Provider: ACE - American Council On Exercise
Type: Online Course
Live Video
Online Content
Online Quiz
Recorded Video
CEC Credits: ACE 0.2 CECs

Harnessing the Power of Breath to Boost Performance and Reduce Stress

Much like squats, lunges, and bicep curls, the act of breathing is a movement. But because we all breathe automatically, we often fail to recognize that we can train our breathing to achieve specific outcomes, such as stimulating the sympathetic nervous system to accomplish a challenging task, or using slow, diaphragmatic breathing to promote recovery by upregulating the parasympathetic nervous system. Moreover, the mechanisms of breathing have a great number of peripheral effects as well, both for health and performance (such as core/organ/heart stability, regulation of inflammation, regulation/delivery of oxygen, and elimination of metabolic waste).

In this two-hour video training, you will learn the science and applications of breathwork, looking closely at the physiology of respiration, and then diving into the mechanics which are responsible for inspiration, expiration, gas exchange and physiological regulation. As you gain a greater understanding of how these mechanics organize themselves, you will be better equipped to orchestrate breath, and breath training, to stimulate specific muscles and mechanics for various tasks. For example, applying the mechanics of breathwork to foster greater core stability during specific exercises in order to support the spine.

This course dives deep into breathwork as an exercise technique that you can add to your arsenal of programming for health and human performance. In addition to understanding the many benefits of breathwork, you’ll explore specific exercise techniques, with an emphasis on forced breathing, which activates the intrinsic core musculature through the combination of breath and posture. Lastly, you’ll review programming strategies that integrate breathwork for a variety of different clients.

Led by Michol Dalcourt, the Founder and CEO of the Institute of Motion, an applied health and human performance company, this course gives you the tools you need to deliver an exceptional training experience for every client. By learning and applying the simple breathwork techniques in this video training, you’ll be well-equipped to empower your clients to discover a deep focus and stability no matter what challenges they face.

Upon completion, you will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of breathwork exercise to your clients and effectively coach them through their training
  • Understand various techniques, such as forced breathing exercises, designed to upregulate the intrinsic core musculature to better stabilize the spine
  • Explore programming strategies to integrate breathwork for a variety of different types of clients


Part one was way over my head. Part two was ok. Would have like more examples and videos of specific breathing techniques that would maximize a persons workout. Rather than just "breathing out" on contraction. etc.

Michol is a fantastic instructor -- engaging as well as knowledgable. This was an excellent introduction to using breathwork for me and makes me very interested in going deeper.

The course was extremely detailed. It really covers the respiratory muscles very thoroughly. The examples in Video 2 were equally well detailed. It is definitely an important class. I would recommend it for everyone. It is a technique that you do have to practice, you can't just do a random exercise and be done. You have to really practice these techniques before you can include them in your training regimen with clients.