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Breathing Backwards to Improve Training Performance
If you have ever had a hard time feeling your back muscles as you workout, breathing backwards will shock your lats into new growth.
Experienced weight trainers know that the best way to breathe during a workout set is to inhale during the lowering or negative phase and exhale during the lifting, or positive, phase. However, this may not be the best way to breathe for all exercises. For most back exercises, you should breathe backwards. The example used below is demonstrated using the lat pull down exercise.
The fact is that the pull down movement is more effective when you do it with an arched lower back and an expanded, or puffed up, chest. This position activates your latissimus dorsi muscles and actually, if your back isn't arched, your lats have difficulty contracting. Expanding or puffing up your chest helps to accentuate this arched-back position as well.
Another fact is that exhaling makes your chest contract and inhaling makes your chest expand.
Another workout fact is that the typical breathing pattern of the pull down weight training exercise is to breathe out as you pull the weight down and breath in as you let up. This translates to that your breathing pattern is caving your chest in when you are supposed to be puffing it out.
Take a deep breath and notice what happens to your chest when you do this breathing exercise-your chest expands and puffs out. This is the optimal position for you to be in when you are doing the pull down exercise.
Carry this logic to the pull down exercise-as you pull the weight down toward you, breathe in deeply. Your lats will engage as your chest puffs up to meet the bar.
This breathing exercise is perfect if you've had a hard time feeling your lats work when you do back exercises-with this breathing exercise, you will feel an immediate difference to your workout.
This simple breathing exercise can be applied to all your back workouts.