Are you breathing effectively when you exercise?
Using the correct breathing when you exercise will:
- improve your cardio output
- increase your strength
- prevent back injuries
- enable you to burn more calories
Here are the Basics..
1. Breathe Out when you flex forwards or towards the fetal position.
As you flex forwards and close the chest you are naturally squeezing the air from your lungs. Breathing out excites the flexion muscles at the front of the body.
- the downward phase of the squat
- pushing up from the push up
- pulling knees to chest eg. slow mountain climbers
2. Breathe In when you extend your body and open up your chest.
Ever noticed how when you stand tall and breathe in deeply you grow a few inches? Breathing in excites the extensor muscles at the back of the body.
- rowing towards the body
- upward phase of the deadlift
- any type of raising exercise lying on your belly
3. When lifting heavy you will momentarily need to hold your breath and then breathe out through tightened lips.
The diaphragm, which is vital for breathing, is also an important stabilising muscle for your spine.
Unfortunately the diaphragm cannot breathe and stabilise a heavy load at the same time.
During a heavy Squat based exercise you would breathe in first and then hold your breath on the downward phase of the squat and then breath out through tightened lips on the upward phase.
Notice this is the opposite of the breathing in 1 and 2 above.
The same would apply to the kettlebell swing. Breathe in and hold on the downward swing and breathe out through tightened lips on the upward swing.
For practically all bodyweight exercises you will not need to ever hold your breath as the load is not heavy enough so make sure you keep breathing at all times as outlined in 1 and 2.
OK, I hope you have found this useful and can now start breathing more effectively.
I am confused by the Breathe In, of the upward phase of the deadlift.
Breathe Out, During a heavy Squat based exercise you would breathe in first and then hold your breath on the downward phase of the squat and then breath out through tightened lips on the upward phase.
Greg Brookes says
Yes Lance providing the weight is not very heavy then you can move through the exercise while breathing normally, out as you flex forwards and in as you straighten and extend.