Alison McConnell is currently Professor of Applied Physiology at Brunel University, London. She graduated from the University of Birmingham with a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences (Physiology). Her transition into exercise physiology came after completing a M.Sc. in Human and Applied Physiology, and a Ph.D. at Kings College London, where her interest in the respiratory system was first kindled. Her principal area of research has been in ‘respiratory limitations to exercise’. In particular, she has pioneered research on the ergogenic influence of inspiratory muscle training (IMT). Alison is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and of the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences, as well as being accredited by BASES (Research).
Inspiratory muscle training: the state of the art and its application
Professor Alison McConnell
Unlike many exercise-training methods in sport and physical activity, inspiratory muscle training (IMT) is now supported by robust evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Furthermore, substantial advances have been made in understanding how IMT exerts its ergogenic effects. For many though, IMT remains “too good to be true”, after all, how can something so simple possibly improve performance in only 4 weeks, with just 5 minutes per day of training? This webinar describes the diverse roles of the respiratory musculature in sport, as well as the demands these muscles must meet. It also describes the evidence that IMT enhances performance in athletes, and explains the physiological mechanisms that underpin these changes. Finally, the webinar introduces the emerging concept of “functional” IMT.
At the end of the webinar, you should be able to: • Identify the respiratory and non-respiratory roles of the respiratory muscles • Recognise the situations under which the respiratory muscles are overloaded functionally • Describe the situations in which inspiratory muscle training enhances performance • Describe the mechanisms by which inspiratory muscle training does and does not enhance performance • Describe the rationale and implementation of functional training approaches in IMT