Archive for the tag - breath

How to Breathe Correctly. [Video]

It’s no secret that we must breathe to live, but most of us don’t do it properly. When we’re born, we use proper breath – but over time, with stress, tension and fear – we adopt less effective and efficient techniques.

As I’m on a week-long Pilates retreat in Provence, France, I asked my instructor to teach us how to breathe. Check out the video below.

How to Breathe While Exercising.

Speaking of breath, this guy takes mine away. ๐Ÿ˜›

Our breath is important. This is true all the time, but especially at the gym. If you don’t believe me, try holding it for a few minutes and see what happens.

There are different schools of thought regarding breath and exercise. For heavy lifters, there are a myriad of esoteric techniques that are really beyond the scope of what most of us will ever need. But in a nutshell, the general recommendation is to exhale on the exertion (the hard part) and inhale on the easier part of the exercise.

Let’s look at a pull-up for an example. Pulling yourself up to the bar is the hard part – and so that’s when you’d exhale. Releasing back down from the bar is the easy part, and so that’s when you’d inhale. Generally, the hard part of an exercise is when you’re going against gravity. And the easy part is when you’re going with gravity.

Each repetition should be matched with a full exhale and inhale. This can help prevent hyperventilation, which often results from shallow breathing or from doing multiple reps per breath.

Breathing while exercising is so critically important because it gives your muscles the oxygen they need to operate. As such, do your best to take full, deep breaths that cause your belly to rise. Shallower breaths (like those that only cause your upper chest to rise) are not as effective. It’s also a wise idea to take these deep belly breaths with you through your day – and not just at the gym.

As a quick test, put one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest and breathe normally. Which hand rises more? Ideally, it should be the hand on your belly.

Many people hold their breath on the exertion. While this is a tool sometimes used in competitive weight lifting, it’s generally inadvisable for the rest of us. It can lead to immediate fainting and even accidental death. So, please, ensure that you’re breathing!

Bottom line: Exhale on the exertion and inhale on the easy part of the exercise with full, deep breaths that inflate your belly.