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  1. #1
    Registered User MrMuscles2012's Avatar
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    What's the proper way to Breathe during Weight Training?

    I have a sincere question regarding breathing whilst lifting or pushing weights.

    For example, when I do chest bench pressing, I take a deep breath just before I am about to push the weight upwards...but during the push movement, should I be holding my breath or slowly breathing out?

    Another example, when I do bicep curls, I have been taking a deep breath as I am about to lift the barbell and weights and holding my breath as I lift it up. But is that wrong? Should I be breathing out the exact same time as I am lifting the weight?

    Will holding your breath throughout the push or lift movement cause a lot of pressure to build up around the backside area? Would breathing out whilst pushing or lifting the weight ease the pressure on the body and backside area? Because I don't want my body to act as if I am sitting on the toilet straining as it can aggravate my Hemorrhoids.

    So what's the proper way to breathe? Hold breath, or slowly breathe out?
    Thanks.
    Last edited by MrMuscles2012; 01-11-2011 at 02:15 PM.
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    Registered User JNAA's Avatar
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    I'm not advanced or a professional but I do know that holding your breath is not recomended. And as far as I've been told it's a good way, pretty much guaranteed, to blow your intestines out your a55.
    As for how you should breathe well I'm still trying to nail down the technique myself, but for starters you should breathe "out with exertion". For example a barbell curl. Grab the bar take in a breath immediatly before the lift and slowly start to exhale as you do the lift (exertion). Now try to time it so that you're just finishing your exhale as you come to the top.
    Now here's where things can get complicated. Option 1 is to take in a breath as you lower the bar.
    Option 2 is if you were going to do a little longer negative rep on the way down, is to take in a breath at the top and slowly exhale on the way down.
    I hope this helps a bit. I'm hopeing some more advaced lifters will ring in here because I'd like to hear some more on this as well.
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  3. #3
    Registered User zephed56's Avatar
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    Valsalva maneuver ftw. Yes, get your breath before you start the rep, and keep it throughout the lift, on anything that requires you to be stable. Exhale and get your new breath at the top/between reps. You can grunt to let out a little pressure.

    Breathing in or out while lifting something heavy will cause you to lose intra-abdominal pressure. Try overhead pressing something heavy, then hold it at the top and try to breathe in and out and you will see the difference.

    It's a good thing the body naturally wants you to hold your breath when you need to brace (for impact or something or other).
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  4. #4
    Squat or remove thy self caerus13's Avatar
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    With bicep curls, honestly, it doesn't matter. With the squat, deadlift or any other exercise that requires a tight core, holding your breath is advisable. With squats I typically exhale very slowly as I push through my sticking point, but not enough to lose stability of course. With bench I like to inhale at the top, then exhale as it goes up, you know 'blow it away'.
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    Registered User MrMuscles2012's Avatar
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    Now I am confused. One person says to breathe out during the lifting, yet another person says hold your breath as you lift. So which way is the proper and safe way?

    I am worried if I hold my breath, and then lift, because to me that imitates sitting on the toilet, holding my breath and pushing, which can cause Hemorrhoids.

    So if I do lift weights or push weights, if I hold my breath during the push or lift motion, won't that mimic the sitting on toilet and pushing movement which can cause Hemorrhoids?

    Any advanced weight trainer or personal trainer able to give me the proper and accurate answer? Should I be breathing out as I push or lift the weight? OR, should I be holding my breath the entire time I am pushing or lifting the weight, and then breathe out at the end of the movement?

    I would really appreciate an accurate answer to this as I feel it's an important issue.

    I suspect I may have developed Hemorrhoids because when I did the seated leg presses, I think I was holding my breath the entire time I pushed the weight up with my legs. Should I have been breathing out at the same time I was pushing the weight up with my legs?
    Last edited by MrMuscles2012; 01-11-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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    Registered User fantasticmike's Avatar
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    simple as this.

    you breathe out while lifting/pulling the weight.
    you breathe in while letting down or setting down the weight.
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    when you contract your muscle your breath out and breath in when you stretch it out again. Simple enough? Most peopel tend to do the opposite or hold their breath, takes some strick practicing.
    Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but doesn't nobody want to lift no heavy ass weights. --Ronnie Coleman
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    Breathe out when you're pushing or pulling the weight against gravity. Breathe in when you're going back to the start position or relaxing your muscles. You should always breathe in and out to get oxygen to your muscles. Very important.
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    Registered User MrMuscles2012's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I realise I been doing it wrong. I was breathing in before I push or lift the weights, and then I was holding my breath throughout the whole push or lift movement and only breathing out at the end of the push/lift.

    But I will remember what you all said, to slowly breathe out as I left or push the weight.

