Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Squat breath vs. Deadlift breath...

During my deadlifts last week I realized that I had confused my breathing set up from my squat to my deadlift - not a great idea. But these are the things that happen when you don't practice a lift consistently enough.

For squats - since the bar is held across the back above the center of gravity - setting the upper back and wedging the chest underneath the bar is so important and there is a different breathing set up for this. The breath is initially deep into the belt but then up into the chest. This is part of the wedge and upper back setting and bar position (low bar). This setting of the breath and upper body assist in taking the load of the bar properly along the spine and provides a stable platform from which you use the legs and hips.

For the Deadlift - since the bar is held in the arms below the center of gravity you want to set the breath low into the diaphragm and belt and "pre-compress" the chest and abdomen to take the load of the bar. This means that when you begin to drive from the legs and hips the already compressed abdomen and chest will "link" up and support the weight that is hanging from the arms and being lifted through the body.

So I had confused my set up breaths and I rushed my set up at the bar by gripping and "dipping - gripping - and ripping" without being fully wedged and prepared for the lift.

This is the concept of Strength as a Skill in action - without practicing a lift or movement you will "lose" parts of that skill. So it is back to the deadlift bar for me! (at least once a week)


Christine said...

I'm good on my DL breathing. Squatting... whole different story.

I recently started WSB... Louie Simmons is stealing my deadlifts! ;)

Brett Jones said...

It's just a matter of going too long without DLing. If my understanding of WSB is correct there should be some speed DLs in the program. Now I just need to get them in mine.

Mark Reifkind said...

I always did some deadlifts while doing wsb. we were either doing timed singles at 70% for speed work or some variation of a pull in the Max effort rotational mix.
You have to dl christine, you just dont have to dl heavy all the time doing wsb.
plus, variations of the dl will help alot as well:

dl to knees
dl standing on block
dl from knee in rack
speed dl
comp dl

brett, very interesting analysis of the different breaths for dl and squat. havent seen it put that well.

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Rif - breath is everything!

Christine said...

I have some 60-70% singles in there. I think I'm addicted to pulling heavy every week. I'll seek therapy. ;)

Joe Sarti said...

that is very insightful and I like the explanation of each and specifically their differences. And of course the wisdom of Strength is a Skill can never be undermined!

Link and sync!

Good teaching

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Joe - link and sync - I like it!

Rick & The Family! said...


Just try to not 'over-think' it. When I squat, I suck in a huge breath, then push my belly into my belt and flex hard. I then unrack and get set-up. I then breath out, then suck in another huge breath and again put my belly into my belt and flex it hard. Then I squat and hold my breath the whole way.

deadlift-I dont even think about it. I get set, pull myself under the bar, squat and pull at the top.

When you start over-thinking everything, you forget about the most important element: getting the weight UP!


Brett Jones said...

I normally don't think too much about it either but it comes into focus when you do it wrong! Control of breath is the key to strength and while getting the weight up is the ultimate goal - blindly pulling or squatting can bite you.
Hope you are well - how's the training?

Rick & The Family! said...

Training is very good, I have IPA Worlds this coming weekend. At 220 I am on track to hit 700-750-775 in the squat, 350-375-405 in the bench, and 650-705-730 in the dead. That will give me my Elite and much more, and will also secure the IPA 220 am. deadlift record!

Last training day was yesterday. Smoked my opening squat of 700 like it was 135, so I am ready physically and mentally.


Brett Jones said...

White lights Rick! Sounds like you are ready - now just go have fun with it!

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