Dumbbells are great for keeping toned and building muscle in the gym or at home. Correct breathing technique is very important for maximizing the benefits of a dumbbell workout or any other lifting regimen. A helpful memory heuristic is to always exhale when you are exerting yourself and inhale while you are returning the dumbbell to the ready position. Mastering proper breathing will help your body maximize oxygen intake and improve overall workout performance.
Pick up the dumbbells and position your body and arms in the starting pose for your dumbbell exercise.
Inhale slowly and deeply as you prepare for the first repetition.
Draw the air through your diaphragm and deep into your core, filling your lungs completely with air. While inhaling keep your spine erect and engage your abdominals, back and intercostal rib muscles to maximize intake and maintain proper posture.
Exhale slowly and steadily as you lift the dumbbell against gravity. Continue exhaling evenly throughout the motion until you've reached the end of the lifting motion.
Exhale the remainder of the air in your lungs before you begin to return the dumbbell to the resting position. Doing so fully clears the carbon dioxide from your lungs.
Inhale slowly, deeply and fully as you return the dumbbell to the resting position.
Dan Howard is a sports and fitness aficionado who holds a master's degree in psychology. Howard's postgraduate research on the brain and learning has appeared in several academic books and peer-reviewed psychology journals.