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How to Control Breathing During Push Ups

author image Cynthia Hunter
Cynthia Hunter is a health and fitness writer in San Diego, CA who began writing in 2009. She is a National Academy of Sports Medicine-Certified Personal Trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist and a Master Fitness Specialist certified through the Cooper Institute. Hunter's articles have been featured in many online publications including eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM. Hunter is currently working toward a degree in medicine.
How to Control Breathing During Push Ups
Young man doing pushups on the basketball court. Photo Credit hjalmeida/iStock/Getty Images

Maintaining proper breathing during push-ups will not only keep your body safe, it also will allow the body to perform at a much higher level of performance. Using proper breathing techniques in any exercise will promote successful execution of the exercise and may assist in increasing the number of repetitions you are able to accomplish. Learning how to perform a proper push-up allows for an increase in upper-body strength and stabilization of the entire body.

Step 1

Depending on the level of difficulty you wish to perform your push-up, use either a wall, workout bench or the floor, and get into the position of a push-up. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, your feet should be hip-width apart and your hands flat on the chosen surface. Hold your body in a straight line from head to heel, being careful not to let your hips sag.

Step 2

With your hands placed flat on the surface, extend your arms holding your body away from the chosen plane. Inhale in this extended position and begin to lower your body down to the surface until your elbows obtain a 90-degree angle. Keep your chin tucked, being careful not to stress the cervical vertebrae by looking forward or around the room.

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Step 3

Push your body away from the surface while exhaling through the mouth until your body returns to the original extended position. The breathing goal in every exercise is to exhale on the most physically demanding portion of the movement. An easy way to remember this breathing principle is to "exhale on the effort." Breathing properly will prevent a rise in blood pressure, which could be followed by a fall in arterial pressure, possibly leading to dizziness, blurred vision and fainting.

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