What is the proper way to breathe during strength training?

What is the proper way to breathe during strength training?

Exhale when a strength training exercise is the toughest.

In other words, exhale when you exert the most force. There are two ways to remember this…

If you’re using strength training machines:
  • Start exhaling at the beginning of the movement – as you pull or push the weights away from the weight stack.
  • Inhale as you lower the weights back toward the weight stack.
If you’re using free weights:
  • Exhale as you work against gravity – as you lift, push, or pull the weights away from the floor.
  • Inhale as you work with gravity, and lower the weights back to their starting position.

This same ‘gravity principle’ applies to body weight exercises. For example, if you’re doing a push-up, exhale as you push away from the ground (against gravity). Inhale as you lower yourself back down towards the ground. Breathe the same way during a sit-up.

The proper way to breathe takes practice. Until you get the hang of it, the most important thing is that you are breathing. Never hold your breath during an exercise, as this can cause a rapid rise in your heart rate and blood pressure.

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Stephanie Averkamp

About the Author was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

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