Breathing is something that we tend not to think about, and yet it’s directly connected to how we feel and how we perform. Although you may not pay much attention to your breathing during a normal workout, during a Strongman workout, breathing is key to moving serious weight.
Let’s take a look at what proper Strongman breathing is, and how you can start using it during your workouts.
CHEST VS. BELLY BREATHING
Take a second to notice how you’re breathing. Where is the air going? Are you filling your belly? Or are your breaths focused in your chest?
Most people tend to breathe from their chest, which is okay for quick bursts of energy. But chest breathing is not great for oxygen delivery or bracing during Strongman exercises. In fact, chest breathing can increase blood pressure, and exacerbate negative emotional states such as when you’re sitting in rush-hour traffic.
Belly breathing, on the other hand, has been shown to saturate cells with oxygen while promoting relaxation. It’s also how you brace before lifting those logs during a Farmer’s Carry or an Atlas stone.
STRONGMAN BREATHING: HOW TO DO IT
Before your workout, practice deep belly breathing. Sit down on a chair and inhale, focusing the direction of the breath to the stomach, not the chest. Hold the breath here for a few seconds, then slowly release.
Before an exercise, breathe in deeply. Again, be sure to direct the breath into the stomach, creating a wall of tension or braced muscle. As you lift the weight, keep your core tight and perform a forced exhale. Once you’ve secured the weight, breathe in again to the stomach.
Continue this pattern of focused breathing into the stomach and forced exhales while keeping the core contracted.
WILL A WEIGHTLIFTING BELT PREVENT BELLY BREATHING?
If you wear a weightlifting belt too tight, it will prevent your stomach from holding as much air as it can. While a weightlifting belt may help with big lifts, you should first train your breath and lift without a belt. Eventually, when you hit a point where a belt is essential to continue progressing, wear one, but don’t wear it so tightly that it cuts off circulation or the flow of oxygen.
Learn more about whether you should wear a weightlifting belt with our article.
DO YOU USE STRONGMAN BREATHING DURING WORKOUTS?
Have you noticed a difference since you changed up how you were breathing during workouts? Have questions about proper Strongman breathing techniques? Let us know on our Facebook.