There has been much written on the subject of fitness and how to lose weight while working out. However, there remains a void when it comes to instructing people on the proper method of breathing while exercising. This little known fact has been looked over by most that have never had the guidance of a personal trainer. In fact, if you belong to a gym, like most people that try to workout on a regular basis – on your next trip, observe the people around you. You will find that the majority of people are not only using the improper breathing techniques, but they also do not have the proper form when weight training or using weight machines in the gym.
One good way to quickly fix this problem is to invest in a few good Strength & Cardio Workout DVD’s or just read this step-by-step important workout tip on how to breathe properly while performing any type of workout – whether it may be strength training, cardio or Yoga and/or Pilates.
As a personal trainer, I observe my clients everyday during their workouts and the number one thing I have to constantly remind them to do is BREATHE. I find that my clients are focusing so much on the exercise that they completely forget to breathe.
Follow these easy steps to help you breathe correctly while working out:
- While exercising, your body requires more oxygen – breathing correctly delivers more oxygen to your blood and muscles which in turn gives you more energy to get you through your workout.
- Holding your breath while working out cuts off the oxygen supply to your lungs, blood and muscles which can cause you to tire more easily, feel dizzy and/or lightheaded.
- While doing cardio, be conscious of your core and your breath – try to maintain a consistent breathing rhythm throughout your entire cardio session. If you feel that you are starting to become short of breath, slow your pace down for a few minutes, allow your heart rate to come down and let your breath catch back up.
- When Strength Training, you want to inhale on the return (easiest part of the exercise) and exhale on the exertion. (hardest part of the exercise)
Here are a couple examples for you to use the next time you workout:
- Push Up: While performing a Push Up, you want to inhale as you lower down to the floor and exhale as you push yourself back up.
- Biceps Curl: Exhale as you curl the weight up, contracting your bicep at the top and exhale as you slowly lower the weight back down.
- Chest Press: Take a nice deep breathe before you even begin, exhale as you push/press the weight up and exhale as you slowly lower the weight back down.
- Same applies for when you are working your Abdominals as well. Many people have a tendency to hold their breath while doing core exercises. Inhale before you even perform your first crunch - Crunch up, exhale and contract your abs, inhale and slowly lower yourself back down. Be sure to keep your breathing rate aligned with the speed of your crunch – if you notice yourself taking faster, shallow breaths, slow yourself down and find your breath.
A personal tip of mine – before you perform any exercise, take a few deep breaths, find your focus and then begin your set. For example, when performing a Chest Press I get my set of weights that I am going to use, find an open bench, take a seat, take a few deep breaths and then start my set.