Kettlebell Sport requires the ability to breathe smoothly and as relaxed as possible to improve performance. Anatomic breathing relies on timing the breathing cycles with each phase of the lifts to make the most of the elasticity of the rib cage. In the video I show you how.
The inhale happens on the phases where the kettlebell is weightless (ribcage expends), the exhale on the phases where the kettlebell is supported (ribcage compresses).
This relaxed breathing method helps to maintain a stable heart rate. Holding the breath or breathing out of sync creates a spike in blood pressure and heart rate.
- Swing and pull: breathe in
- Lockout: breathe out
- If resting overhead: breathe in and out
- The drop: breathe in
- The back swing: breathe out
It is possible to include extra breathing cycles for cleans and snatches. The extra breath can help stabilize the spine while handling heavier kettlebells.
- First dip – exhalation
- Bumping to overhead fixation – inhalation
- Fixation, Rising up- exhalation
- Fixation, overhead rest – inhalation – exhalation
- the drop – inhalation
- cushioning the blow – exhalation
- rack position- inhalation ( if resting again: exhalation, inhalation)
In the rack position, breathing is made even more efficient if the elbows are resting low on the hip bone, and not high on the abdominal muscles. In this position it is possible to take deeper breaths. Therefore, it is crucial to perfect the rack technique for an athlete to achieve high reps.
Deep breathing mobilizes the lower lungs, which contain the greatest surface area, enhancing respiratory efficiency by reducing the number of breaths required per minute. Due to the intense nature of kettlebell lifting, the average breath volume is about 30-40% of the vital capacity, and breathing is best conducted through the nose and mouth. It is important to keep in mind that for every extra millimetre the diaphragm stretches during inhalation, lung capacity increases by a volume of about 250 ml.
If you want to learn more, I offer online kettlebell training. After only a few weeks, you’ll have a deeper understanding of kettlebell technique and how to structure a good program.