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How to Breath Correctly during your Resistance Exercises

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Did you know that when you're lifting dumbbells, barbells, or using resistance bands there is a correct way to breath which will give you a higher degree of control and alertness during your workout?

The fact is, many people don't even breath at all while they are doing resistance exercises and this is the worst case scenario because it can cause dizziness, higher blood pressure and possibly even fainting.

So while it's important to make sure to just breath during your exercises, here's the best way to maximize the effectiveness of your sets.

1. Breath in just before engaging in your exercise set.

2. On the exertion part of the exercise (which is called the positive phase) you should exhale. In the case of an arm curl, that would be when you curl the weight up towards your shoulders / on a leg press machine exercise, that would be when you press the weight up/out.

3. On the non exertion part of the exercise (which is called the negative phase), you should inhale. (Some of my clients insist it's all exertion to them! Ha Ha) But for example, on a bench press exercise, this would be the part where you've already lifted the weight up, and you are lowering it back down towards your chest.

One of the most recognized standards for the tempo of performing an exercise would be 2 seconds on the exertion exhale (positive) phase, and 3-4 seconds on the inhale non exertion (negative) phase of the exercise.

Note: There are SuperSlow strength training set/repetition options that are popular and effective, and they require a different type of breathing process. The positive and negative phases of the exercise are performed on a 10 second count. Please consult with a Certified and Experienced Fitness Trainer for more details on SuperSlow Fitness Training.


Jack Witt, MS, CPT
Fitness and Health Coach
"Get Fit with Witt"
Individuals / Groups / Corporate
310.562.5629 Cell / 818.760.3891 Main

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Jack Witt

I'm a local Health and Fitness Coach and Active Travel Specialist. I've been kickin' around NoHo for years getting involved in our community and charity projects, helping people with their wellness goals, and organizing and leading active excursions throughout LA and the world. I love this community and really enjoy blogging about all the things we do together and tips to keep us fit!


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