How to breathe when squats - technique with and without barbell

The effectiveness of strength exercises largely depends on the athlete’s breathing. Ignoring this aspect leads not only to a decrease in the effectiveness of training, but also to health problems. Avoid mistakes and learn how to breathe when squats.

How to breathe when squats - technique with and without barbell

The significance of respiration during physical exertion

The body cannot accumulate large oxygen reserves, so a person needs to be constantly replenished. The breathing process is a two-way gas exchange - the consumption of oxygen molecules by cells and the removal of carbon dioxide.

Metabolism depends on the volume of inhaled air. Physical activity contributes to rapid inhalation, which helps to accelerate metabolic processes and oxidize proteins, fats and carbohydrates faster for energy.

As a result of intense gas exchange between the cells of the body and the atmosphere, the athlete receives an influx of strength to perform the exercises. Fat burning is a side effect, which is often the main goal of sports activities.

The benefits of a proper air inhalation technique are not limited to physiological processes.

In strength exercises, such as bench press or squats, a powerful accentuated exhale helps to overcome the weight of the projectile.

Types of breathing

Science distinguishes three main types of breathing:

  1. Abdominal or diaphragmatic. It is characteristic for men. Oxygen consumption is due to the work of the diaphragm, which increases the abdominal pressure and creates a displacement of the abdominal wall forward.
  2. Thoracic.

    Mostly found in women. Oxygen consumption is due to a reduction in intercostal muscles. It is characterized by the expansion and slight rise of the chest by inhalation.

  3. Mixed. It occurs in athletes.

    The combination of the abdominal and pectoral types, that is, the diaphragm muscle and intercostal muscles are involved in the gas exchange process.

We recommend using the mixed type in strength training, as it allows you to fully nourish the body with oxygen, and also prevents shortness of breath.

Breathing during squats

To begin with, let’s take a look at squats without a barbell. As a rule, exercises with your own body weight are used as cardio for weight loss and maintaining muscle tone. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to perform an intensive warm-up in order to prepare the lungs for loads and bring the pulse to the aerobic zone.

The technique of breathing during heating does not have strict recommendations; breathe as comfortably.

After stretching out, stand upright, straighten your back. Inhale and sit down at the same time. Exhale, rise. Proper breathing with quick squats without weight should not be deep.

If you breathe deeply, you will soon get out of pace and feel short of breath. Therefore, take medium breaths.

It is not necessary to delay the inhalation of oxygen either in the lower phase of movement or during lifting.

Now we will consider squats with a barbell on shoulders.Since these are strength exercises, you should warm up well before doing them.

In this case, pay attention not to preparing the pulse, but to warming up the muscles and joints of the legs. Do 2-3 sets of squats without weight, do simple articular gymnastics. This will help avoid injuries and increase muscle response when lifting large weights.

After warming up, go to the racks, remove the bar from the stops. Breathe in gently and lower yourself into the squat.

Hold your breath in the middle of the movement. Having overcome the lower point, rise. Exhale after passing half the lift amplitude. Such breathing when squatting with a bar increases intra-abdominal pressure, which increases the tone of the muscles of the body and helps to lift large weights.

The technique of power squats with a delay in oxygen consumption has opponents.

The main complaint is an increase in intra-abdominal pressure, which leads to an overstrain of the cardiovascular system.

Yes, there really is such a risk. But this is precisely why squats with heavy shells are contraindicated for athletes with serious pathologies of the heart and blood vessels.

Errors of beginners

Often, unprepared athletes try to lift a projectile too heavy. At the same time, during the positive phase, they hold their breath at full amplitude, and, having overcome weight, begin to breathe intensely.

This technique is fundamentally wrong.

Firstly, the beginner’s heart and blood vessels are not ready for long-term stress in the absence of oxygen, which means that the risk of harming one’s health increases.

Secondly, rapid repeated swallowing of air after a delay completely slows down the respiratory rhythm, which makes the next repetition ineffective.

We recommend that you first learn the technique of exercise in combination with proper breathing and only then approach the power shells.

Restorative breathing

Between sets in squats it is necessary to lower the pulse rate to normal values.

When it is not possible to measure the heartbeat on the arm, be guided if possible to have a conversation. If you are talking calmly without shortness of breath, then the heart rate has returned to normal and you can proceed to the next approach.

To speed up the recovery of the pulse, we recommend using a simple technique from the eastern breathing practices:

  • sit on a bench, straighten your back;
  • close your mouth;
  • draw air into the lungs through the nostrils, then exhale as slowly as possible (also through the nose).

Try to exhale 6 to 7 times the duration of the breath.

How to breathe when squatting according to Bubnovsky


Sergey Bubnovsky became popular due to non-standard methods of treatment of osteochondrosis and other diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Support squats are considered one of his best exercises. Technique: the patient takes on rubber loops fixed to the wall and pulls them; after that, with a breath, a deep squat is performed, with an exhalation, a rise to the starting position.

https: // www. youtube.

com / watch? v = jT_KNZnIMEI

A feature of the Bubnovsky squatting technique is an unusual way of breathing air out of the lungs. When lifting the body from a lower position, the patient shortens the diaphragm and exhales “haaa” with an exhale. The sound should be sharp and powerful. The doctor claims that this squatting technique helps strengthen the muscles of the back and legs, as well as improve the cardiovascular system.

Principles of proper breathing

Summing up, we list the main points:

  • Inhale is in the negative phase of movement, exhalation is in the positive.

  • Aerobic exercises are performed without holding your breath.
  • Power elements (including squats) are combined with breath holding at the end of the negative phase and the beginning of the positive.
  • Before squats without weight, you need to prepare your heart and lungs for loads using aerobic workout.
  • You can’t breathe deeply during squats, inhale and exhale should be short.
  • It is forbidden to delay the exhalation of air throughout the entire positive phase.

  • It is not recommended to perform power squats for athletes with heart pathologies.

Proper breathing is the foundation on which the squat technique rests. Without following these principles, you will not be able to achieve a positive effect from the training. We recommend that you develop a technique for inhaling and exhaling with an empty neck, and only then move on to power squats.



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