Opening a nostril?

According to my very basic research on breathing, many people, at any given moment, have one nostril more or less closed. Which one it is changes under various circumstances.

I think oftentimes when I ride, this is the case for me. If I plug my opened nostril, it is very difficult to breathe.

Anyone have similar observations of their own breathing? Any quick fixes to open up both nostrils fully for the duration of a workout?



I can’t breathe through my nose even during reasonably easy efforts. It makes me panicky that I can’t get enough air and then up goes my heart rate! I just breathe in and out through my mouth but do “belly” breather though.


Ha! Maybe Chris Froome was on to something… we all made fun of it! Well, that and all the staring at his stem…


From a medical/scientific perspective:

The team speak to cardiopulmonary physiotherapist Samantha Holtzhausen about the role of effective breathing in life and exercise. Holtzhausen explains why good breathing can aid performance, reduce illness and even make you happier, and then gives some practical advice on how to improve your breathing.


That is one of my all-time favourite posts from the before times. Just when you think it’s over, there’s another one. Freakin’ brilliant!


I was pretty much breathing only through one nostril after doing an otb faceplant on my mtb last summer and breaking the cartilage in my nose. A septoplasty fixed that and I’m breather better through both than before the crash. There might be slight left/right differences but nothing major. With any fundamental need like eating, drinking, breathing, there are plenty of studies, theories, and information created and manipulated by marketers trying to capitalize on them. Be skeptical.


There was a device called the turbinator thatvwas eupposed to block.the muscles that closed off one nostril. One problem was found almost immediately. Your body purges any yuck accumulated when the nostril is open after it closes.

I’ve seen an ENT doctor on an unrelated medical issue and he informed me I have a deviated septum in one nostril. Not a huge deal but it might be worth checking into.

1 Like