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Deep belly breathing and body tension
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fracture


Dec 4, 2003, 6:31 PM
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Deep belly breathing and body tension
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Don't hold your breath. Yes. Good advice there. Before I read RWW I didn't particularly have a problem with this, and had been doing the audible-breathing thing a lot of the time.

However, I've certainly been chest-breathing pretty much all the time (which is expectable, since I've never taken yoga or other things which advocate belly-breathing, although I had heard of it).

So today, while I was making attempts on a route I've been projecting I was trying to focus on deep-belly breathing during it.

Deep-belly breathing *does* seem to calm you down very quickly. It seemed very effective when I was resting/chalking. But while making moves on the route is a different story.

In case any of you know it: the route is hug thy mother on the barton creek greenbelt in Austin. It's a 12c with a classic (and very unusual) roof move. During the various moves under this roof, your core needs to be pretty tight to hold yourself in position, and I found it very difficult to deep belly breathe through it.

So; the question is basically whether any of you have had trouble deep-belly breathing during certain moves. Maybe the deep-belly beta is mainly useful at rest holds to calm down? Or perhaps it may not be appropriate for all situations (for example, a lot of people recommend a few short, shallow (hyperventilated) breaths immediately before launching a dyno). If the latter is the case, perhaps I shouldn't be spending time concentrating on trying to do it at all times, and just do it when I reach rest holds or am making moves that don't require much body tension....

Thoughts?

-Jordan


evan


Dec 5, 2003, 8:50 AM
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Hola Jordan,

I'll bite.

There are certain positions where I really can't relax my stomach enough to do any kind of breathing which involves my abdomen. No where is this more evident on boulder problems which require a high amount of body tension, especially tricky roof sequences. I just try to do the best that I can before and after specific crux sequences, (or even on the ground) to belly breath.

I'll usually change my breathing depending on the nature of the climb, saving deep belly breathing for good to marginal rest on whatever terrain, as it allows. Francois Legrand had some interesting comments on breathing in an old issue of Rock and Ice. Legrand tends to equate your rate of breathing with the nature of the climb, and the kind of rythym that you will be using when climbing.

For example, Legrand suggests accelerating into cruxes on overhanging climbs. He'll actually start to quicken his breathing well before he even leaves the ground. Note that quick doesn't necessarily mean shallow though. On vertical or less-than-vertical terrain, Legrand advocates more delicate, careful climbing which would allow for more belly breathing.

As for dynos, I actually suggest *not* using the hyper-ventilation approach. I find this wastes energy and makes you too tense for the actual throw. Look up at the target hold, look down at your feet and take the deepest breath you can, when you look back up, fire for the hold and exhale without hesitation. Don't pump the arms or keep looking up and down without going.

Cheers,
Evan


jt512


Dec 5, 2003, 10:16 AM
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So; the question is basically whether any of you have had trouble deep-belly breathing during certain moves.

Somewhere along the line I was taught that maximum core strength is achieved by holding your breath. During the most strenuous part of a move requiring core strength, I think you should hold your breath. Breath before and afaterward, needless to say.

-Jay


iamthewallress


Dec 5, 2003, 11:45 AM
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So; the question is basically whether any of you have had trouble deep-belly breathing during certain moves.

Somewhere along the line I was taught that maximum core strength is achieved by holding your breath. During the most strenuous part of a move requiring core strength, I think you should hold your breath. Breath before and afaterward, needless to say.

-Jay

I tend to do this, but I aim to stop most of the time because most of the time I don't need maximum core strength to do the move. It can be like overgripping with my belly. (I dunno, though...Maybe it's different on 5.12 overhung sport routes?) By forcing the breathing issue a bit more, I'm trying to avoid wasting energy by getting my self into unnecessarily tense positions.

Yoga is good for practicing belly breathing while doing wild contortions that make you want to hold your breath.


jt512


Dec 5, 2003, 11:52 AM
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So; the question is basically whether any of you have had trouble deep-belly breathing during certain moves.

Somewhere along the line I was taught that maximum core strength is achieved by holding your breath. During the most strenuous part of a move requiring core strength, I think you should hold your breath. Breath before and afaterward, needless to say.

-Jay

I tend to do this, but I aim to stop most of the time because most of the time I don't need maximum core strength to do the move. It can be like overgripping with my belly. (I dunno, though...Maybe it's different on 5.12 overhung sport routes?)

