T Nation

Squatting and Breathing Technique


#1

I just am barely starting to squat a bit heavy for me, and I was taught the valsulva maneuver. I’m fine with it, but heard from someone that you can get an aneurysm or stroke or pop a blood vessel in the forehead, and then I went to read and saw some stuff even regarding glaucoma caused by these spikes in pressure in the eyes. So I"m thinking, are there any alternatives that protect the spine just as well?? I don’t want to hurt my spine, but I also don’t want to bring on issues that I don’t have or know I have. Hoping to hear from others who are well-versed in this. thanks
Andrea


#2

Never heard of anybody actually having this mythical aneurism or that blood vessel pop from using the Valsalva that you’ve heard fearful rumours about, so I don’t think they exist.

The famous Mark Rippetoe, who advocates the Valsalva manoeuvre, hasn’t heard of any either. And he’s been advocating and training it for years. So I don’t see that there’s anything to worry about except in the anxious imaginations of people who don’t want to squat 'cos it’s hard. Forget them. Case studies or it didn’t happen.


#3

If you have a history, currently have or have risk factors for such conditions or others related to the Valsalva Maneuver and Bracing e.g. back pain then discuss the risks with a medical professional.

If you just like lifting heavy and are little worried than I can assure you that in all likelihood you will be just fine. Maybe at the top levels of powerlifting amongst heavier weight classes its more of a risk but at your level I would not be concerned about your something exploding in your head.