Breathing is the natural act of living, which every single one of us has been doing since we were born. From normal activities like walking, talking, and eating to even sleeping, breathing is a common phenomenon for every living thing. However, the experts have acclaimed that we have been doing it all wrong. Well, breathing in and out, it's simple! take oxygen in and throw carbon dioxide out. But we are doing it all wrong, we are either practicing shallow breathing or chest breathing. With a lack of rhythm, these practices have their disadvantages.
Breathing Issues - Chest Breathing
Breathing from the chest rather than the deep breathing through the diaphragm pressurizes the muscles that are not required. For an instance, when you breathe from the chest, the ancillary muscles from the neck and shoulder and used. These muscles build tension around the neck and shoulder, causing fatigue. However, relying too much on these muscles weakens the diaphragm, causing fatigue during workout sessions.
Breathing Issues - Shallow Breathing
Similar, to chest breathing the shallow breathing stance is also hurting our overall body efficiency. Rather than proper deep breaths, we take small instant shallow breaths, forcing our body to work extra for the same amount of oxygen. Poor posture with hunched shoulders makes us lose expansion ability towards the diaphragm, which leads to hindrance in workouts.
Breathing Issues - Inconsistent Rhythm
Consistent breathing makes, the bodywork smoothly causing calm in muscles, even during workouts ensuring its longevity. For an instance, when we are running, our breaths are toned with our footsteps or our arm movements. This illustrates a soothing effect within our bodies. However, if we have erratic or inconsistent breathing rhythm, the mind zones out, the muscles are not relaxed and your workouts can make you lethargic.
How to Breathe Properly During Workouts
Breathing during workouts is one of the hardest tasks for any trainer or lifter. It is recommended by various experts to perform different breathing patterns for different exercises. For an instance, the Valsalva Maneuver is recommended for heavy loads while the bracing technique is recommended for sub-maximal loads.
Valsalva Maneuver - Heavy Loads
The Valsalva maneuver is a simple method of taking a deep breath before a lift and holding it while performing the workout. Once you are doing this you’re creating a good amount of intra-abdominal pressure, allowing the body to handle more weight. Seems like a good option, but it is recommended that you must consult your doctor before performing it, as it might be dangerous for people with uncontrolled blood pressure or other cerebrovascular issues.
Bracing Technique - Sub-Maximal LoadsAs the name bracing suggests, the lifter must brace something before a workout. This brace is done on the midsection of the body, when you brace the core musculature, it increases stability. You brace your mid-section and breath through your stiff mid-section during a workout, increasing endurance and stability.
The breathing should always be through your diaphragm, towards the chest with slow and consistent rhythmic ins and outs. Illustrating this method is explained as a deep breath, a deep and slow breath increases stability in the muscles and allows them to be relaxed with consistent breaks.