Correct Breathing During Weight Training

Q: How do you breathe during weight training?

A: When you are training with light weights, just breathe normally. You are right however to adjust your breathing depending on your level of intensity. The rule of thumb is to “exhale” on the exertion phase and inhale on the recovery phase. So if you are doing a squat you would exhale as you extend your knees from a squat position to a standing position. On the lat pulldown however, you would exhale as you pull the bar down to the front of your neck and inhale as your elbows extend. Off the record though, there are times when you will see people hold their breath while they lift VERY heavy weight. They do this in order to stabilize their spine using intra-abdominal pressure (don’t try this though, as it increases blood pressure and could cause a Valsalva maneuver.

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