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How should I breathe when performing my resistance training exercises?

Breathing is key, and can actually help you to lift more when done effectively. Inhaling on the preparation of the movement, exhaling upon execution and then inhaling as you return to the start.  For example, in a barbell bicep curl; inhale, exhale as your biceps exert force to lift the barbell, inhale as you slowly lower the bar to the starting position. It's ideal to exhale during the concentric phase os a muscular contraction, as it will help you through the execution. 
Generally, when performing resistance training exercises you should exhale when you are exerting the most effort, for example like when you are coming out of the bottom portion of a squat. This is not always the case however, especially if you are performing exercise repetitions at a slower speed or tempo that would require you to take more than one breath per repetition. If that is the case, and you are exercising at slower speeds or tempos, do not worry about when you are inhaling and when you are exhaling, the most important thing is that you just breathe normally.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.