Yes, core strength shouldn't be limiting except on an overhanging route, where you need the body tension to press your feet into the wall. In general, you should breath freely.

-Jay


iamthewallress


Dec 5, 2003, 6:15 PM
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Here's another suggestion...

I've been going to an agro sit-ups class a couple of days a week as part of my own training effort to be able to climb reasonable ow's and not die on long, speedy steep/freehanging jug hauls (of the aid climbing variety), both of which also require core strength. When I get grunting really hard and the crunch-master is yanking my hands up higher to make sure that I get the maxium burn, it's darn near impossible to take a breath. Training to breath (belly or otherwise) in this situation would probably help stave off the insidious burn in that class and would probably be a good, safe place to train for proper breathing on sustained belly cruncher routes.


unabonger


Feb 4, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Of the numerous breathing techniques I've done in yoga, the one that I find most useful for climbing is the "Ujjayi", or "ocean sounding" breath.

Slightly constrict the back of your throat to create a "hhh" sound. At first it's easier to make the sound on the exhale, but you'll get it on the inhale also with some practice. Breath into your belly--use your diaghragm to expand your lungs, not your chest muscles.

Keep your mouth closed. The sound should be obvious and inescapable in your head. It induces a state ideal for concentration and can be done even when you are starting to breathe more heavily with exertion.

The sound and constriction of the throat help you regulate your breathing. Use it to gauge readiness at rest stances as the pace of your breathing slows. Use it to engage the mind as you step up the first moves of a climb.

UB


dirtineye


Feb 4, 2004, 1:43 PM
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I agree that the diaphram works fine and you can keep as much body tension as you need while doing it. THis does take practice though.

Deep belly breathing is another way to say use your diaphram. (deep beely breathing is better, it gets more air in, but both using just yoru diaphram and using your diaphram in conjuction with your abdominal muscles are better than only expanding your rib cage)

I oasl fel that if yo uare doing situps for body tension, yo ushoud ldo soome of them hanging by your legs or feet from a pullup bar. Also, lifting everythign but your butt off the ground withyour hand out behind yoru head is good for body tension, We used to do this in martial arts, adn after two to 5 minutes of this, I guarantee yo uwill learn to use your diaphram and keep body tension LOL. YO ucan turn over and hold your body off the ground with hand out and feet out for another body tension trick.

The exercises that gymanstsst do with a door where they put their hand under the door adn rais everythig off the floor except theier shoulders is another good body tension exercise, but be careful yo ucan really screw up your shoulder if yo uare not careful.


fracture


May 2, 2004, 7:44 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
So; the question is basically whether any of you have had trouble deep-belly breathing during certain moves.

Somewhere along the line I was taught that maximum core strength is achieved by holding your breath. During the most strenuous part of a move requiring core strength, I think you should hold your breath. Breath before and afaterward, needless to say.

-Jay

I got Performance Rock Climbing the other day; in the Behavioral Approaches to Psychological Control chapter it says "... a climber's movements and positions sometimes require a complete suspension of breathing: when core muscles are loaded to more than half their maximum strength, breathing is not possible". (on page 82).


jt512


May 3, 2004, 9:35 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
So; the question is basically whether any of you have had trouble deep-belly breathing during certain moves.

Somewhere along the line I was taught that maximum core strength is achieved by holding your breath. During the most strenuous part of a move requiring core strength, I think you should hold your breath. Breath before and afaterward, needless to say.

-Jay

I got Performance Rock Climbing the other day; in the Behavioral Approaches to Psychological Control chapter it says "... a climber's movements and positions sometimes require a complete suspension of breathing: when core muscles are loaded to more than half their maximum strength, breathing is not possible". (on page 82).

Thank goodness. I'm not insane after all.

-Jay


dirtineye


May 3, 2004, 10:04 AM
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Yes and we all know that if it is written in a book, it must be true!

For example, the "proper way" to feed babies has changed many times since the 40's, each time someone had good reasons and 'evidence' to show why their idea should be the one true way.


alpnclmbr1


May 5, 2004, 12:00 PM
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The way to obtain maximum core power has been the same for about a thousand years.

Take a normal breath, exhale half of it and crank.

This is only good for about a second, if that. If you do try to hold it, it will sap a lot of your power and is basically a desperation move.


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