Have you ever been lifting at the gym and caught yourself holding your breath? Everyone’s been guilty of it at one point or another. Most of the time, people don’t think about their breathing at all when lifting. However, it is one of the most important parts of the lift!
What is the Concentric Phase?
Concentric is a fancy word for contraction. This phase of one of two during a typical lift. The concentric phase is where you are contracting a certain muscle to move the weight. Take a bicep curl for example. When you are lifting the weight from your hips to your shoulder, your bicep is contracting. This upward motion is the concentric phase.
What is the Eccentric Phase?
Eccentric is another fancy word for elongating or lengthening. This is the second phase during a typical lift. This eccentric phase is when your target muscle is lengthening. I’m going to use the bicep curl as an example again. When you are moving the weight from your shoulder back down to your hips, the bicep is lengthening. This lowering motion is the eccentric phase.
How can I Properly Breathe During a Lift?
Be aware of your breathing while working out. By focusing on it, you can improve the amount of oxygen getting to your muscle. This is very important. Your body always needs oxygen, but even more so while lifting and exerting energy. The biggest tip for breathing when lifting weights is to breathe in during the eccentric phase, and breathe out during the concentric phase. Always make sure your movements are slow and controlled, and match your breathing to that. Breathe in through your nose, and breathe out through your mouth slowly but forcefully.
Written by GUADS staff member Emily