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How to Squat – Tip #5 – The Double Breath

How to Squat Training Series

In the fifth and final video in the “How to Squat” series, we will discuss the double breath technique. This is a very essential piece of the squat sequence because it works with the tension created in the hands and across the upper back to hit the perfect squat.

Tip #5 – The Double Breath

There is a collaborative effort between your breathing patterns and the tension required to stabilize the torso during the squat movement pattern.  It is very simple.  You cannot use the breath you used to unrack the bar for your first squat repetition if you are walking out the weight.  (side note: squatting on a monolift is a different story).  Your breath must be reset, so why not work it into your squat as a priority in your technique cues.

This means it will become a separate cue that you will remember in your setup.

As your diaphragm contracts and your lungs expand, you pull in air into your lungs.   When you hold this air and brace your torso, the collaborative tension when you engage all of your torso stabilizers (RA, IO/EO, TA, QL, Lats, Erectors) – especially the rectus abdominus whose lateral tendons (anti-rotator, stabilizer “buttress shear effectively in flexion” (McGill) and create “hoop stresses” (Chek)) work to create intra-abdominal pressure.  This is your natural “lifting belt”.

So you can see resetting the breath is so important for the safety of the lift.  Not only safety, but creating the potential for displaying maximal strength or power.

Coaching Cues

Remember, efficiency of movement and use these squat tips as your step-by-step guide as you perform the lift.

1.  Tension on the bar

2.  Take huge breath of air and brace your abs outward (1st breath)

3.  Unrack bar from power cage

4.  Step back with fewest steps possible, think “1”, “2”

5.  Elbows down, chest up

6.  Re-tension your grip on the bar, lats and upper back

7.  Take huge breath of air and brace your abs outward (2nd breath)

8.  Hips Back

9.  Spread the knees

10.  Hit the depth and drive out of the hole

11.  Repeat steps 5-10 for desired reps


Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance

How to Squat – Tip #5 – The Double Breath

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By on December 29th, 2010


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Comments (2)

  1. Posted by - Peter Fabian on December 31, 2010

    Hi Smitty–great job in outlining helpful tips–you might want to consider the over extension of his neck at the set up and lift and also watch his pelvis rotate the opposite direction when he nears the end of his squat–this rotation of the pelvis will transfer some of his forces off his legs when this happens (and onto his back)

  2. Posted by - Nick on January 13, 2011

    Hey, I just saw the email, pretty amazing page here.. Makes a person want to jump up and run to the gym. Which is actually what I’m going to do right now, haha.

    Happy 2011 all.

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