When preparing for a heavy lift that in some way or other recruits your lower back, remember THIS simple yet important tip! BREATHE OUT WHEN TIGHTENING IT! Hopefully this message will get through if you didn’t know to do this already. Now the reason that this is so important is twofold…
1.) You will struggle to achieve intra-abdominal pressure. One of the main ways we generate tension in our muscles, particularly our core, is through sucking in air and holding our breath, this is because it generates intra-abdominal pressure i.e. high pressure within our mid-section. Attempting a lift with insufficient intra-abdo pressure will leave you with…well, low pressure…and in order to generate force we really need some form of pressure.
2.) Also, you’ll struggle to perform reps because your ability to achieve full lung inflation is reduced by restricting your abdomen. Proper breathing requires you to breath from your stomach, not your chest. Do a quick test for me, take a deep breath in and look to see whether your stomach goes in, stays the same (flat), or moves outwards (gets bigger), if it moves out then you are breathing correctly, if however it goes inwards then you are breathing inefficiently. Now imagine tightening your belt whilst breathing in, and you can start to understand why this may inhibit your breathing.
So next time you step up to lift some heavy s***, breathe out and whilst the lungs are empty and your stomach is relatively flat (not sucked in), begin to tighten your belt. If you aren't already, try this technique next time and see how it feels!