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Increasing breath capacity with external devices.



 
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:20 pm    Post subject: Increasing breath capacity with external devices. Reply with quote

I used to work on my breath support with the Claude Gordon/Arnold Jacobs thing of walking a few paces, holding a few paces, exhaling a few, etc. Now I'm in a wheelchair and can't continue with this.

Has anyone used one of the below (or other) devices and do they work? Or is this just snake oil?

Please don't give me detailed, involved exercises, I'm a simple-minded guy. My question is just about using external devices to enhance one's breath capacity.

Thanks.

https://www.wwbw.com/Breath-Builder-Isomeric-Exerciser-420386-420386000000000.wwbw?rNtt=develop%20breath&index=1

https://www.wwbw.com/Breath-Builder-Voldyne-Volumetric-Exerciser-472961-472961000000000.wwbw?rNtt=develop%20breath&index=2

https://www.wwbw.com/Breath-Builder-Breathing-Bag-472960-472960000000000.wwbw?rNtt=develop%20breath&index=3
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TrumpetMD
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used the middle device in medical situations. It looks like an incentive spirometer. This device will not increase lung capacity or improve aerobic conditioning. Most of us take breaths of varied sizes throughout the day. Some people are unable to do this, for example, after a rib fracture or surgery. This device helps to mitigate problems in people who are only taking shallow breaths, by helping them recruit more lung alveoli (air sacs), and helping to keep the lungs healthy.

The third device is a 4-liter air bag. I have no idea how this device will help you develop lung capacity or improve aerobic conditioning. It seems like deep breaths without using the device will accomplish the same goal. Also, the bag is 4 liters. The lung capacity of an average man is 6 liters, women are about 5 liters. I think you'll need a bigger bag.

The first device seems similar to the 4-liter bag, except that you can control the size of the opening by covering some of the holes while manipulating a ping-pong ball. I suppose with most of the holes closed, it's like breathing through a straw. Similar to the third device, it seems like deep breathing without the device might accomplish the same goal. It also seems like deep breathing with most of the holes closed might force you to increase tension while breathing (probably not a good thing).

Mike
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Last edited by TrumpetMD on Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:41 am; edited 2 times in total
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used the first two, but never the breathing bag.

Breath builder: I've only really used it to build awareness of the breath and work on turning the air around quickly. I'm not sure if it "builds" anything, but it's a good device for developing awareness of the breath. I like to imagine my breath is a violin bow and try different steady "bow speeds" while keeping the turnaround even.

Voldyne: Within about a week of using this I had increased my number by about a half of a liter. Most of this was probably improving my technique in using the device, but I think it definitely pushed my ability to take in more air. Or at least it made me aware of how much capacity I actually had. After that week, things seemed to ebb and flow based on the weather and my health, but it didn't noticeably improve, so it probably didn't build anything. Using it either made me feel energized or gave me a little headache. It's a good tool though. I guess you could just take really deep breaths and it would be the same, but the numbers provide a good stimulus to push yourself.

Honestly, some of the breathing gym exercises work just as well for me, or even just blowing on a pinwheel ($1).
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GeorgeB
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The second one is similar to the breath building unit my wife used to help get her back on her feet after major pancreatic cancer surgery. It was given to her by her surgeon and it really was a huge help to her.
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Jerry Freedman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a wonderful trumpet player with a paint peeling double C and a classical sound I would die for and this trumpet player has only one useable so how important is lung capacity and strength anyway?
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The devices 'help' by providing measurement and encouragement to better utilize the lung capacity that you already have. They can motivate you to 'activate' unused capacity, and perhaps aid in removing fluid.

If there is an 'external device' that allows you to adjust your upper body position for 'bigger breathing' that would help.

Jay
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JorgePD
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trumpeter Greg Spence is an advocate of using breathing devices like the ones you've listed and has information about their benefits, including a couple of videos, on his website MysterytoMastery.com. He also sells them, so his opinion may be a bit skewed. That said, I have taken a couple of his online courses and find him to be a genuine person.

