Top Exercises to Help Increase Overall Lung Capacity

lung capacity

The lungs play an integral role in keeping the body functioning properly. Along with this, your lung function can play an important role in determining how healthy you are. As a result, anything you can do to improve lung function can have a direct and positive impact on your overall health. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to improve overall lung function and capacity through breathing exercises and general exercise.

Highlighted below are some of the top exercises to increase lung capacity.

Top Exercises to Increase Lung Capacity

Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises

This is one of the best exercises that you can incorporate in your routine to increase lung capacity. The reason why abdominal breathing exercises are so effective is largely due to the ability to stretch out the lungs using this approach.

In fact, the Lung Institute recommends that you incorporate this type of exercise into your routine to help boost your lung capacity.1 The diaphragm is actually one of the most efficient muscles of breathing.2 As a result, you will be able to properly empty your lungs using this type of breathing technique. By implementing this exercise, you will be able to strengthen your diaphragm for better function, decrease the amount of work that it takes to breathe, decrease oxygen demand, and minimize the total effort it takes to breathe.

In order to complete these exercises, lay down in a comfortable position on your back. Then, rest a hand on your abdominal section and your other hand directly on your chest. Begin to breathe in. During this process, ensure that your abdomen is rising higher than your chest. This will help visualize whether or not you are performing the exercise correctly.

Then, simply exhale directly through your mouth. While breathing in through your nose, hold to a count of seven, and when exhaling, do so for eight seconds. Upon exhaling, squeeze your abdominal muscles in order to ensure that you are exhaling everything. You will then repeat the same process for an additional four cycles for a total of five cycles. You can do this anywhere from three to four different times throughout the day for five to 10 minutes each time.

Pursed-Lip Breathing

This particular exercise is particularly effective for those that suffer from various kinds of respiratory problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This exercise is helpful for those that suffer from COPD because it can help strengthen your breathing muscles and allow you to take in more oxygen each time.

It has been shown that pursed-lip breathing can effectively improve exercise tolerance in those who suffer from COPD primarily because it can reduce dynamic hyperinflation.3 Pursed-lip breathing can be easily incorporated into your daily routine, allowing for improved lung function and capacity.

In order to complete pursed lip breathing exercises, find a comfortable position. Then, breathe directly through your nose while keeping your mouth closed. Once you complete that, breathe out for through your pursed lips. Ideally, you want to breathe in through your nose for around two seconds and breathe out through your pursed lips for around four seconds.

If you cannot achieve these times, you could always adjust according to what feels comfortable for you. You want to stick to breathing out for twice as long as you are breathing in, however. As long as you stick to that ratio, you should be able to implement the exercise effectively.

lung capacityWhy Exercise Is Important for Lung Function

In addition to practicing breathing exercises, it is also important to incorporate physical exercise into your daily routine if you’re looking to increase your overall lung capacity. Research shows that exercise is the single most important factor that can improve lung capacity and efficiency.

The better your cardiac fitness, the easier it is going to be to supply your organs and muscles with the proper amount of oxygen.4,5 This is especially important if you suffer from respiratory conditions or diseases. Working out or doing cardio is not going to make your lungs any stronger. Instead, it is going to allow them to boost capacity and efficiency. This alone is going to improve overall lung function because your lungs will have to work less to properly supply your organs and muscles with the necessary oxygen.


Overall, there are a lot of different exercises that you can incorporate into your daily life if you are looking to improve your breathing and overall lung capacity. You want to continue to work your lungs to improve their efficiency and capacity.

If you suffer from specific respiratory conditions or diseases, it’s important that you exercise caution when it comes to implementing specific breathing exercises and/or general exercise into your daily life. Discuss these lifestyle changes with your doctor prior to implementing them.

While you might not think of your lungs as muscles that need to be worked to sustain optimal performance, you do need to implement breathing exercises and other kinds of exercises to keep them performing optimally.

PhotoCredits: VadimZakharishchev/, pikselstock/, BenSchohewille/

Taylor James

By Taylor James

Taylor is an aromatherapy enthusiast who’s favorite use of essential oils is through a portable diffuser created by MONQ. In her spare time, you can find her enjoying nature whether it be on a lake or in a forest.

Favorite MONQ blend: Forest

Show Comments Hide Comments

The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers. MONQ blends should not be inhaled into the lungs.

Jun 26, 2020CBD

Sleepy+: Feel Better Rested

MONQ knows that you want to live your best life, and that requires a good night’s sleep. That’s why we’ve created a Sleepy blend family offering a variety of experiences, including Sleepy+, now available as an Original diffuser—a portable and disposable device filled with 200+ breaths of a CBD-infused essential oil blend. Sleepy+ Primary Ingredients […]

Read More

May 30, 2020Reviews

Customers Enjoy the Hint of Tangerine in Ocean MONQ

“Amazing” “I love this product, the smell is not too harsh and not too strong and the lime/tangerine is really invigorating! Its perfect after a long stressful day or just while you’re chilling at home”—Surbhi P. Ocean “Amazing” “Ocean is by far my favourite Monq. The lime and tangerine combination is refreshing and zesty, and […]

Read More

Sign Up and Breathe Better!

MONQ helps you choose the way you feel – and Feel the Way you want!


Thanks to your MONQ Ambassador,
you now have a 10% discount automatically added to your cart 🎉.

Auto-Ship is convenient and fast.