Breathing Correctly While You’re Exercising


Very often I find myself breathing incorrectly while exercising. Particularly while lifting weights. Sometimes I catch myself holding my breath which can lead to dizziness. Just like proper form, it is important to keep in mind how you breathe while performing a particular exercise.

Breathing while weight training or resistance exercise

It is widely known that while lifting weights or performing resistance exercises (for example: body weight), it is best to exhale during exertion and inhale during release. For example, if you are curling a dumbbell, you would exhale as you curl up and inhale on the way back down.  If you were performing a crunch, you would exhale as you crunch up and inhale as you release your abs on the way down.

Breathing while running

You can read up on all sorts of breathing techniques for running but what it all boils down to is that everyone is different. What works for some may not work for others. Some techniques I've come across include:

  • Breathe out when your left foot strikes the ground (supposed to relieve side cramps on your right side)
  • If you run to music, sing along (helps control breathing)
  • Use long deep breaths while inhaling and exhaling
  • Breathe in two quick breaths through the nose, then two quick breaths out through the mouth

As for myself, I go with the music technique while I run.  I try to sing along and I find it helps keep my breathing study. I think it also helps not to stress too much over it.  Whatever your fitness activity, just remember to breathe!

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