Waterline Breathing & Bracing Technique

CGP Ep57 Scott Hebert Master Coach Vol. 2
February 18, 2015
CGP Ep 58 The 2 Most Important Exercises Ever!
February 25, 2015

Waterline Breathing and Bracing:

This is not a video to discuss whether or not breathing is important this is a video on how to use it in your coaching! This video is designed to help strength coaches and their athletes understand how to breathe during heavy lifts like the deadlift or the squat. Using an analogy of deadlifting in a pool allows your athlete to visualize the proper breathing technique during maximal lifts.

Athletes: Please watch the Breathing and Bracing Video to ensure that you truly understand the concepts being taught in this video. Once you can effectively abdominal breathe and brace, try using the same technique during your favourite lifts. Start with no weight and master the technique before you load the lift. Follow the steps below and watch this video for a great visual cue!

Steps to the Waterline Breathing and Bracing Technique:

  1. Standing: Breathe in to the abdomen using deep abdominal breathing. Picture your stomach as a balloon filling up with air.
  2. Hold your breathe sealing the air inside the balloon.
  3. Pretend you are stopping yourself from urinating midstream. NO Peeing in the POOL!
  4. Contract your abs to compress the balloon.
  5. Hold your breathe as you drop into the lift and your head goes under the waterline.  Complete the lift.
  6. Release the air from the balloon once your head is above water. Push the air out with pursed lips to slowly release the pressure.
  7. Repeat!

Coaches: How you cue your athlete can make all the difference in the world. A great exercise performed incorrectly is worse than a poor exercise performed perfectly! To get your athlete to perform a lift with perfect form you need to be able to cue them with imagery or analogies they can relate to. I love this cue for abdominal bracing. You may remember from back in the day the Valsalva Manoeuvre where you exhale forcefully through a closed airway. This is the same concept but adding in the breathing and bracing for better intra-abdominal and spinal stability. The waterline is easy for the athlete to visualize and brings back memories of holding their breathe underwater! Try this cue the next time you are working with your athletes.

For more information on breathing techniques, exercise technique or performance training sign up for the Next Level (If you haven’t already!) This month’s feature video is a 30 minute video on teaching abdominal breathing and bracing from the ground up. Enjoy! Coach Glass


Share This