As athletes continue to advance their sport and nutrition goals, one thing becomes blatantly clear. Many of us take for granted some of the most important organs such as the lungs and the brain.
Just like the rest of our muscles in our body, these vital organs need to be exercised in order to perform at an optimum level.
In this article, we go through some of the best lung exercisers on the market and compare some of the pros and cons of each.
Lung exercisers have traditionally been used for medical-related lung disorders, and for those in need of lung rehabilitation.
In recent sports medicine, there has been a growing interest by elite athletes in order to maximize their individual performances.
If done safely, these amazing products can be used recreationally to benefit an individual’s lung capacity, practice stress management, and build stamina.
In this article, we’ll dive into the science behind these devices as well as our favorite products. You can find our top 3 below:
- Improves performance of Inspiratory Muscles
- Strengthens Breathing Muscles
- Reduces breathlessness and improves breathing during exercise
- Adjustable tension range resistance
What is a Lung Exerciser?
Never heard or a lung exerciser? Not to worry, you’re not alone.
Even though lung exercisers have been around for quite some time, their use has been limited to those with lung disorders or those who are in need of specific lung recovery.
As the interest has grown to incorporate these products into a recreational routine, the technology has become more affordable and the design more advanced.
A lung exerciser also referred to as a breath exerciser, is a device used by patients to improve their lung function through practice.
Through various types of exercises, people who are using these products can improve their airway efficiency, strengthen the muscles used to expel (cough) out foreign particulates, or optimize lung capacity.
Designs of these products range from bulkier models used in hospitals and clinics for patients in need of more serious treatment, to pocket-size devices that can be incorporated into a daily routine at home. Design preference comes down to individual goals when using the products.
How Do You Use a Lung Exerciser?
Like many exercise devices, each model has slightly different variations which we will cover later in this article.
Most lung exercisers recommend users to start with minimal resistance and breathe from the device anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes at a time.
As the lungs get stronger, resistance can be increased.
Like any other set of muscles, it is necessary to start slow and build up a foundational strength before moving onto more intense exercises. Once the lungs are used to the device and progress can be seen, users can start to do more creative exercises that involve repetitive hard exhalations.
While each model differs in design, the concept is the same. Each lung exercise provides varying degrees of resistance in airflow, and the user can adjust these based on their abilities.
Some require inhales and exhales, others one or the other. Some have pistons that provide a visual reference for resistance, and other smaller models rely on dials to increase or decrease airflow strength.
Here is our list of some of the best lung exercisers on the market, and why each might be better suited for you.
Best Lung Exercisers
Important Takeaways: Editor Pick- affordable, easy-to-use, and effective
For its price point, technology, and ease of use, the Airphysio breather takes the number 1 spot in our best lung exerciser list.
The Airphysio is an OPEP (oscillating positive expiratory pressure) device, which means it uses a pressure system, simillar to a ballon to enact some pressure into your lungs, allowing you to train your breathing and clearing the mucus.
It works well for both smokers who are trying to improve lung capacity and athletes looking to increase their breath hold.
All in all, given its price point and technology, we consider this to be a very safe way to dip your toes in the world of lung exercises.
Important Takeaways: High End, Cutting Edge Technology, Niche Design
We change gears a bit with the Airofit Breathing Trainer, a Danish-designed device that takes lung exercising to an entirely new level.
Complete with a Bluetooth censored mouthpiece that connects directly to a smart device, cutting edge technology allows you to view your breathing rates through a custom app that provides you with coaching and daily routines.
For those who are looking for a professional product that combines fitness, accountability, and technology, the Airofit Breathing Trainer is a formidable choice. The price tag may be higher than other products on this list, but it stands in its own category.
You can read our full review of the airofit range of products here.
Important Takeaways: Affordable, Adaptable, and Great for Children
This well marketed and well-designed product is affordable and incredibly easy to use.
It features 5 expiratory and 6 inspiratory adjustable pressure settings to be used by people of varying goals, from athletes to COPD patients.
Due to its affordable pricing, money-back guarantee, and desirable customer support, the Breather is a popular lung exerciser to start out with.
For Drug-Free Respiratory Therapy
- Your new Breather device with 6 inspiratory and 5 expiratory settings.
- Including an original comfort mouthpiece and a 15mm to 22mm adapter.
- The Breather uses the power of your breath.
Important Takeaways: Mid-Range, Strengthen Breathing Muscle & Expand Lung Capacity
This mid-range product is universal for most users looking to fine-tune their breathing practices, increase their CO2 tolerance, and play around with their O2 consumption rates.
While it focuses on benefits for elite athletes and top performers, it provides a well-built product for many uses.
The PHCVS Lung Expansion & Mucus Clearance Device can help you to strengthen your lungs and quality of your breathing.
For those who are impressed with the quality of the product but want a more holistic approach to lung exercising, it’s worth checking out the PHCVS | Lung Expansion & Mucus Clearance Device.
Natural Breathing Device to Expand Lung Capacity & Remove Mucus & Unblock Airway.
- With OPEP Therapy, our breathing device helps get relief from mucus in your throat and chest naturally.
- It comes with two different-sized stainless steel balls.
- It not only helps clear the airways of mucus secretions and pollutants but also expands and enhances lung function.
Important Takeaways: Mid-Range, Versatility, Simplicity
There is always power in simplicity. Power Breathe has put out multiple products over the years and has learned from each.
Reading through customer reviews, they found a perfect balance of durability and function with the Fitness Plus.
Similar to the Breather listed earlier, the Fitness Plus is an accessible lung exerciser aimed at mainstream users with varied goals.
It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to repair.
Simple, Safe, & Drug-Free Solution - This POWERbreathe breathing trainer is used worldwide for improving breathing muscle strength, stamina, and reducing breathlessness.
- Inspiratory Muscle Training for health and fitness
- Improves your exercise performance and fitness levels
Important Takeaways: Affordable, Medically Engineered, Visual Reference
The Hudson RCI Voldyne 5000 has traditionally been used for patients who are recovering from lung-related injuries and need a series of goals to ensure positive recovery.
What makes it unique is its visual reference design that focuses on goal levels and deep breathing. The deeper the breath, the further the user pushed the piston.
For those who want a tried and tested method of increasing lung capacity with no fancy dials, this model will do the job.
Important Takeaways: Affordable, Compact, User Friendly
Our last product on the list is the simply designed Ultrabreathe Martial Arts Lung Exerciser.
Similar to the Power Breath Fitness Plus, the simplicity in design carries a heavy advantage.
Even more compact than its competitors, the Martial Arts Lung Exerciser can be carried in a pocket, purse, or bag and used throughout the day.
The simple dial design also makes for less moving parts and less cause for repair.
Ultrabreathe works on the principle of resistance. As you inhale, the resistance created makes your respiratory muscles work harder, and the harder they work the stronger and more durable they become. As your breathing power improves, Ultrabreathe can be gradually adjusted to provide more resistance with just the twist of a knob
- Breathing exerciser boosts respiratory performance
- Great for athletes and those who suffer from shortness of breath
- Resistance easily adjusts for varying lung fitness levels
Finding the right lung exerciser comes down to individual preference and particular fitness goals.
Whether you are a professional athlete looking for a competitive advantage or a recovering lung surgery patient, there are products on this list that are perfect for your needs.
Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Alexandria university and is a practicing plastic surgeon. He’s our expert on all things nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, and flexibility. Dr.Ahmed has been a medical content writer for more than 11 years and his work reached top publications such as the HuffingtonPost