Few people are aware of the importance that breath plays in all aspects of your daily life, least of all you workout routine! What’s more, there are negative side effects of incorrect breathing patterns.

Breathing has a knock-on effect

Your breathing pattern has a very large impact on all functions of the body.

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It is possible, among other things, to even activate and de-activate the main two branches of your nervous system with breath, and even that alone can have more of an impact than you might realize on the results of your workout.

Breathing plays an important role in hormone balancing and the stress response mechanism of the body.

How to breathe easy

Read on to find out more about if you are helping or hindering your workout routine with your breathing pattern, to learn techniques to help you achieve the goals that you’d like to, as well as the proper way we should be breathing to keep our bodies in balance and optimally healthy.

Normal and healthy breathing should fill the first two thirds of the lower abdomen, which moves the diaphragm first, and the rest into the lungs.

As air fills the first two thirds of the abdomen, the back ribs need to expand also.

Due to the of our western world, often times the back ribs have seized up and do not open effectively. This can be repaired with mindfulness and breath exercises.

As you breathe into the lower abdomen, the cerebral spinal fluid gets flushed out – this does not happen when the breath does not activate that specific body pump.

Mouth breathers beware

If you are a chest breather, you are not getting enough oxygen even while the body is in a resting state.

Breathing though the nose is absolutely key, and how humans are meant to breathe most of the time, not the mouth.

If you find you are a mouth breather, it must be discovered why and corrected for optimal health.

If you are breathing through the mouth when not exerting enough energy to have to, the stress response in the body is activated and cortisol levels rise, which will also have a negative impact on your sleep.

Humans are meant to breathe through the mouth when the body needs extra oxygen only, such as while running, exercising in different ways, and when exerting enough energy while weight lifting to need to breathe through the mouth.

breathing during weight lifting_2The mechanics of breathing

The muscles of the shoulder and neck should also not be activated, and therefore should not be moving when a person is breathing.

These shoulder and neck muscles are hardwired into the sympathetic/autonomic nervous system thus again activating a stress response in the body. This will cause chronic over stress regardless of any “life stressors.”

Inside the nose there are passages known as “turbinates.”

These are filled with many nerve endings that stimulate the Parasympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of growth, repair, eliminate and digestion.

These are essential for proper balance the rest of the body, we need our Parasympathetic system to be active to make sure we are not taking three steps forward and two steps back in our exercise programs, and general health and wellness.

Inhale, exhale

When lifting weights, and with any exercise, it is crucially important to be inhaling while the body is extended and exhaling when the body contracts.

For example, during a bicep curl, the inhalation would be as you extend your arm downwards, and the exhalation would be when you curl the weight back up again.

Control your breathing, control your workout

Also, remember to keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth (only when you are not exerting enough energy to need to breathe through the mouth) as this completes a closed energy circuit in the body, and helps you to better perform your workout.

Once you begin concentrating on breathing how the human body was intended to, you will feel more awake, calm, centred, and will have alleviate any extra stress being placed on the body from incorrect breathing. 

Also, you will better be able to control and fuel your workouts to reach your goals faster! Breathing During Weight Lifting

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