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Jonson 10-20-2007 02:12 PM

Hi does anyone here use valsalva when doing squats, deads, bench's etc.
I know Mark Rippetoe reccomends using it in starting strength, but is it safe?
I have heard horror stories of people having strokes while holding their breath and exerting.
If you dont use valsalva how do you breathe in certain exercises?
What are peoples thoughts on valsalva vs breathing?

Cheers Jonson

EricT 10-20-2007 03:09 PM

You don't have to hold your breath. You can release your breath in a controlled way. Hold the tongue against the glottis and exhale slowly. Or, you can hold your breath until your past your sticking point and then do a controlled release. The valsalva maneuver is about abdominal bracing and it not just the act of holding your breath and it is not necessary to hold your breath the whole way up.

You don't really need it at all during the lighter stuff. Just bracing the midsection and doing what comes naturally should be fine. Continually holding your breath during high rep maneuvers and high volume and COMPLETELY disagree with.

Holding your breath while attemting a 1RM is one thing. Holding your breath all the time I think is a little silly.

So to summarize: Immediately before you push or pull take a deep breath into the addomin then tense your midsection. As your start the lift it is fine to let air excape. But it escapes under pressure. Once you've passed the sticking point, you can exhale fully if you want. I will usually inhale as I lower again.

I think this may be called the partial valsalva or something...

Boris 10-20-2007 06:27 PM

Holding your breath completely is probably not the best idea, but if you exhale all your air on a heavy squat or deadlift, you're going to be losing intra-abdominal pressure and set yourself up for a back injury or worse. Like Eric said, controlled exhalation, like a karate "kiai", or a grunt, is the way to go.

Squat Rx #10: Set-Up & Breathing

iron_worker 10-21-2007 10:10 AM

Although that guy's camera skills are lacking, he seems to know what he's talking about and can lift to back it up.

Jonson 10-21-2007 11:26 AM

Thanks guys much appreciated, going by that squat rx video ive been doing my breathing right lately.
I was inhaling on the way down then exhaling on the way up but the last few workouts because the weight has got heavy (heavy for me anyway) i have been inhaling before going down then exhaling when im near the top.
But after a set of squats I get a bit dizzy (only for about 10-20 seconds) and sometimes a very slight headache. is this normal?
Also when doing deadlifts I used to exhale on the way up inhale on the way down, a few months back I unfortunatly injured my back deadlifting.
The last couple of workouts I have tried holding my breath for the whole rep (to keep my back stabalized)
This also makes me a bit dizzy.
Would it be better to inhale before going up then exhaling at the top and then inhaling on the way down, I have tried this but I dont feel very stable when lowering the weight to the floor especially now the weights getting heavy.
Any thoughts anyone?

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