Cupids Health

3 Breathing Techniques To Use When Lifting Weights



How to breathe properly when lifting weights. The 3 different breathing techniques that you can use in your workouts.

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There is a lot of confusion and misconception out there with regards to the proper way to breathe when you workout. And part of this is because how you breathe will vary depending on the exercise you are doing and the intensity of that exercise.

The general rule of thumb that you’ll use for most moderate intensity medium repetition weight training workouts is to breathe out as you lift the weight, and to breathe in as you lower the weight.

However, this basic breathing technique will change as the intensity of the exercise changes. For very heavy low rep lifting such as a powerlifter doing a 1 rep max lift, they will breathe in and hold their air in during the lift itself to stabilize their torso and create tension in the body. This will help them generate power to complete the lift and they will breathe in and out in between repetitions.

The opposite is true for very high repetition, low intensity exercises; like high rep bodyweight workouts. You’ll actually breathe in and out as your body expands and contracts, almost like how air is pushed in and out of an accordion. So with high rep bodyweight squats, you’ll breathe out as you squat down and breathe in as you stand up. This will make your breath more efficient and allow you to complete more repetitions.

So to recap, the 3 different breathing techniques are:

1) Exhale as you lift, inhale as you lower (used most of the time)

2) Hold your air in during the lift and breathe in between reps (used for very heavy low rep lifting)

3) Exhale as your body contracts, inhale as your body expands (used for high repetition exercises)

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21 thoughts on “3 Breathing Techniques To Use When Lifting Weights

  1. I wonder how these different breathing techniques affect the type of fibers utilized in a given exercise. I suspect the 1st technique helps tone the body, so more of type 2A (fast twitch oxidative). 2nd technique would be more of type 2B for max power and 3rd technique would be more of type 1 (slow twitch fibers).

  2. I only hear breathing in an out through your mouth. Is the breathing in through your nose and out through the mouth? I need more clarification. I’m struggling with exertion headaches…

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