Have you ever been in the middle of a set of squats or a circuit of burpees and suddenly realized you've been holding your breath the entire time? You're not alone, fam: Sometimes, when things get difficult during a sweat sesh, an automatic response is to hold your breath and brace yourself, which might not seem like that big of a deal in the moment, but it can actually be detrimental to achieving your goals in the gym. Believe it or not, there are specific breathing techniques you can use to improve your workout and enhance your fitness skills overall.
According to American Fitness Magazine, many people don't properly engage their diaphragm when they're breathing in general, let alone when they're exercising. In part, the outlet says, this shallow breathing can be due to things like stress and poor posture, and it can "cause discomfort in the chest and back muscles, weaken the muscles in the pelvic floor and lower back, and disrupt proper movement of the shoulders and spine" — all of which can potentially lead to injury while engaging in any kind of physical activity.
So now that you know just how much your breathing factors into your workout, here are a few techniques to help you improve your inhales and exhales at the gym, broken down by the type of workout you're doing.