Breathing – Mon 9.12.16

 In W.O.D.

Strength:  Back Squat 5-5-5-5-5

Conditioning: “Helen”
3 rounds for time:
– 400m Run
– 21 Kettlebell Swings (53/35#)
– 12 Pull Ups

Performance: 500m Row and Strict Pull Ups
Fitness: Rx’d
Health:  KB as heavy as possible,  Ring Rows set low enough that it takes 2-3 sets each round to complete (If you get all 12 reps in one set, you didn’t go difficult enough)


Breathing during the Kettlebell Swing

Although it is overlooked by many, proper breathing during the Kettlebell Swing is crucial both for performance and injury prevention. Through proper reinforcement, the breathing pattern will become second nature, leading you to increase both strength and power.  Done correctly, kettlebell swings should improve and build the back, not hurt it.

The efficiency of the Kettlebell Swing relies heavily on a proper breathing pattern. Breathing correctly increases speed and force production throughout the movement. Proper breathing also engages the midsection and protects lifters from injury. Because of the explosive nature and rhythmic movement of the Kettlebell Swing, learning correct breathing in this movement can help you in many other movements in CrossFit.  Diaphragm extension and contraction are of the utmost importance and you can learn it pretty quickly with the Swing.

During the swing, when hinging down, inhale and fill your midsection with air (Push your belly out!).  A full diaphragm will help you engage your core, keep your back neutral and prepare your body for the explosive hip extension to follow.

When extending your hips and coming swiftly to an upright position, powerfully exhale, as if you were blowing out candles. This will substantially increase your power output, allowing you to dramatically increase strength and progress up in weight.  It will also prepare to you inhale again as the Kettlebell descends.

To understand the correct way to breathe and master the breathing pattern for the Kettlebell Swing, follow these steps. Perform 10 reps of this breathing routine without weight before you pick up a kettlebell.

Downward phase: Standing completely upright, inhale deeply through and fill your stomach with air. If done properly, your navel will be forced forward and slightly down.

Upward phase: Exhale as fast as possible while exploding your hips forward and propelling the kettlebell up.

I do not get too much into whether to breathe in or out of the nose or mouth.  I have read all the science and arguments.  It comes down to one thing to me.  If you can inhale through your nose without raising the shoulders, then go ahead.  If you can’t, like me, then inhale through the mouth.

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