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 Recently, I was asked to try some deep breathing exercises, no big deal right? Well, before we get started on the next workout video... I want you to try it out. It may be easy for some of you, but it took me a few tries before getting it right. It’s using your diaphragm and abdominal muscles. It is a long inhale - extending your diaphragm (belly) without raising your chest and then exhaling - contracting your diaphragm (using your abdominals muscles to pull your belly in). Give it a shot... and make sure your chest does not rise, focus mainly on your diaphragm to do the work (literally sticking your belly all the way out, filling it up with air and pulling it back in, real tight). It involves a lot more then you think.

There was a time in my life when I was involved in a car accident and had to be air lifted to the hospital with several internal injuries. Four cracked ribs, cracked pelvis, collapsed right lung, spleen on the verge to rupturing, and a few lacerations on my body. After seven days in the hospital stuck to an IV, with no food, the one thing I disliked most was the respiratory therapy to recover my normal breathing patterns - with 4 cracked ribs, it was pretty painful! Breathing is literally a muscular process that we need to continually exercise, especially during physical/cardiovascular activities.

Not being able to breath is probably one of the scariest feelings anyone can experience... you go into panic mode. Our lungs play such a crucial role in our everyday lives and you’re probably thinking.. why the hell is she telling us this?! Well, 10 out of 10 times, I am reminding the exerciser to BREATHE! Don’t get me wrong... I am absolutely guilty of this as well. When I am introduced to a new exercise or whenever the intensity of my workouts increase, I tend to hold my breath and tense up. I have to train and remind myself how to breath especially when I’m lifting heavy weights. I will grain more strength, power, along with endurance with proper breathing. Breathing correctly during lifting can prevent injury and hemorrhaging.

Living a healthy and fit lifestyle is not merely for our outward appearance, but also exercising our internal organs to function efficiently and effectively to sustain any workout we come upon. When we inhale, our lungs move oxygen into the bloodstream throughout our body and then gets rid of the carbon dioxide waste when we exhale. Its a complex organ that we can not neglect during training and/or exercising.

Applying the right breathing techniques while training will improve your overall workout experience and overall health. There are many different breathing techniques, especially for different sport and/or physical activity (i.e swimming, powerlifting). Research what’s best for you... In the next workout video, you will hear me saying inhale - exhale several times throughout each exercise.

Proper breathing will help you maintain a smooth and even rhythm, especially during resistant training/weight lifting. Holding your breath can cause you to faint or become dizzy, so be sure to breath!! You want to always exhale when you are moving the weight against gravity. For example: during a bicep curl, you will inhale as you lower the weight and exhale as you curl the weight up, which requires the greatest amount of exertion. This also goes for push-up and pull-ups... exhale as you push or pull yourself up.

Let’s get started!! Happy training...

  • Jump Rope
  • Kettle Bells or Dumbbells
  • Medicine Ball
  • Yoga mat
Full Body Workout:
  • Compound Exercise: Single Leg Deadlift w/ Bicep Curl
  • Kettle Bell or Dumbbell squats
  • Tricep Push-up on medicine ball

Follow her on Twitter now! @MsJackieFitness