Respiratory Muscle Training by Alison McConnell

Not just for Respiratory Physiotherapists…this is a practical guide to training all aspects of respiratory muscles, and comes with access to some very handy online extras…

As the evidence base grows, the popularity of respiratory muscle training (RMT) is increasing. It is in this context that this book provides some much-needed guidance to help healthcare professionals increase their understanding and skills in this exciting area.

Respiratory muscles contribute to postural control, balance and core stabilisation – but traditionally these roles have been neglected in respiratory health and rehabilitation. The book highlights that the role of these muscles extends far beyond that of driving the respiratory pump. You can read about the content included direct from the Publisher here.

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What it does

Part 1 gives a great background on the principles behind RMT for both novices and those familiar with RMT alike. Part 2 gives practical implementation and functional training exercises. Importantly, this book provides the rationale and specific application of RMT for a wide variety of disciplines – covering areas of sports & exercise, neurology & neuromuscular disorders, ageing, obesity and long-term conditions, as well as respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

The book is clear, with well structured sections, and its two-part format make it easy to use either as a ‘read-all’ comprehensive guide, or with the opportunity to dip in as needed. The explanatory pictorial guides to training protocols include progression from easy to difficult, giving full training options that can be adopted to different patient needs. As would be expected, the book is well referenced throughout.

There is also has a useful accompanying website (, which has additional resources on respiratory muscle training, and a sample of video clips of the exercises described in the book. For access to the full library of exercises, each book purchase comes with a free 3-month trial to Physiotec ( This is a real bonus, as the Physiotec access comes not only with video clips of all the exercises but also photos, line drawings and written instructions, with the facility to build your own bespoke patient training programmes (and not just for the respiratory exercises either – the full library of physiotherapy exercises are included in the trial).

What it doesn’t do

If you are looking for a flashy, glossy, coffee-table read then this book isn’t for you. Although the content is comprehensive and clear, the small text and lack of colour images could perhaps put some readers off; it is a shame that a more accessible style hasn’t been embraced.

It’s also bit of a shame that all the video clips aren’t available directly through the free Physiobreathe website, and instead require subscription to Physiotec after the 3-month trial. Once you have access (a few details need to be provided), the Physiotec website isn’t particularly intuitive to navigate – however, a free training session is offered with all subscriptions, and this is recommended to help get the most out of the free trial.


Sold as ‘the world’s first book to provide an “everything-you-need-to-know” guide to respiratory muscle training’, this book certainly goes a long way to making this exciting new area accessible for a wide variety of disciplines of healthcare professionals. It is definitely not just for respiratory physiotherapists, and those in many fields of healthcare will find this book, and the training exercises within it, a useful addition to their toolbox.