Any kind of activity you do, from working at your desk, to lifting
weights, to walking or running, to having sekks (trying to avoid
the sp** filter)…can be enhanced through breathing.
This came up again today when I was speaking with a friend of mine.
He is an exercise enthusiast, lifts weights and runs regularly. He
likes to make fun of the fact that I teach people, through my
programs and private coaching, how to breathe.
He’s fond of saying, “Isn’t breathing natural? Don’t we
automatically breathe the way we need to when we do something?”
Well, to an extent he’s correct. We usually breathe the way we need
to when performing some type of movement.
For example, next time you have to pick up something reasonably
heavy, observe how your body reacts.
You’ll find that you naturally tense your abdominal muscles, your
core muscles, and hold your breath for a second as you lift up the
object. These actions provide you with greater strength and
But I’m constantly amazed at how many people do not carry this
natural breathing and tensing pattern into their exercise program.
Many women will do a set of weights, oftentimes holding their
breath through most of it. Or they seem like they’re hardly
breathing at all – perhaps because the resistance is too low. I
see that a lot. Many women use way less weight than they are
capable of and should be using.
Many men will use too much weight, especially in what I like to
call the “show off” lifts — like the bench press, biceps curl,
and squat. They load the barbell up, then are dependent on their
spotter to do most of the lifting after the first rep or so.
And their breathing — well, the only way to describe it is like
they are a baboon in heat or something. The depth and frequency of
their breathing is completely out of synch with the lift.
At any rate, I’ve learned over the years the importance of getting
my breathing in synch with my movement. I did it at first to help
compensate for the severe asthma I then suffered from.
Over time, I learned that breathing properly helped enhance my
power and stamina.
Whether lifting weights, performing bodyweight exercises
(calisthenics), stretching, walking, running — the activity
doesn’t matter. When you learn how to breathe, and then apply
that to your chosen activity, you will see what a difference it
Not just in terms of performance and results. But also in terms
of your enjoyment of the activity, and the buzz you feel after
completing the activity.
That’s why I walk out of the gym feeling great, ready to take on
On the other hand, my friend walks out feeling tired and beat,
needing a massage or hot shower.
He’s stubborn, but I’ll keep working on him.
You Can Do It!
P.S. In the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course,
Volume I, I teach you how to breathe in coordination with your
movements. You can then apply this same skill to other types of
activity. To experience the sensation of being relaxed, in rhythm,
and in control, order your course CDs today at the Best Breathing
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011