Breathing and breath control is a very important aspect of life. Seems pretty obvious, right? Improper breath control can actually directly be linked to low and mid back pain. It is of the utmost importance that we, as active humans, focus 100% on our breath control not only during physical training, but our general daily activities. At our functional training facility, we emphasize this kind of control especially with any Olympic or weightlifting movements.
Holding the breath keeps tension throughout the “core” and provides a strong base to lift, whether it’s a deadlift, an over head squat, or picking up the kids’ toys. The “core” has been a buzz word in the physical health and fitness industry for many years now, but it is still commonly misunderstood. The muscles surround the abdomen and, when contracted, create a natural soda can-like brace to protect its contents (intestines, bladder, colon, spine, and vital vessels and nerves). Think as if you were going to let someone hit you in the stomach, you would brace yourself, right?
So if you’re following along, it may seem as though I may condone holding your breath when lifting anything. Logic would tell you that that is probably not a good idea (I’m going to have to agree with that). Learning how to brace your abdomen without holding your breath is one of the major aspects of this notion of breath control. Here is how to perform abdominal hollowing… the right way.
For our purposes abdominal bracing is a technique that has been taking over alternative healthcare with respect to low back pain and “core” stability. Please consult your healthcare provider to confirm that you activating that right muscles and performing that exercise correctly. You should literally be protecting your spine with abdominal hollowing with every movement you do in your daily life. Also, while I’m saying my pleases and thank yous, please understand that this is only one aspect of learning how to control your breathing. Learn them all.