Proper Breathing

proper_breathingBy Coach LeighAnn.

Breathing is a little discussed but very important component to completing any movement during physical activity. A strong breath out can provide you with a little extra help when you are completing an exercise, and it ensures that you are getting oxygen to your muscles when they need it the most. As long as you know the parts of a movement, you will always know when and where you need to breathe in and where to breathe out.

Time to pull out the science! Every movement has a concentric and an eccentric piece. The easiest way to figure out which way is which is to think of the contraction of the muscle. Let’s take the squat for example; the contraction happens at the top of your squat when you stand up and lock out your muscles as tight as you can. That is the concentric portion.

The opposite is the eccentric portion; in the squat, sitting your hips into the ground and allowing the muscles to lengthen is the eccentric portion. Same thing goes for your pushup. When you drop to the ground, you are lengthening the muscles in your chest. When you push yourself back up, the muscles contract. Given that the down is the eccentric portion, that is your breath in; also given that the up is the concentric/contraction, that is your breath out.

Now forget all of the science and focus on common sense. As long as you know when you are contracting your muscles, you know when you need to breathe out, and therefore you know when you need to follow up with a breath in. For more information, check out my video on proper breathing techniques and give it a try!

Published on: Feb 20, 2017

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