Ever noticed that your natural reaction when lifting something heavy may be to hold your breath? It might feel right, but research suggests this is the last thing you should do. Breathing effectively is an essential aspect to your workout. Holding your breath during a workout can also lead to a dramatic increase in your blood pressure. This in turn can lead to injury and other serious conditions. Breathing properly ensures that your blood is circulating to the muscles that you're working, and also ensures that they're oxygenated. This also allows waste products to be removed. Essentially, it will assist blood circulation and detoxification throughout your session! Along with blood circulation and alleviating blood pressure, there are many more reasons you need to ensure correct breathing techniques are performed while working out! To name a few... an increase in strength, endurance performance and fitness ability! So what is the rule to live by when it comes to breathing?
Inhale deep into your core as you prepare for your lift or movement, exhale as you are exerting energy lifting the weight or body back. For example: For a push-up, you would INHALE as you lower your chest down and EXHALE as you push back up. When performing a sit-up (or crunch), you would INHALE as you prepare for the exerting part of the movement (which is the sitting up), and EXHALE as you raise your torso upwards. In a squat, you would INHALE as you are getting prepared, lowering down and then EXHALE as you power back up. Or when performing bench press, you EXHALE during the push upwards and inhale when bringing it down back to your chest. When performing a pull-up, you'd exhale on the pull upwards, and inhale on the way down. Breathing during exertion and intense activity is so important in preventing internal injury. Studies have shown hernias, blood vessel strains and high blood pressure as a result of improper breathing! Remember to focus on your breathing during your next session!
Remember your breathing! Your results will show!
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