For weightlifting and other forms of physical activity, good breathing technique is crucial to maximizing performance and lowering the risk of injury.
Here are some pointers for effective breathing while lifting weights:
Exhale during the exertion (primary unloading portion of the movement): This can assist protect your lower back and increase your overall strength while weightlifting by stabilizing your spine and creating intra-abdominal pressure.
During the exercise's recovery phase, you should take a deep breath in and let your ribs and chest expand. Your muscles will be oxygenated as a result as they prepare for the following repetitions.
Use your diaphragm to breathe deeply: Try to use your diaphragm to take deep, complete breaths rather than shallow chest breathing. The transport of oxygen to your muscles will also be improved as a result of this.
For beginners, don't hold your breath during a difficult lift. The Valsalva maneuver (holding your breath during a difficult lift) can actually raise your blood pressure, so I only recommend it for experienced lifters or people who have received good coaching. Instead, focus on exhaling smoothly and continuously throughout the exercise.
Running and other high-intensity sports may require you to breathe more quickly and shallowly in order to keep up with the demands of the sport. The rules about exhaling during exertion and inhaling during the recovery period still stand, though.
In group exercise classes, it is often helpful to follow the cues of the instructor, who will typically indicate when to inhale and exhale during different exercises. It is also important to listen to your body and make adjustments to your breathing as needed to maintain your comfort and performance.
Here's to breathing well and performing better in the new year.