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How to Breathe for Every Type of Exercise– Strength Training

Aerobic activity isn’t the only exercise that can benefit from good breathing form. Anyone who hits the weights regularly has probably heard exhaling on the exertion (or effort phase) of an exercise is the way to go.

It’s sound logic:

Contracting the respiratory muscles will help brace the load during heavier lifts while maintaining lumbar stability .

How to do it right:

Using the bench press as an example, exhale slowly and continuously while pressing the bar, then inhale at the top of the lift or on the return. Just remember that once that barbell is pressed, the weight doesn’t vanish, so be sure to keep the core engaged to protect the spine, similar to preparing for impact during contact sports.

When in doubt:

Don’t forget to breathe out! Holding the breath increases pressure inside the chest (which is good for stability), but holding it too long can impede the return of blood to the heart and raise blood pressure (definitely not the goal here) .