Here's a link to his breathing products:

https://mysterytomastery.com/breathing-exercises-and-the-windproducts/
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spitvalve
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one of the breath-builders with the ping-pong ball in it sitting on my desk. Got it from my trumpet teacher at UNT nearly 30 years ago. I don't use it often, mainly because I'm lazy, but it really helps me get a relaxed air flow when I do. I should probably use it more often. I don't know if it actually increases lung capacity, but it stretches and strengthens the muscles that help with blowing.
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TrumpetMD wrote:
...The third device is a 4-liter air bag. I have no idea how this device will help you develop lung capacity or improve aerobic conditioning. It seems like deep breaths without using the device will accomplish the same goal. Also, the bag is 4 liters. The lung capacity of an average man is 6 liters, women are about 5 liters. I think you'll need a bigger bag...


I agree with Mike (TrumpetMD).

I think if you do the Claude Gordon Preliminary Breathing Exercises I sent you often every day, and be sure to take full, relaxed breaths every time when practicing, you'll do all you can and all you need to do to maintain or even slightly increase your capacity (barring a recovery from injury or illness, we can't really add all that much air capacity - but we can build good habits of taking full, relaxed breaths).

And though you are in that chair, you can still do the walking style breathing exercises - perhaps walking while doing them increases the health benefits of the exercise, but I don't think walking increases the breathing benefits of the exercises. Just go ahead and breathe in for a count of five, hold full for a count of five, blow out for a count of five and continue blowing softly though empty for a count of five, lather rinse, repeat for about 10 to 20 minutes. And heck, get outside and wheel yourself around the neighborhood while doing this and get some sun and fresh air.

Best wishes,

John
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!
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cbumcrot
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two bits: All of these devices are great and have their place. I'm not really sure if you can actually increase your vital capacity, but you can, however, increase your awareness of your air and your ability to move it in and out efficiently with these devices. I have lots of experience with the air bag, having studied extensively with Vince P. We used the air bag for flow awareness and to strengthen the ability to sing and "pre-hear" away from the horn. It can also be used (with Vince's "Heaving Exercises") to help the ability to inhale quickly and control the exhalation with strength and relaxation. My two bits.
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Denny Schreffler
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:14 am    Post subject: Re: Increasing breath capacity with external devices. Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:


Please don't give me detailed, involved exercises, I'm a simple-minded guy. My question is just about using external devices to enhance one's breath capacity.


I really like this → https://expand-a-lung.com/

Resistance (variable) on inspiration and expiration -- breathing resistance training

Claes E.G. Lundgren, M.D., PhD., professor of physiology and Biophysics in the State University of New York, UB School of Medicine. This research was supported by the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit.

In this pioneering work, subjects who followed breathing resistance training improved their snorkel surface swimming time by 33% and their underwater Scuba swimming time by 66%.
“The above data is in agreement with previous studies in cyclist, rowers, and runners. They suggest that athletes in most sports could improve their performance by undergoing respiratory muscle training. It is also clear that the greater the stress on the respiratory system, the larger the improvement in performance.”


-Denny
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Blackquill
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a question regarding breathing, and I don't really want to dedicate a topic to it, so I'll just make a post within this topic, as it is kind of related.

Is it normal that your torso doesn't expand as much while standing up as to opposed to sitting, when taking an inhale? I was worried about this for a while, until I tried using one of those breathing bags... and it turns out that my air capacity is almost exactly the same whether I sit down or stand up. That's normal, right?
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TrumpetMD
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackquill wrote:
... and it turns out that my air capacity is almost exactly the same whether I sit down or stand up. That's normal, right?

Hi Blackquill. There are 2 uses of the term "capacity". When talking about things like vital capacity, you're talking about the volume of your lungs. This doesn't change. So you're right. Whether you're siting or standing, the volume of your lungs remains the same.

FWIW, the other use of the term "capacity" has to do with the efficiency of using your lungs, and how well you can get oxygen to your muscles. For example, aerobic capacity, which can be improved. And as I said in my original reply, the 1st and 3rd devices are meant to help with aerobic capacity, although I think you can do this just as effectively without these devices.

The 2nd device is different. It is meant to mitigate problems in people who can only take shallow breaths, by helping them recruit more lung alveoli (air sacs), and helping to keep the lungs healthy.

Mike
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Bach Stradivarius 43* Trumpet (1974), Bach 6C Mouthpiece.
Olds L-12 Flugelhorn (1969), Bach 6CFL Mouthpiece.
Plus a few other Bach, Getzen, Olds, Carol, HN White, and Besson horns.
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