Breath and Weightlifting!

Friday, April 22

Skill: snatch


5 Rounds for time-

5 Shoulder Press

7 Push Press

9 Push or Split Jerk

(you owe five broad jump burpees for each time u put the bar down within a round)

Holy smokes! This workout was awesome (when it was over)! It didn’t look too bad on the board. Low reps made it less intimidating. But man, did it burn out the shoulders fast. There was a huge difficulty increase from the 1st to the 2nd round and burpees where inevitable for some of us(Nate and I especially).

At my Olympic Lifting Certification at  CrossfitSoCo ( this past weekend, I learned how the Olympic lifters use their breath to help their lifts. I have been told for years to exhale on the exertion. I believe that this advice has it’s place (Pilates), but perhaps there is a better way to breathe when we are lifting weight. If you stand erect and breathe, you will notice that when you inhale, your chest expands and your shoulders go back slightly. When you exhale, your shoulders collapse slightly forward and your diaphram drops. When we are lifting heavy loads, the slightest change in our posture can compromise our lift. It can be something as minute as an inhalation or an exhalation. The Olympic lifters that were teaching my cert are of the mind that one should breathe in forcibly (like you are about to take a punch to the gut) before you begin your lift and that you should hold that breath until you are back in the rack. So, for example, if you are doing a push press: you would breathe in quickly and hard and hold it while you dip and drive to overhead and bring the bar back down into the rack position, at which point you exhale and repeat. This method gives us stability through our midline and keeps out posture erect. It gives our lift more integrity. There are many schools of thought on breath and weightlifting, this is just one of them. I have been experimenting with it since my cert and for me it seems to be helping.

How do you breathe when you are lifting weight?

I will try this, thanks for the post :)

Comment by Steph Harris-Bailey — April 24, 2011 @ 2:35 am

Awesome explanation! I struggled with the breath / timing thing for a long time, and I think you nailed it! I found that when I switched to this way of breathing it helped my core stay engaged, and added power to my lift. Way to go coach <3

Comment by Ana Deardorff — April 24, 2011 @ 3:17 am

Mobility WOD