborns, in part because it is the most efficient muscle in the body for breathing. Top class athletes understand this fact and try to strengthen their thoracic diaphragm in order to more fully control their breathing.
The reason it is necessary to strengthen this muscle is because it is a muscle that can easily weaken, allowing secondary muscles to take over its primary duty. In fact, most adults do not use their thoracic diaphragm to its full potential due to weakening of the muscle that arises from sedentary lifestyles. Instead they primarily rely on secondary muscles to control breathing, which in turn causes inefficient oxygenation of the blood.
For any type of athlete, especially runners or trail walkers, inefficient oxygenation of the blood from a weak thoracic diaphragm makes fatigue hit faster and harder. Additionally, the thoracic diaphragm also assists with balance and stability, nearly equally critical for most athletes. In short, this muscle has so much impact on an athlete that there is almost no muscle or system that is more critical to strengthen.
Benefits of the Training Mask
This is where the Training Mask comes in. Clinical studies prove that the Training Mask, when used properly during training and exercise, directly helps strengthen the thoracic diaphragm better than normal altitude training without use of this device. The Training Mask limits your oxygen intake through resistance valves on the mask. When you breathe against that resistance, you are forced to take deeper, more powerful breaths. These more powerful breaths more fully utilize your thoracic diaphragm, re-training your body to use it as the primary muscle for breathing. As your lungs and thoracic diaphragm grow stronger, so does your pulmonary system, increasing the efficiency that it can move blood through your body.
This is the point that the Training Mask truly proves itself as a superior device for strengthening the thoracic diaphragm. By adjusting the valves on the front of the Training Mask, you can increase the effective altitude of the device, from anywhere between 3,000 and 18,000 feet. Just as a weight lifter uses increasingly higher weights to continue to strengthen muscles, you can use increasingly higher breathing resistance to strengthen your thoracic diaphragm. The benefit of a strong thoracic diaphragm will be improved endurance, stability, and balance for all of your athletic endeavors.
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