Breathing seems simple, right? But not when you are working out. It seems that I catch at least one or two people holding their breathe when they are working out and most often when they are doing any form of ab exercise, which is when its MOST important!
Smooth and efficient breathing is crucial for delivering the oxygen our bodies need to perform exercises properly. Proper breathing can also help you exercise longer with less effort, get rid of those side cramps, and even calm the mind.
But breathing does change depending on which form of exercise you are doing. When you are doing yoga, you should be breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. When running, its more of a belly breathing or lower diaphram, NOT breathing into your upper ribcage. When doing strength exercises or ab exercises, it’s important to breath in for the relaxed part of the exercise and out for the push part of the exercise.
What’s most important for me to teach my girls is how to breath during boot camp classes. Like I mentioned above, it does make a different when the in breath and out breath are taken.
For instance, when doing a squat. As you lower down into the squat position, you should inhale then exhale to push your body up. The exhale should come from down deep, helping to engage your core, allowing you to use the correct muscles to perform the exercise. Same goes for push ups, inhale on your way down, exhale on your push up!! Go ahead, try it both ways and feel how different it feels.
This goes for any ab exercise as well. A crunch, for example. Inhale when you are on the ground, exhale when you push up into the crunch. Now try it the opposite way and feel how much harder the exercise is. If you want to get the most out of any ab exercise, breathing is crucial. It will allow you to work the correct muscles and get much more out of the workout as well!
So as breathing just seems like an everyday, normal thing to do, sometimes we actually forget to breathe, especially when its most important!