***WARNING. Breath holding while exercising is considered dangerous. Consult your physician to discuss the matter. Especially if you have high blood pressure problems, are under medication orhave any disease affecting blood pressure (like diabetes). ***
There might be some differences according to the exercise your are doing, but this method should help you with just about any lift.
This power breathing technique has been used by karate masters for century and really helps boosting your strength.
Basically, you have to take a deep breath and hold while doing the exercise. Not only you hold your breath, but you also have to contract your abs as strong as you can, pushing your stomach out.
This helps raising IPA (Intra-Abdominal Pressure), which stabilizes the core and protect your lumbar muscles. And not only does it protects your back it also amplifies your strength.
You might also want to contract your rectal sphincter while doing this, particularly for the big lifts. This will help prevent hemorrhoids. Which are… a pain in the ass. ;p
How to do it
Once you get to use to it, you can do a few reps, or even your entire set while holding your breath. To reap the full potential of the power breathing technique it is important to know when to exhale and take a new breath. Usually near the end of a movement or between reps :
- Deadlift, Pednay row, bent-over row, up-right row: exhale and take a new breath between reps, when the bar is down.
- Bench press, (overhead)press: Take a new breath when the bar is up and your elbows are lockded.
- Squat: Exhale when you’re 2/3 on the way up and take a new breath before going down again.
- Pull-up, chin-up, horizontal row, T-bar row: Take your breath between reps, when your arms are extended.
This technique can be used for just any moves and will help you lift heavier weights. Give it a try and share your experience in the comment section.!