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Push-Up Breathing Question
Old 08-21-2016, 09:45 PM   #1
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Push-Up Breathing Question

I am not that experienced with exercising and would like to start doing some body weight exercise, such as push ups.

Last year when my friends were needling me about how many push ups I could do I showed them and one said that if I kept holding my breath while doing them I would blow a gasket.

I assume that I should be breathing in on one phase of the push up and breathing out on the other, but does it make a difference which way I do it? That is, should I be breathing in during the harder "up" phase and exhaling during the easier "down" phase?

I guess that brings another question to mind. If I consider the "down" phase to be easier, does that mean I am not controlling my push up enough and should be going slower and supporting my body weight more during the "down" phase?

As you can see, I am pretty clueless on exercise technique.

Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:59 PM   #2
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I just breathe normally during push-ups, not paying attention to whether I'm breathing in or out when I'm going up or down. But I do watch my form making sure my back is straight and I have a full range of motion.


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Old 08-21-2016, 10:39 PM   #3
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Yes. Just breath normally. You will find your own "rhythm."

But do NOT keep holding your breath
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:40 AM   #4
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Exhale on the effort when lifting weights, I assume it applies to push ups too.
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:09 AM   #5
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Right, always exhale on the power stroke, inhale on the ralaxation move.
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Old 08-22-2016, 06:01 AM   #6
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I would suggest you find someone who can help you with form and alternative approaches which will produce better results and likely less injury. I am an 'exerciser' but not educated in training. My comments are from my current experience of hiring my first personal trainer.

When I did my first push-ups, my breathing was wrong (similar to yours) as was my position. The biggest problem was my elbows bowed outward (my back was arched as well) . Elbows should go straight back. With bowed elbows, I could do several push-ups. With straight back elbows, I could not do many. My body was adjusting to the easiest but not most productive method, hence elbows pointed sideways.

The change to gain strength and form was to do the push-ups on a surface about 3 feet high. (Hands on the raised surface, feet on the floor). I was able to keep my form which executing the push-ups. I now do a few on the floor and the rest on the raised surface. So, I am building strength and form, working the right muscles.

It turns out that most of the exercises I was doing needed to be altered even though I am fairly fit (bicycle, play ice hockey, basketball, etc.). If a trainer is not in your plan, I suggest you do a search, perhaps Youtube where form and other helpful aspects can make the time you are exercising more beneficial.
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Old 08-22-2016, 06:37 AM   #7
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breath out when you push. just like lifting weights
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:00 AM   #8
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Many people do not do push-ups correctly. Here is a link to an article (with video and pics) on how to do correct pushups:
https://www.t-nation.com/training/pu...ly_dose-160814

As for me, I breath, but do not worry about when to breath in or out like I would when lifting free weights.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:33 AM   #9
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OP - get a trainer. he/she will make sure you are doing them correctly
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
Exhale on the effort when lifting weights, I assume it applies to push ups too.
+1
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:38 AM   #11
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OP - get a trainer. he/she will make sure you are doing them correctly
Just a comment on this, there are many so-called trainers that do not have a clue on how to do various exercises correctly. So be careful in who you select. They should have some education and certifications if they are worth anything.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:42 AM   #12
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Just a comment on this, there are many so-called trainers that do not have a clue on how to do various exercises correctly. So be careful in who you select. They should have some education and certifications if they are worth anything.
mine has several certifications - she makes sure I don't hurt myself

she doesn't have the golf swing figured out though
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
OP - get a trainer. he/she will make sure you are doing them correctly
No need to pay a trainer for this. It's not a directed exercise program. DFW_M5's post and link address the OP request.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Many people do not do push-ups correctly. Here is a link to an article (with video and pics) on how to do correct pushups:
https://www.t-nation.com/training/pu...ly_dose-160814

As for me, I breath, but do not worry about when to breath in or out like I would when lifting free weights.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:50 AM   #14
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No need to pay a trainer for this. It's not a directed exercise program. DFW_M5's post and link address the OP request.
people that are new to exercising should get some form of instruction other than youtube, IMO

I've spent lots of time in the gym and can't believe some of the poor techniques that are used, horrible

those that are too cheap to get a trainer can go to a bootcamp class or something

pushups are just a start anyway - friends don't let friends forget leg day
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:52 AM   #15
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I always exhale during the exertion - on push-ups that would be when pushing up. Inhale when lowering back down. That's how I was always taught for any kind of strength training (and yoga and martial arts).
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
Exhale on the effort when lifting weights, I assume it applies to push ups too.
+2 Exactly!
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:07 AM   #17
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people that are new to exercising should get some form of instruction other than youtube, IMO

I've spent lots of time in the gym and can't believe some of the poor techniques that are used, horrible

those that are too cheap to get a trainer can go to a bootcamp class or something

pushups are just a start anyway - friends don't let friends forget leg day
A trainer is probably appropriate for someone who is old and has never exercised, or has a medical condition, but there are plenty of resources online. This is not being cheap.
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:11 AM   #18
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A trainer is probably appropriate for someone who is old and has never exercised, or has a medical condition,
sorry about that - that definitely doesn't apply to anyone on this forum

I have one because otherwise I wouldn't work out - pretty sad huh?
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Old 08-22-2016, 09:47 AM   #19
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I have one because otherwise I wouldn't work out - pretty sad huh?
We know you are only concerned about your golf swing
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:34 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the advice. I will check out the article with the video tonight and will definitely try to exhale on the up stroke.

I am starting out slowly. My first exercise is to try to walk one hour or at least half an hour twice per day. I am having a little arch pain, but I think I have that covered now by wearing my Merill hiking boots plus upgrading yesterday to Super Feet Orange inserts. A few years ago the guy at Eastern Mountain Sports sold me the wrong size boots and the wrong size Super Feet. Now I have wide Merills and D instead of E Super Feet and they line up with my arch. This morning I walked for an hour and the feet felt fine.

I have this book called "Convict Conditioning" that covers a complete body-weight system. I tried doing it a couple years ago and kept at it for a few months. I am hoping to start over now and keep at it.

This program has you do easy versions of each exercise and then get harder and harder. The first three exercises are push up, pull up (but starting out pulling yourself against a doorway frame and then at a 45 degree angle to the floor with a bar before trying a real one) and squats. I got about this far last time and then it had core crunches.

I figure that the first three plus the walking will keep me busy for now. Since the weather is nice I will try to stay out most of the day working in the yard and woods.

Being retired only two weeks, I am penny pinching until I get settled into a budget. I suppose some instruction might make sense down the road. A few years ago I joined a gym for a month and the first trip in the "trainer" put me on some sort of stepping machine that was set for way more than I could handle and it ended up hurting me.

Well, anyway, I will start out slow and see how things go.

Thanks for all of the responses and advice.

Joe
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