Specific respiratory muscle training (IMT) improves the function of the inspiratory muscles. According to literature and clinical experience, there are 3 established methods: 1.) resistive load 2.) threshold load and 3.) normocapnic hyperpnea. Each training method and the associated devices have specific characteristics. Setting up an IMT should start with specific diagnostics of respiratory muscle function and be followed by detailed individual introduction to training. The aim of this review is to take a closer look at the different training methods for the most relevant indications and to discuss these results in the context of current literature. The group of neuromuscular diseases includes muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, paralysis of the phrenic nerve, and injuries to the spinal cord. Furthermore, interstitial lung diseases, sarcoidosis, left ventricular heart failure, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), kyphoscoliosis and obesity are also discussed in this context. COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF) and non-CF-bronchiectasis are among the group of obstructive lung diseases. Last but not least, we summarize current knowledge on weaning from respirator in the context of physical activity.