Should you hold your breath while weightlifting?


What’s happenin’ Fringe Fam?! Today, Brothers and Sisters of Iron, we’re talking about… (big inhale… and exhale) holding your breath. (Please don’t hold your breath while you read this.)

You might’ve heard sometime in your life someone tell you, “Don’t hold your breath while you’re lifting… you’ll burst your spleen!!!!” or some other random organ in our bodies, but not the lungs oddly enough... (this isn't true, don't worry).

So, here’s the question: should you hold your breath while you’re weightlifting?

Here’s the answer: YES.

When lifting weights, particularly heavy weights, you do want to hold your breath. This comes in handy especially when you’re squatting.

But, you don’t want to just hold your breath.

When you’re getting to load up a barbell on your back or set yourself up for a deadlift or heavy clean or snatch, you want to create tension in your midsection that ultimately creates a “canister” or “barrel.” This is called the valsalva maneuver. Doing this loads tension in your midsection to keep your abs and back tight, and gives you a stable base to lift your heavy as heck weight.

To do this, you’ll need to get yourself under the bar, take a step forward, exhale like you’re trying to fog a mirror in front of you, and inhale through your nose until you can’t anymore. Then, take a gulp of air in through your mouth to cap it off, and squeeze your abs and back like your life depends on it. Ultimately, we want to keep that tension throughout the entirety of the lift, as long as you feel comfortable and strong throughout your entire set.

But, if you can’t keep the same tension throughout or if you get to a point in your set where you feel like you might faint… take a breath!!! You can reset between every rep, creating that “canister” tension with a big breath if that works best for you. If this is the breath technique that works best for you, make sure you’re taking those breaths and resetting at the top of each rep, not at the bottom where tension is crucial.

This is the official message from PK: Hold your breath while you lift… but practice the valsalva maneuver while you’re doing it.

How many of you already hold your breath like this? Was this something new to you? 

Give it a try, see what you think, and watch your lifts get stronger and stronger. You just might need to pay our site a visit for a new set of plates to match your gainz ;) 

Hold your breath, lift heavy, lift happy :)

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