    Maybe that's why I got the annoying hemorrhoids when I did the seated leg presses, as I was holding my breathe as I was pushing the weight. It was similar to sitting on toilet and holding breath and pushing. I guess that's why I got the hemorrhoids

    I wish I knew how to breathe properly before I began weights. But I guess this is not something people tell you about and teach you, so I had no idea.

    Live and learn. But I wish I learned before I lived it.
    Last edited by MrMuscles2012; 01-11-2011 at 08:17 PM.
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    Registered User MrMuscles2012's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HurtLocker View Post
    Breathe out when you're pushing or pulling the weight against gravity. Breathe in when you're going back to the start position or relaxing your muscles. You should always breathe in and out to get oxygen to your muscles. Very important.
    Just to clarify as I got a bit confused with your wording. Did you mean Breathe in when you get back to the start position? Or do you mean, start breathing in at the end of the push or lift movement?
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    Registered User H1t_V3r4c's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zephed56 View Post
    Valsalva maneuver ftw. Yes, get your breath before you start the rep, and keep it throughout the lift, on anything that requires you to be stable. Exhale and get your new breath at the top/between reps. You can grunt to let out a little pressure.

    Breathing in or out while lifting something heavy will cause you to lose intra-abdominal pressure. Try overhead pressing something heavy, then hold it at the top and try to breathe in and out and you will see the difference.

    It's a good thing the body naturally wants you to hold your breath when you need to brace (for impact or something or other).
    This. This is what I do.
    Although sometimes I let the breath out during the second part of the core lifts.
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    Originally Posted by MrMuscles2012 View Post
    Just to clarify as I got a bit confused with your wording. Did you mean Breathe in when you get back to the start position? Or do you mean, start breathing in at the end of the push or lift movement?
    When doing curls, I breath out when I curl the bar up and in while I am letting the bar down.

    When doing squats, I breath in on the down movement and breath out as i stand back up.

    When doing presses, I breath out when lifting the weight overhead and breath in while bringing the weight back down.

    Sometimes, when I am getting exhausted or out of wind, especially on overhead presses, I will be breathing in and out constantly while lifting, holding and lowering the weight -- but it's not because I want to, it's more because I am in need of oxygen.
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    Originally Posted by JNAA View Post
    I'm not advanced or a professional but I do know that holding your breath is not recomended. And as far as I've been told it's a good way, pretty much guaranteed, to blow your intestines out your a55.
    As for how you should breathe well I'm still trying to nail down the technique myself, but for starters you should breathe "out with exertion". For example a barbell curl. Grab the bar take in a breath immediatly before the lift and slowly start to exhale as you do the lift (exertion). Now try to time it so that you're just finishing your exhale as you come to the top.
    Now here's where things can get complicated. Option 1 is to take in a breath as you lower the bar.
    Option 2 is if you were going to do a little longer negative rep on the way down, is to take in a breath at the top and slowly exhale on the way down.
    I hope this helps a bit. I'm hopeing some more advaced lifters will ring in here because I'd like to hear some more on this as well.

    Stopped reading at the first sentence.

    On squats -
    Deep inhale
    Squat down
    Stand up
    Exhale slowly after your sticking point


    Air up before you start the decent.
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    I beleive during Bench you inhale, go through the whole motion exale on the lock out point of the bench. Inhale and repeat.people get this misconception that you have to exhale when you press. By holding your breat your chest and rib cage is expanded during the motion, which IMO it allows more growth. Plus the exhale towards the top of the lift, lets lifters focus on the squeeze and momentary pause at the top of the bench.
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    Originally Posted by MrMuscles2012 View Post
    I have a sincere question regarding breathing whilst lifting or pushing weights.

    For example, when I do chest bench pressing, I take a deep breath just before I am about to push the weight upwards...but during the push movement, should I be holding my breath or slowly breathing out?

    Another example, when I do bicep curls, I have been taking a deep breath as I am about to lift the barbell and weights and holding my breath as I lift it up. But is that wrong? Should I be breathing out the exact same time as I am lifting the weight?

    Will holding your breath throughout the push or lift movement cause a lot of pressure to build up around the backside area? Would breathing out whilst pushing or lifting the weight ease the pressure on the body and backside area? Because I don't want my body to act as if I am sitting on the toilet straining as it can aggravate my Hemorrhoids.

    So what's the proper way to breathe? Hold breath, or slowly breathe out?
    Thanks.
    It's as simple as this, breathe out on the eccentric (pushing portion of the lift), breathe in on the concentric (negative portion of the lift).

    The valsalva maneuver = bad news.
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    Originally Posted by zephed56 View Post
    Valsalva maneuver ftw. Yes, get your breath before you start the rep, and keep it throughout the lift, on anything that requires you to be stable. Exhale and get your new breath at the top/between reps. You can grunt to let out a little pressure.

    Breathing in or out while lifting something heavy will cause you to lose intra-abdominal pressure. Try overhead pressing something heavy, then hold it at the top and try to breathe in and out and you will see the difference.

