Part IV: Weight Lifting and Breathing
Before we jump into this edition in the series, allow me to clarify that this post is not just for guys. Amigas, if you aren’t lifting some weights (or doing resistance training), here are 10 reasons why you should be (regardless of age, IMHO). If that’s not enough, here are 12 more for all ages. So, everybody, breathing isn’t just something you do during cardio workouts. Good breathing form will help your resistance training as well by stabilizing your core and keeping oxygen moving to your muscles while you pump you up.
How to: Exhale on the exertion (the effort phase). Your exhale contracts your respiratory muscles and helps brace your core for better form. Inhale as you return to your original position. (You’ll be a bit more relaxed, but that’s no reason to let your core go mushy.) It’s that easy. The hard part is deciding how much weight to use to challenge your muscles without causing injury! Be sure not to hold your breath too long as doing so increases pressure inside your chest, which can interfere with the flow of blood to your heart. In other words, holding your breath while lifting can raise your blood pressure, which is not one of those benefits in the list above. If we take the bench press as an example, you’d exhale – nice and slow – as you press the weights up. Start to inhale once you reach the top and as you return the weights their original position. Keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement to protect your spine.
Mouth or nose? Up to you, though many recommend breathing in your nose and out your mouth. Grunting so loudly that people can hear you over their headphones is optional.
Check out previous posts in this series: