Elbow Breathing for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Picture of a man doing elbow breathing for COPD

Before starting any exercise program, talk to your doctor. He or she may ask that you do specific exercises and will help you figure out not only how often and how long to do them but also your long-term exercise program goals.

Start an exercise slowly and gradually. Either keep track of how long you can do it or count the number of times you can do it before you are mildly out of breath. Then rest and move on to the next exercise. Each week, increase the time you spend doing each exercise or how many times you do each one.

Follow these steps to do the elbow breathing exercise:

  • Sit with your feet slightly apart.
  • Lift your elbows to shoulder level, and touch your fingertips in front of your chest.
  • Breathe in as you pull your elbows back so that your fingertips separate.
  • Breathe out as you return your elbows and fingertips to the original position.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine

Current as ofDecember 6, 2017

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
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