Breathing. Inhaling and exhaling. We take this daily habit of getting oxygen into our lungs for granted, as it is ingrained in our brains to breathe for the sake of keeping ourselves alive. :If you don’t breathe, you die.”, says Vladimir Vasiliev, author of “Let Every Breath” and head instructor of the school of Systema in Toronto, ON, Canada. While this notion of keeping ourselves alive through breathing daily may strike us as sheer common sense, we tend to negate our own breathing mechanics when it comes to heavy lifting. To be frank, breathing mechanics are probably one of the most commonly overlooked pieces of the lifting puzzle when it comes to lifting heavy. Today, I want to discuss the roll of breathing for your lifts and focus on HOW your breathe can either work for you or against you for your pull ups.
First up, let’s talk some shop on your nervous system.
Your entire autonomic nervous system has two parts that oppose each others functionality. The sympathetic nervous system is your adrenaline junkie, fight or flight response. Want to create tension in your body? Activate your sympathetic nervous system by holding your breathe and contracting your muscles. BOOM! You’re jacked up and ready to go lift heavy! Your parasympathetic nervous system is your chill mode, rest and digest response. Want to release tension in your body? Take slow, deep breathes and relax your muscles. Ahhhh. . . .. all is serene!
If you need more information on how to control your breathing for optimal health, you may read “The Relaxation Response” by Herbert Benson, MD.
HOW YOU BREATHE, is extremely important for HOW HEAVY YOU LIFT!
Perhaps the most common thing I see with regards to lifting, especially with regards to pull up training, is the holding of the breathe too tightly. Remember, want to create a ton of tension? Hold your breathe tightly and tense up your muscles. The issue here though with regards to the pull up is that this overly jacked up state may get you “stuck” or “jammed” during your pull. You may find yourself stuck below the bar unable to pull forward. What you want to do here is actually allow your muscles to relax ever so slightly so they can release just enough tension to have you continue to pull forward. Breathing slowly and controlled, with a bit of a hiss here, will be just the thing you need to do to release that tension and move upward in your pull. Watch this video below to get an idea of what we’re talking about here in terms of how to breathe for pull ups.
Here’s that same slow exhalation with a weighted pull up and body weight pull up as well. Please note that in this video, there is a bigger exhalation at the bottom of the pull since there’s a bit more tension needed to sustain a heavier weight around your waist. This is a 14kg kettlebell featured in this video.
Mind the breathing folks! It makes all the difference in your pull!
Ready for more?
Register today for our June Pull Up Program kicking off June 5th! Register for just just $47 and get everything you need to master your grip strength, your lat power, and all the more strength to make you a pulling machine! Whether you are looking for your first pull up, maximum reps of body weight pull ups, or weighted pull ups, I have your guides for the very training that will unleash your pulling beast no matter what level of strength you have! Click this link to secure your spot. I’ll see you on the forum once you register! I cannot wait to have you press on into a whole new level of strength! Registrations will cease on June 2nd, 2017 and all coaching and training will commence on Monday, June 5th! Don’t delay! Register for Pull U Mastery TODAY!
Thanks for your support everyone. Like this post. Share it with your friends. Let’s show the world how strong we are as we press on to incredible new feats of strength together. Until next time. . .