Yoga Breathing Techniques Have No Impact on Isokinetic and Isoinertial Power

Savannah V. Wooten, Nicholas Cherup, Nicolle Mazzei, Shareen Patel, Kiersten Mooney, Ali Rafiq, Joseph F. Signorile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Wooten, SV, Cherup, N, Mazzei, N, Patel, S, Mooney, K, Rafiq, A, and Signorile, JF. Yoga breathing techniques have no impact on isokinetic and isoinertial power. J Strength Cond Res 34(2): 430-439, 2020-As an exercise discipline, yoga incorporates breathing (pranayama) and posture (asana) techniques to facilitate improvements in flexibility, strength, and meditation. Both techniques have been used to enhance muscular strength and power output. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of various yoga breathing techniques on lower-limb power output. Thirty-two individuals (15 men and 17 women) participated in the study. All subjects performed a baseline 1 repetition maximum (1RM) on a pneumatic leg press machine and isokinetic testing on a Biodex 4 dynamometer. Participants then performed 3RM power tests at 50% of 1RM on the pneumatic leg press machine using 3 different yoga breathing techniques (Ujjayi, Bhastrika, and Kapalabhati) and normal breathing (control) across all repetitions. After power testing, participants completed an isokinetic test on the Biodex 4 dynamometer using their dominant leg. Subjects had their knee placed at a predetermined starting position (90°) and executed knee extension at 3 randomized testing speeds (60, 180, and 300°·s). The implementation of specific breathing protocols before and during the leg press produced no significant differences in power output. For isokinetic power measured at 60, 180, and 300°·s, there was a significant difference among testing speeds (η = 0.639; p < 0.0001) and a significant sex × speed interaction (η = 0.064; p < 0.0001), where men consistently demonstrated greater isoinertial power, isokinetic power, isokinetic torque, and isokinetic work than women. No other significant differences or interactions were detected. The differences between our study and others, which have concluded that adopting specific breathing techniques can enhance core stability and force production during lifting, may be attributable to the acute nature of the design, the novice participants who had insufficient time to practice the breathing techniques or testing protocols, and the use of tests that isolated specific muscle groups. Nonetheless, the current findings do not support the use of yoga breathing techniques as a method to enhance power output, whether used before or during power performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-439
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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