Just breathe and build muscles

People often buy costly equipments, train rigorously and show full commitment towards building muscles. But still, sometimes results are not that quick as expected and often, a set of problems keep arising now and then, hampering the entire process. One of the major reason is most people often forget or do not focus on proper breathing techniques. Small as it might seem, the impact of the breathing technique often makes the difference between the winner and loser. Whether you are lifting weights, running, or performing Yoga, the correct breathing pattern helps in both increasing the strength and reaping maximum benefits of a workout. As Jui Meng, a shaolin monk said” The lungs are reservoirs of air, and the air is the lord of strength. Whoever speaks of strength must know of air.”




A relaxed calm breathing helps to bring maximum amount of oxygen into our tissues. However this should not be mistaken for taking deep breaths all the time since that could be counterproductive.


Deep Belly breathing: It is a superb way to calm down oneself after a workout. The idea is to breathe in deep from the belly while keeping the shoulders and chest at rest while inhaling. This kind of breathing is necessary while lifting weights and other anaerobic activities. Even while doing cardio, it is crucial to breathe from lower belly in order to pull in more air into the lungs and make use of the extra lung capacity.


Deep Belly breathing


Breath Control: Glottis is an opening inside the throat which can block air from exiting the lungs. It can be used like a pressure valve to slowly let the air come out while tightening the abdominal contraction. It helps to control the breath and tense the body from inside out. This technique can be used while doing an isometric plank which hugely builds muscles. It also is fundamentally useful when practicing dynamic exercises like one arm push up and pistol squat.


Intra abdominal pressure: It happens when a person breathes as much air as possible without letting the belly expand. This leads to contraction of abs while breathing which further stimulates the nervous system and helps to increase strength gains.




Breathing Ladder: It consists of multiple sets of a lift performed with a fixed number of breaths in between each set. It helps in developing muscle mass, strength and mental toughness. It is a very effective way to gain muscles fast. It works best with compound movements like kettlebell swings, pull ups and squats.


Targeted Breathing: This is a methodology used to build muscles while you are sitting in your office or at home. It includes 8-10 repetitions of breathing each from upper rib cage, middle rib cage and lower rib cage. You have to retract your head back while sitting upright and exhale strongly. Now, to breathe from only the right side, one has to push the right hand against the right side of the rib cage midway up. That part should expand while breathing by focusing on that area. The same procedure is repeated for the middle and left side.