How to breathe during exercise

Mastering the correct technique of doing exercises is like maneuvering in the ocean of opinions. Do not complicate this already difficult process by cycling on the type of breathing.

Author: John Paul Catanzaro

"Chin up. Chest forward. Look straight ahead. Tighten the abdomen. Tightly grasp the neck. Pushed off the ground with all your feet. Hips forward, unbend your knees. Straighten up. Control the lowering of the projectile. Carefully touch the ground, pause, and again up . "

Wait, something is missing. Oh, yes – do not forget to breathe!

Nowadays, strength training has become so technical. But we once sincerely believed that "grabbed, jerked" – and all the cases. Today we have nurtured an army of personal trainers who justify their wages by an endless repetition of numerous instructions. At the same time, the question "but how to breathe correctly?" Does not seem to be worth asking. Meanwhile, in the technical equipment of the athlete, the right breathing should be almost the first place.

Ask your friends and colleagues – and you will receive a variety of answers: lift the weight on exhalation, inhale in the descending phase; hold your breath at the peak of the load; exhale with effort. Next time, when you are in the hall, pull out the earphones from your ears and listen: you will surely hear someone's hyperventilation, as if before a bench press a man had a panic attack. Yoga and other oriental practices have their own point of view on the problem of proper breathing, and followers of these ideas will also find you in the gyms.

So what do we have with the answer? Studies show that in short-term training in short-term breath holding in a particular situation can bring an unexpectedly rich harvest. But I must say that most of us seldom find ourselves in this "specific situation", but the chances of deliberately depriving ourselves of the flow of oxygen at the most inopportune moment are very great.

And now let's understand, in what situation how to act.

I know what you are thinking about right now: but who needs it? You are a bodybuilder; you are interested in a set of muscle mass and only. Extremely heavy weights you do not take, at too high or too low a pace, too, do not work. On the agenda is a routine movement in a space of moderately heavy weight in a leisurely rhythm with an average number of approaches and repetitions. In a word, why not give up on everything and not continue to breathe as you always did?

Okay, but remember one thing: success always leaves clues. Take any archival video with your favorite bodybuilding stars and see how they breathe during the training. When Kai Greene squeezes 500 pounds, or when Ronnie Coleman squats with eight hundred, do they methodically exhale on the rise and sniff on the descent? Are they completely focused on controlling their breathing? I do not think so!

When the weight becomes really prohibitive, even cool guys hold their breath for a moment. And you, too, must do this! In fact, we all are familiar with what is commonly called the Valsalva maneuver – exhale with effort with closed vocal cords. We do this unconsciously when we are faced with loads close to maximum. By the way, remember this when you push yourself, sitting on the throne. It's not the smell that makes you hold your breath!

And outside the gym – sprinters, archers archers, they are all aware that strategic breathing delay in the initial phase of movement contributes to maintaining stability and optimal application of effort. And, maybe they do not know about their knowledge, but just use it. Breathing, in particular, holding the breath, is regulated at the level of instincts, and if you try to lift a heavy object, you involuntarily hold your breath.

The results of the experiments confirm the safety and efficacy of taking Valsalva. The data of the research paper published in the Journal of Strength and Functional Training in 2010 year showed that in the body of subjects lifting the weight of a one-repeated maximum, this method causes an insignificant and short-term increase in blood pressure.

To maximize the intra-abdominal pressure, you should breathe deeply (about 75% of the maximum volume) due to abdominal breathing; if possible, hold your breath during the effort, exhaling only after the end of the repetition. This will provide maximum support to the muscles of the back and make you stronger.

I want to point out to your attention that the Valsalva maneuver is suitable only for a short-term, high-intensity effort. In other words, if it doubles your strength when performing one-time squatting, then with routine approaches to bench press it literally can cause a serious headache.

Many newcomers, however, like some powerlifters with rich experience, often hold their breath during multi-rehearsal, low-intensity exercises. Either they think that this will make them stronger, or simply forget to breathe. In this situation, repeated recurrence of Valsalva administration can trigger a dangerous jump in blood pressure, tearing small capillaries in the eyes and in the frontal region, which causes headaches and temporary visual impairment.

In addition, you can lose consciousness right under the projectile, and this is fraught with the most serious consequences, no matter how professional your insurer is.

In the period from 2008 to 2012 a year from 25 deaths registered in the US in gyms, the majority was caused by asphyxiation due to compression of the neck or chest during a bench press.

And since it's about losing consciousness: if you know the "presyncope," then you also know that hyperventilation is not the best way to prepare for any physical activity, unless, of course, your plans include falling to the ground face down. In the gym, you probably will meet people who use this technique, but better stay away from them and remember the falling heavy objects.

Are you waiting for simple and understandable conclusions? Keep: trust your instincts, buddy! When you lift submaximum weight, you will have enough normal inhalation and exhalation; may have to court and a slightly elongated respiratory cycle with a short breathing delay in the most laborious phase of the movement.

But if you use isometric contractions, a delay in breathing can trigger a sharp pressure jump. In this case, rapid breathing will come to the rescue, and the body will let you know when it is appropriate. Finally, patients with hypertension and cardiovascular pathology should breathe through the mouth or through the nose, even when working with the heaviest weight. They receive Valsalva categorically contraindicated.

If the eccentric / concentric type of breathing has already become your second nature, well, but do not get too hung up on it. First, Dr. Stuart McGill, and later Dr. Mel Siff, world-scale in the field of strength training and rehabilitation, came to the conclusion that the recommendations of the exhalation in the power training and the inspiration on the descent were erroneous. Dr. Siff argues that "by following the correct technique of performing each exercise, you will automatically induce the body's response in the form of optimal inclusion of all muscle groups throughout the movement."

This also applies to the respiratory muscles. So focus on the right technique and breathe naturally.


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