I Didn't Know I Was Breathing Wrong During Bicep Curls — This Trainer Explained How
Lifting weights is an essential part of building muscle and shedding fat. It — along with eating healthy fats and protein — can help boost your metabolism for the long term. Why? Because muscle is metabolically active, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn in a day. You might be using proper form and the right weight for your fitness level, but are you breathing correctly?
Guychard Codio, NASM-certified personal trainer and cofounder of New York City Personal Training, told POPSUGAR that not knowing when to breathe out and breathe in while lifting is a common mistake he sees people make at the gym. "What I tell my clients is: whenever you feel like you're exerting yourself, that's when you want to breathe out," Guychard explained. He gave bicep curls as an example.
How to Breathe During Bicep Curls
Here's Guychard's simple advice for how to breathe during a bicep curl: breathe out when you lift the weight, and breathe in when you lower the weight. That's exhale on the way up; inhale on the way down. (I admit that I've been doing the opposite my entire life, and I'm also a culprit of holding my breath often.) You're preparing yourself for the next rep as you move your dumbbells away from your biceps, so inhaling "helps get oxygen into the muscles to do the exercise properly," Guychard said. Breathing in also engages your core, which is essential for your form and preventing injury.
This type of breathing — exhale during the concentric, or muscle-shortening, part of the lift; inhale on the eccentric, or muscle-lengthening, part — goes for any kind of weight lifting. You can read more about it here. If you're sore a day or two after your strength training workouts, make sure you're listening to your body and trying some DOMS treatment methods (check out these home remedies). Ahead, we'll go over how to do a bicep curl with proper breathing.