WODdoc Episode 275 Project365: Squat Technique; The Breath
I received several questions about breathing during the squat, actually more of the questions were about “not breathing” to be honest. Is it ok to hold your breath? When should you hold your breath? Why do you hold your breath? How do you hold your breath. Lets see if we can clear these up.
Is it ok? Sure, lifters hold their breaths all the time and there is no literature out there that I am aware stating it is hazardous to your health.
Why do you? Simple, your torso works the same way as a can of soda. Under compression/pressure it is rigid and stable. Without pressure (open can) its structural integrity is vulnerable to collapse. We are trying to add stability to our torsos!
How do you? I have a specific order. 1) Tighten your gluts to stabilize your pelvis. 2) Tighten your tummy like if someone was about to slug you in the stomach. 3) Take a breath. Close your mouth and picture pressing the air against your contracted abdomen. I call it pressurizing the system. 4) Holding that breath and descend into the bottom of the squat.
When do you? This one has been debated forever. I personally believe lifters should exhale as ascending to the standing position however, some believe that the lifter should hold it until the completion of the lift. Of course, go with my thought on this one… hahaha. Either way it’s not debatable that the lifter needs to hold their breath the entire descent and at least until beginning the ascent.
Practice some medium weight squats and experiment with breath holds. Remember to follow the order stated above.