Chest expander exercises increase lung capacity.
A combination of deep breathing and chest expander exercises can improve your overall respiratory function -- which has many associated benefits. The benefits won't happen overnight, but you'll start to see them over time with a continued effort to do these types of exercises on a regular basis. Exercises that expand your chest can be done with exercise props such as resistance tubes or through yoga poses such as Standing Chest Expansion, Camel, and Bow.
Chest Wall Muscle Strength
Exercises like yoga that focus on chest expansion allow your chest wall to increase its ability to expand over time. Your rib cage protects your lungs and is interlaced with muscle. Every time you breathe, your rib cage muscles expand and contract to accommodate change in the volume of your lungs. Practicing yoga poses or doing exercises that stretch and strengthen those muscles allows your chest wall to expand and contract more deeply when you breathe.
Increased Lung Capacity
According to a study published in the Thai Journal of Physiological Sciences, yoga that includes chest expander poses improves respiratory breathing and lung capacity. As your chest wall becomes capable of expanding more with each breath, the volume of air taken in increases. Your lungs are responsible for gas exchange with the environment -- bringing in oxygen through inhalation and exchanging it for carbon dioxide that is expelled during exhalation. The more air that you take in, the more oxygen available to circulate throughout your body.
An increase in lung capacity has a positive effect on circulation and blood pressure. As your breathing becomes deeper, your blood pressure will lower as more oxygen circulates throughout your body. Other health benefits subsequently follow over time, including a slower resting heart rate, an increase in energy, a decrease in stress and improved sleep.
When working on chest expansion through yoga poses, or by doing exercises with a resistance tube, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Make sure you have good posture and correct body alignment. Take a class or work with a personal trainer to make sure you are doing chest expansion exercises or yoga poses correctly. Focus on even breathing -- through the nose -- while doing a chest expansion exercise or yoga pose. Start out with easy exercises or yoga poses and progress to more challenging ones over time.