T Nation

Tips on How to Become a Belly Breather

I have a hard time espeacially on squats for some reason pulling air in to my stomach. Instead most goes to my chest. I can usually on the fist Rep get maybe 50-50 between the two but after that I lose it and its all in the chest. I believe this is hurting my squat and deadlift espeacially once nearing Max weight. Any suggestions?

Watch Mike Tuchscherer squat, its almost like he “swallows” the air down. I gave it a try and it does work pretty well.

Aside from that, practice.

I read the technique years ago from zen breathing and Ken Liestner and Randall J Strossen. Take in air and fill your belly up until it’s bloated then hold it for as long as you can and very slowly let the air out of your nose keeping your mouth shut. That is the practice and you can do it for a half hour or however long you want at different times of the day. Practicing slow deep breathing before sleep can be helpful and when your lying down you can really isolate and concentrate on the process. When you set up to squat practice a few deep belly breathes before each set and use the technique on the light as well as the heavy sets. Filling the belly with air helps to activate the body belt of muscle wrapped around your abs and core for better stability and stronger lifting.

Also, where your belt a notch loose and try your hardest using your air to press against the belt. That’s what helped me the most until it just became natural.

Lay on your back. Put a book on your stomach. Inhale to move the book up and exhale to move the book down. Focus on blowing your belly out during inhalation.

beef

[quote]beefcakemdphd wrote:
Lay on your back. Put a book on your stomach. Inhale to move the book up and exhale to move the book down. Focus on blowing your belly out during inhalation.

beef[/quote]

This works well. It was what basically taught me how to “feel” the movement.

Swallowing air a la Mike T is also good advice.

I’ve gotten to the point now that my shoulders don’t even move when I breathe. All diaphgram FTW.

I will x2 the book advise, tho what seemed to help me more (you might need to work to this point). Is grabbing a db and practice w that. I first learned to breath w my belly and push it out, but wasn’t used to the stress of the belt tightness and a heavy pull/squat and couldnt use my core pressed out. I could press out, but the pressure of it all my my abs buckle under pressure. Practice under pressure/weight when you get to that point, and make sure you’re practicing pushing the obliques out as well.

One other thing… if your hip flexors or abs are super tight its going to make it very hard to press out and get a good arch in the back at the same time.

Also, visualize as you inhale, you are pulling your diaphragm down towards your feet. This will compress your abdominal contents, thereby pushing your abdomen outwards. Then use your ab muscles to increase your intraabdominal pressure by contracting hard on a distended belly while NOT flexing your spine.

beef