So, how the hell is breathing supposed to help you get a six pack? Follow these breathing techniques next time you're doing situps, crunches, leg-ups, or any type of ab exercises for that matter...
BREATHE! - The first step is to ACTUALLY BREATHE. Don't hold your breath. While breathing is a natural bodily function, for whatever reason, people stop doing it when they work their abs. Muscles need blood and oxygen in order to build, and cutting off the circulation to your abs prevents this from happening. Holding your breathe while working your abs can also raise your blood pressure and make you light headed or dizzy. If all that wasn't bad enough, your chances of forcing out a fart in front of the hot guy or girl next to you while you're doing situps will increase significantly if you hold your breathe.
EXHALE! - Best done through your mouth, you want to exhale during the concentric phase of the ab exercise, meaning, you breathe out as your abs are contracting and exerting force. This would be the "crunch" portion of the exercise, when your upper or lower body moves towards the center. This helps prompt your abs to do work using maximal abdominal muscle fiber, with less involvement from the iliopsoas muscles (you don't have to know what this means, just know that it's good).
INHALE! - Best done through your nose, you want to inhale during the eccentric phase of the ab exercise, meaning, you breathe in as your body relaxes. This would be the portion of the exercise when your upper or lower body moves away from the center. Inhaling is crucial in delivering blood and oxygen to your abdonimals. Proper inhalation replenishes the energy your body needs in order to continue to contract, allowing for more repetitions (you don't get a six pack by doing 20 crunches and calling it a day).
Exhale on the way up, inhale on the way down, it's as easy as that. In fact, it's so easy a caveman could do it. Look at this guy for instance, his abs are impeccable....
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