T Nation

Deadlift: When to Breathe?


When are you supposed to start sucking in all the air around you? While you're pulling the slack out of the bar, or after?


Ideally before you get down to the bar, but depending on how you set up and how long you take to get ready it might not be doable.

The reasoning behind breathing before you go down is twofold:
1. You can get more air and therefore abdominal tension when you're standing versus when your down at the bottom. This stands particularly for conventional where you often crush your belly at the bottom.
2. If you breathe and tense before going down, you will be tighter and be able to effect more of a "stretch reflex" effect to start the lift.

Plenty of great deadlifters didn't/don't do this though, so I wouldn't stress over it.
You'll see people breathe in and then grip and rip, breathe in at the bottom like most, or set up, roll the bar away, breathe and then roll it in and pull.
My 2c.


Um... I'd say before you start your setup.

You need a big full breath and it's hard to do that squatting down and hunched over to grab the bar.

If you watch a lot of guys you'll see them raise their arms and suck in a big breath and immediately decent to the bar.


Definitely before you do anything else. A huge breath why you are standing up. Also, don't let it out until the bar is locked out. So, in order to be able to do this, you can't go down and mess around with the bar for 10 minutes like a dumbass (not saying you do that because I have no idea what you do. But, if you do that, don;t do that anymore).


Agree with what everyone else has said.

Before I bend over to grip the weight. I place my feet, get my stance, eyeball where my grip will land on the bar...take a deep breath, grab, make sure everything is tight and rip. I don't breath out until I lock the lift out or I miss it.


This is to a tee what I do.

Obviously if you use straps....... you will take longer.


Deadlift style:
-semi-sumo with shins very close to the bar sitting very far back, shins inbetween outer rings and smooth part (best leverage at the bottom where I'm weakest without putting too much strain on my hips and back like with conventional)

-long arms and legs, and narrow short torso

What I have been doing:
-With legs mostly straight, reach down and grab bar where I want to (middle fingers centered over the transition between smooth and knurling which puts my arms hanging straight down)
-pull the slack out
-take huge breath
-pull myself down until I feel tons of pressure on my hams and can pop the barbell off the ground

What I should be doing?:
-Eye and get a feel for where I want to grip and have my shins
-Suck in air
-quickly get a good strong grip
-pull slack out
-pull myself down until I feel tons of pressure on my hams and can pop the barbell off the ground

I'm going to start looking into cameras. I'll see if I can get a video up in a few weeks.


What is the difference between pulling the slack and pulling yourself down?


I thought pulling the slack out was when you made pull the bar up without the plates moving so the bar doesn't jiggle and it's done to prevent jerking and the hips shooting up before the lift leaved the ground.


Oh... are you saying that when I lean back and pull myself to the ground that I should just let that motion pull the slack out for me?


It is, it really about pre-loading your core and getting tight. But pulling yourself down to the bar should accomplish that.


I have an odd way of setting up, but it works really well for me, so might be worth a try.

I get down and grip the bar, set foot position etc.

Tip forward onto my toes, which extends my torso and hips slightly; this allows me to suck in a big breath just as well as if i was standing up.

Then sit back into position on my heels, pull myself down to the bar and pull as usual.

So far I haven't come across many lifters who set up similarly to myself (in terms of when they take their breath).

However, I always lift beltless (I'm thinking this setup may not be possible with a belt?), simply because I never got into using one and am now very comfortable pulling and squatting without.

This may not apply to you OP, but it might be worth giving it a try in the scheme of things to see if it works for you!


I just breathe normally until I start to take the slack out of the bar and pull .


I just breathe normally until I start to take the slack out of the bar and pull .