Watching my 15 month old daughter the other day this blog came to mind. ?If you have ever watched a child try to pickup something heavy or push or pull something heavy, what’s the first thing they do? …… They hold their breath to strain. ?This action is called the Valsalva Maneuver . This maneuver is achieved by breathing deeply, maintaining that air pocket in the gut and forcibly applying air pressure to the closed airway.
Guess what? ?You guys are all programmed to do this naturally when put in a position of straining. ?Why you ask? It allows you to exert more force. ?It also fills your lungs and puts an air pocket in your gut that helps support the anterior part of your spine. ?Both of these things are tremendously important for big strong lifts. ?If you have a background in playing a wind musical instrument you should be aware of how to ‘belly breath.’ ?If you don’t here’s a quick run down:
To belly breathe, take a deep breath while forcefully pushing your belly out. This should help you use your diaphragm to draw air into your belly. During the lift, try to exhale forcefully against your closed throat. This will help you build up enough pressure to stabilize yourself under a large load.
That’s it! ?That’s all there is to it. ?The next time you go to hit a big lift, make sure you breath from the belly and hold that breath. ?It will help you hit bigger lifts and support the spine. Have you noticed a difference in your lifts when you practice the Valsalva maneuver? ?Post Comments Below!
Here’s Mark Rippetoe’s View on Belly Breathing