Last year we reviewed the PowerLung, an effective device that gives your lungs a workout and improves lung capacity, oxygen intake, shortness of breath, etc. We discussed how they work, benefits, and why PowerLung is superior to their competitors. We continue to receive questions from our customers about specific competing models, so here we are providing a more in-depth look at Powerlung vs. others on the market such as UltraBreathe, Expand-a-Lung, SportsBreather, PowerBreathe, etc.
PowerLung is completely different than the majority of these devices. The PowerLung works based on threshold resistance while most the competing units work based on restrictive resistance. The restrictive resistance models have shown to provide no benefit to the user, and can even cause negative effects. In addition, PowerLung works both your inhale and exhale muscles.
Breathing improvement devices such as SportsBreather (formerly “The Breather), UltraBreathe, and Expand-a-Lung use restrictive resistance.
We can keep this simple, because it really is: Imagine breathing through a straw, that’s all it is. These devices may look fancy because you can adjust the opening, but you could achieve the same effect by using different sized straws. In fact, the inventor of Expand-a-Lung said himself in Swimming Technique Magazine that “they take any pipe they can find, cap it, put a mouthpiece on it and put a pinhole through it… mine is no different…”.
In a study of COPD patients, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California found you may not get any benefit from these types of devices even if you increase the amount you use it and even it you decrease the size of the opening. This peer-reviewed study was conducted by Michael J. Belman, MD, and published in 1990.
So, for devices that use restrictive breathing, you can do it yourself free. it is called whistling. While you may be able to carry a nice tune, it will not improve your breathing function any more than these models will.
PowerLung uses threshold resistance, which is similar to lifting weights. The weight creates resistance, forcing your muscles to work in order to move them. The more you lift weights, the stronger your muscles become. This is virtually identical to what you are doing with PowerLung, your breathing power is forcing the movement of the mechanism of the device. Independent studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of threshold resistance in improving breathing.
With threshold resistance, you are moving something with your muscles, not just blowing air.
There are other units on the market that use threshold resistance, like the PowerBreathe. However, unlike the PowerLung, these devices only work your inhale muscles. You may breath in and out of them, but when exhaling, there is no resistance. PowerLung works both the inhale and exhale muscles of your lungs, and the resistance may be easily set differently for each.
Unlike others, PowerLung is made in the USA, comes with a DVD guide, and carrying case, and has toll free phone support. In addition, PowerLung is the only device on the market with independent testing that indicates a 25% increase in lung capacity and a 20% increase in respiratory power. Keep in mind that many other device manufacturers may site research studies, but in virtually all cases these studies were not independent and were performed by the manufacturer.
We highly recommend the PowerLung line of products, and hope that you contact us if you have any questions. Click here to see the Powerlung on Amazon!
Full Disclosure: We could be accused of being biased, as we sell the PowerLung line on through our ecommerce channels, but we have been approached by several of their competitors and declined carrying their models because they either don’t work at all or they don’t work as well.