Respiratory Muscle Training

Theory and Practice


  • Alison McConnell, PhD, FACSM, FBASES, Professor of Applied Physiology, Centre for Sports Medicine & Human Performance, Brunel University, UK.

Respiratory Muscle Training: theory and practice is the world’s first book to provide an "everything-you-need-to-know" guide to respiratory muscle training (RMT). Authored by an internationally-acclaimed expert, it is an evidence-based resource, built upon current scientific knowledge, as well as experience at the cutting-edge of respiratory training in a wide range of settings. The aim of the book is to give readers: 1) an introduction to respiratory physiology and exercise physiology, as well as training theory; 2) an understanding of how disease affects the respiratory muscles and the mechanics of breathing; 3) an insight into the disease-specific, evidence-based benefits of RMT; 4) advice on the application of RMT as a standalone treatment, and as part of a rehabilitation programme; and finally, 5) guidance on the application of functional training techniques to RMT.

The book is divided into two parts - theory and practice. Part I provides readers with access to the theoretical building blocks that support practice. It explores the evidence base for RMT as well as the different methods of training respiratory muscles and their respective efficacy. Part II guides the reader through the practical implementation of the most widely validated form of RMT, namely inspiratory muscle resistance training. Finally, over 150 "Functional" RMT exercises are described, which incorporate a stability and/or postural challenge - and address specific movements that provoke dyspnoea.

Respiratory Muscle Training: theory and practice is supported by a dedicated website (, which provides access to the latest information on RMT, as well as video clips of all exercises described in the book. Purchasers will also receive a three-month free trial of the Physiotec software platform (via, which allows clinicians to create bespoke training programmes (including video clips) that can be printed or emailed to patients.

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Physiotherapists, primary and secondary care physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists


Book information

  • Published: May 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-7020-5020-6

Table of Contents





Part I: Theoretical basis of respiratory muscle training

Introduction to Part I

1. Anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system

2. Exercise physiology and training principles

3. The respiratory muscles

4. Functional benefits of respiratory muscle training (RMT)

Part II: Practical application of respiratory muscle training

Introduction to Part II

5. Methods of respiratory muscle training (RMT)

6. Implementing respiratory muscle training (RMT)

7. Functional training of the respiratory muscles