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Short & Long Range Shooting Breathing Techniques; Inhale or Exhale when Firing a Gun & More

As people strive to make accurate shots on a consistent basis, many will practice techniques, basic fundamentals, and implement drills on their routine shooting range excursions. When it comes to shooting, many are guilty of holding their breath or breathing inefficiently. Where it may seem trivial, breathing is a calculated and rehearsed technique that many serious competitive shooters attest to. Today, we at Shooting Range Industries would like to break down proper breathing that will only enhance your overall shooting skills.

How to Breathe when Shooting a Pistol, Rifle or Shotgun

Naturally, we breathe to be comfortable taking shallow breaths in and out in constant succession. When you do things more strenuous, such as lifting heavy weights, running, or cycling, our breathing changes. But when breathing naturally, the cycle includes balanced rhythm and a relatively shallow sequence with a small pause. When it comes to firing a gun, the natural respiratory pause, as it is referred by shooting coaches, is the optimal moment for trigger break. This is the moment between exhaling and inhaling. Experts say that in this state, the body is the most stable and calm. Though the window is narrow, the windowed opportunity varies widely depending on a lot of factors. Taking the time to dry fire while being more observant of your natural breathing can help you better pinpoint this moment. During the natural resting point prior to inhalation where we are using the oxygen we have retained is when you take aim and fire.

Inhale or Exhale Before Shooting?

There are a few unmistakable symptomatic results that get in the way of a steady hold when the body needs more oxygen, which in simple terms is shaking. Visual acuity decreases, and with the pressure of hitting the target, anxiety increases, and all of these factors diminishes the overall process. Taking in too much oxygen and holding it creates tension in the body. As with trying to not breathe back in, trying to keep that breath held has as bad an effect on stability. Changing the posture, the body position, and gun position along with it, occurs with filling the lungs, emptying the lungs. It’s simple to see the effect on the vertical location of the sight while shooting with a rifle in the prone position. Keep breathing when firing shots in succession, just make sure the shots align with the natural pause. In rapid fire, it is possible to fire quite a few well-directed rounds off of one breathing pause. You can experiment with taking very shallow breaths in and out during the duration of the string.

Breathing & Shooting Fundamentals

Below are a few breathing exercises to apply to your shooting regimen.
1) Clear your thoughts, take a few deep breaths to relax, and focus on the aiming fundamentals. Inhale pause your breathing once the lung is full of oxygen and take the shot.
2) Relax with a few breaths, clear your mind, focus on your aim and fully exhale. Pause the breathing cycle when your lungs are empty of most oxygen, and then fire.
3) Free your mind, relax with a few breaths, focus on your aim and exhale about 50% and pause your breathing when your lungs are about half full of oxygen and then take your shot.
4) Breathe normally, do not pause or hold your breath at all and shoot while breathing.

Custom Modular Shooting Ranges for Practice & Training

Shooting Range Industries designs and builds custom portable shooting ranges where you can safely and conveniently practice your breathing exercises when live firing your guns. Call us to learn more today!