To evaluate sensitivity/specificity of the maximum relaxation rate (MRR) of inspiratory muscles, amplitude of electromyographic activity of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM), scalene (SCA), parasternal (2ndIS) and rectus abdominis (RA) muscles; lung function and respiratory muscle strength in subjects with Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) compared with healthy subjects.Quasi-experimental observational study with control group. MRR of inspiratory muscles, lung function and amplitude of the electromyographic activity of SCM, SCA, 2ndIS and RA muscles during maximum inspiratory pressure (PImax), maximum expiratory pressure (PEmax) and sniff nasal inspiratory pressure (SNIP) tests were assessed in eighteen DM1 subjects and eleven healthy.MRR was lower in DM1 group compared to healthy (P = 0.001) and was considered sensitive and specific to identify disease in DM1 and discard it in controls, as well as SNIP% (P = 0.0026), PImax% (P = 0.0077) and PEmax% (P = 0.0002). Contraction time of SCM and SCA was higher in DM1 compared to controls, respectively, during PImax (P = 0.023 and P = 0.017) and SNIP (P = 0.015 and P = .0004). The DM1 group showed lower PImax (P = .0006), PEmax (P = 0.0002), SNIP (P = 0.0014), and higher electromyographic activity of the SCM (P = 0.002) and SCA (P = 0.004) at rest; of 2ndIS (P = 0.003) during PEmax and of SCM (P = 0.02) and SCA (P = 0.03) during SNIP test.MD1 subjects presented restrictive pattern, reduced respiratory muscle strength, muscular electrical activity and MRR when compared to higher compared to controls. In addition, the lower MRR found in MD1 subjects showed to be reliable to sensitivity and specificity in identifying the delayed relaxation of respiratory muscles.