(Closed) Do you hold your breath when you tighten your stomach muscles?

posted 8 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
Member
2280 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I do that when I’m doing push-ups! I’ve trained myself to breathe well with crunches, squats, and running, but I still have issues with the push-ups, haha.

Post # 4
Member
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

 A lot of people do this because it is a natural way of flexing; however, it increases the pressure in and around your heart. Concentrate on your breathing while working out; always exhaling on exertion.

There is so many things to think about while working out a lot of people forget to breathe 😉

Post # 6
Member
2027 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

The goal of doing any particular exercise is to work the muscle in the most efficient and most powerful way. If you do squats and don’t sit back on your heels, they may still hurt and still help, but you just won’t be getting all you can out of the exercise. You will still be doing the same motion and taking the same amount of time, but just minor adjustments to your form will give you the best results. This is why you should be releasing your air as you tighten your abs. It just works the muscle to the best they can be worked. Once you get into the habit of doing it, it will just be second nature.

Post # 7
Member
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

When you hold your breath while you’re exercising, you are increasing your blood pressure. That’s most likely the reason you’re getting lightheaded or sick to your stomach. As you’re exercising or doing your ab work out, definitely concentrate on exhaling while you’re flexing your ab muscles.

Like Bree said, once you get into the habit of doing this, it will be second nature. It’s sort of the same when you’re running. Breathe in through your nose and out your mouth to avoid cotton mouth and side stickers. When you breathe in your nose, you’re getting much more air and a deeper breath.

Hope that helps! 

Post # 8
Member
2201 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I used to do this when playing tennis – I would hold my breath before serving the ball. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until my instructor pointed it out. And he broke me of the habit by making me grunt when I hit the ball (so I’d exhale and therefore have to inhale). A couple of embarrassing grunting sessions later, I started breathing on my own (quietly).

Maybe you could try the same trick? Grunt as you sit up, inhale as you lay down. It’ll sound totally sexy Wink

Post # 9
Member
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

I actually was surprised to find that when I sing, I tend to tighten my entire core (my abs etc).  I didn’t realize I did it, but I was in the car singing my lungs out to the radio, and when a commercial came on, I let my “gut” out!  I thought that was pretty strange!  Turns out that my personal trainer basically trained my abs to tighten whenever I’m exerting myself, be it exercise or singing.  Maybe try to flex your abs while you’re doing other non-exercise type things like doing the dishes or vacuuming.  You’ll learn to breathe even when you flex, and you won’t have to worry about dropping dumbells on your foot!

Post # 11
Member
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I used to do this, and a Pilates video helped me get out of the habit because it focuses on when you breathe. 

It’s a more important issue to me than most because I ride dressage, and you really have to activate your core to ride correctly, but if you don’t breathe it tenses up your body and the horse, and you end up with poor position and a nervous horse! 

Also, I like how in the 30 Day Shred video they remind you when to inhale/exhale. Otherwise I tend to slip up!

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