Military and emergency services personnel are often required to carry heavy equipment and supplies during training and operations, often leading to injuries and reduced physical performance. The back is the leading site of load carriage-related injuries. Respiratory muscle training has been shown to improve heavy load carriage performance, and spinal compression may be reduced by increased intra-abdominal pressure. Martial arts training includes advanced breath control techniques and has been associated with higher levels of isometric strength, activation of respiratory musculature and intra-abdominal pressure with respect to thoracic pressure. This project will investigate the effects of a training program designed to accelerate the learning of traditional martial arts-based breath control training on muscle strength, spinal compression and heavy load carriage performance.
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