May 18, 2024

A Complete Guide to Using a Respiratory Trainer for Better Breathing

What is a Respiratory Trainer?
A respiratory trainer, also known as a breathing exerciser, is a device used to help improve lung capacity and strengthen the muscles involved in breathing. Various types of respiratory trainers are available in the market that can be used for different respiratory conditions and breathing training goals.

Types of Respiratory Trainers
There are mainly three types of respiratory trainers based on their mode of operation:

Incentive Spirometers
An incentive spirometer is a hand-held device that encourages taking deep breaths. It has a mouthpiece attached to a tube and digital display. As you breathe in slowly and deeply through the mouthpiece, a piston or ball rises inside the chamber indicating your inspiratory volume in liters. Regular use of incentive spirometers helps expand your lung capacity.

Resistance Trainers
Resistance trainers, also known as flow meters, feature different resistance levels to make breathing more difficult. They come with mouthpieces attached to tubes of varying diameters and lengths. Breathing through these tubes exercices the muscles of breathing and improves your breath-holding ability over time with consistent use.

PEP Therapy Devices
Positive expiratory pressure (PEP) therapy devices are recommended for conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They contain one-way valves that create back pressure during slow exhalation to keep airways open longer. PEP therapy strengthens the exhalation muscles and loosens mucus in the lungs.

Benefits of Using a Respiratory Trainer
Regular respiratory training offers many health benefits. Here are some key advantages:

– Improved Lung Capacity: Deep breathing exercises using an incentive spirometer or resistance trainer can help increase your vital lung capacity over time.

– Stronger Diaphragm and Rib Cage Muscles: The major muscles involved in breathing like the diaphragm and intercostal muscles gain strength with resistive breathing exercises.

– Better Breath Control: You learn breath control techniques and can consciously inhale and exhale for longer durations which is useful during physical activity.

– Loosens Mucus: PEP therapy is effective for patients with excess mucus in clearing out the airways by oscillating the trapped mucus towards the mouth.

– Prevents Lung Infections: Deep breathing exercises prevent collapse or atelectasis of alveoli in the lungs and reduce risk of infections like pneumonia.

– Manages Breathing Disorders: Respiratory training provides symptomatic relief and aids management of asthma, COPD, and other conditions affecting the respiratory system.

How to Use a Respiratory Trainer Effectively
Here are some best practices to follow for getting the most benefits from using a respiratory trainer:

– Clean the device properly as per instructions before each use. This prevents spread of infections.

– Start with short 5-10 minute sessions and gradually increase duration based on your endurance. Take breaks as needed.

– Breathe through your mouth and not nose while using an incentive spirometer or resistance trainer for maximum function.

– Use the lowest resistance setting initially if using a variable resistance flow meter and progress to higher levels only after a few weeks.

– Exhale fully before taking the next deep breath while using an incentive spirometer to ensure full lung expansion.

– Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed and breathe from your diaphragm for best technique and effectiveness.

– Record your respiratory rates, maximum inspiratory volumes in a training diary to monitor improvements over 4-6 weeks of regular sessions.

– Consult your physician or respiratory therapist about the best device and protocol suited for your specific condition.

– Perform respiratory exercises at least twice daily for best results. Consistency is key for noticeable benefits.

Potential Side Effects and When to See a Doctor
In general, respiratory training is a safe practice when done under medical guidance. However, certain individuals may experience some side effects like:

– Breathlessness, dizziness or muscle fatigue initially due to exertion

– Clearing of throat or mild coughing due to loosening of mucus

– Rib cage or abdominal muscle soreness in initial weeks of training

Discontinue use and consult a doctor if you experience chest pain, excessive fatigue, wheezing or difficulty in breathing during or after respiratory exercises. Respiratory trainers are not suitable for those with severe breathing disorders or lung infections without medical approval. Seek medical advice if symptoms don’t improve after a couple of weeks of regular use. With care and precautions, respiratory training can greatly aid respiratory and overall health.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it