    It's a good thing the body naturally wants you to hold your breath when you need to brace (for impact or something or other).
    Valsalva=Very bad. It will make your blood pressure skyrocket much more than resistance training in general should. At a young age this wont make any difference, but for sedentary and less active people=burst arteries. Unless you are specifically working the midsection...planning on bracing for every lift is not ideal in itself, your shooting blood pressure unnecessarily.

    Just try to breathe as normal throughout the lift...the body will find the most ideal pattern to minimize energy expenditure...if your thinking too much about it, your probably not doing the ideal.
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    From reading the responses in here, there seems to be 2 schools on thought on this subject
    . . . the right way and the wrong way
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    Originally Posted by edseger View Post
    Valsalva=Very bad. It will make your blood pressure skyrocket much more than resistance training in general should. At a young age this wont make any difference, but for sedentary and less active people=burst arteries. Unless you are specifically working the midsection...planning on bracing for every lift is not ideal in itself, your shooting blood pressure unnecessarily.

    Just try to breathe as normal throughout the lift...the body will find the most ideal pattern to minimize energy expenditure...if your thinking too much about it, your probably not doing the ideal.
    So, you're pretty much an idiot. There are several stages of blood pressure movement when performing the valsalva maneuver -

    1. An instant rise, somewhere on the area of 10mm/Hg (which is hardly skyrocket by the way, a sneeze or cough pushes just as much)
    2. An immediate fall, on the amount of 30-40mm/Hg. This fall is sustained for several seconds - 10-12.
    3. A gradual rise in BP which may exceed your baseline. Starts to become an issue at 20 seconds from t=0.

    When properly performed (meaning not holding your breath thru multiple reps), it is completely fine. Next time, spend more time researching and less time creating accounts to spread bogus information.
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    The misinformation spread around here is appalling. If you are doing heavy squats and deads, you need to use the valsalva. Period. The stability it gives to your spine and abdomen far outweighs the negligible and short spike in blood pressure.
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    Proper way to breathe?

    Valsalva maneuver


    I'm on recharge but I will definately be revisiting this thread later. If I remember...
    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

    MFC
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    Like you're having a baby. Makes it look like you're hardcore.

    Sincerely,
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    Arnie says to breath during the movement but do this however feels best for you.

    That advice worked for me, I usually end up blowing out air or holding my breath when lifting or pulling the weight, depends on what im doing.

    Try not thinking about it and lifting but remember to breath. With squatting i will always hold my breath when pushing as i feel like im protected then.
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    Valsalver for squat, dead, clean and sometimes for overhead lifts and rowing

    For everything else, just breath in on the eccentric and breathe out on the concentric
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    I was told to inhale during the eccentric phase and exhale during concentric.
    Last edited by lfkovacs; 01-12-2011 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Mixed up terms
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    So much misinformation in this thread.

    All I have to say is good luck doing heavy squats and deads while exhaling.
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    sorry, i misc-spoke doingwork30's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    So much misinformation in this thread.

    All I have to say is good luck doing heavy squats and deads while exhaling.
    This. Valsalva maneuver is the right way to do it for core lifts (squats, cleans, deads)
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    Originally Posted by rjcranium View Post
    ..
    When doing presses, I breath out when lifting the weight overhead and breath in while bringing the weight back down....
    This mimics sitting on a toilet, holding your breath and straining. Be careful, you may develop hemorrhoids as I did.
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    Originally Posted by Coach-C View Post
    I beleive during Bench you inhale, go through the whole motion exale on the lock out point of the bench. Inhale and repeat.people get this misconception that you have to exhale when you press. By holding your breat your chest and rib cage is expanded during the motion, which IMO it allows more growth. Plus the exhale towards the top of the lift, lets lifters focus on the squeeze and momentary pause at the top of the bench.
    Are you a genuine weight lifting coach? You suggest I hold my breath throughout the whole push/pull, but many others are recommending I slowly breathe out as I push/pull.

    How can I know who is right and which was is the safest and most effective?

    I am confused
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    Originally Posted by edseger View Post
    Valsalva=Very bad. It will make your blood pressure skyrocket much more than resistance training in general should. At a young age this wont make any difference, but for sedentary and less active people=burst arteries. ...
    What exactly does Valsalva mean?

    And I have been holding my breathe during lifting/pushing and then breathing out at the end of the movement. So that may explain the burst arteries (hemorrhoids) that I developed after doing my first week of weight training.

    Your thoughts?
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    Question

    Originally Posted by rjcranium View Post
    From reading the responses in here, there seems to be 2 schools on thought on this subject
    . . . the right way and the wrong way
    Yes you are right. And for a total beginner as myself who seeks the right and proper way, it's confusing and daunting to know which is right when so many people differ in their opinions on this.

    I think this is a very important topic that people seem to have not talked about much before.

    I still have no idea which is right and wrong.
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