The Influence of Breathing Techniques on Sticking Region in Maximal Bench Press Performance

December 6, 2023

The study by Dusan Blazek and his team investigates how different breathing methods affect performance in the bench press, especially during the hardest part of the lift, known as the sticking region.

Study Summary and Method

The research involved 24 male athletes who did a one-repetition maximum bench press using various breathing techniques like the Valsalva Maneuver (VM), holding their breath, lung packing (PAC), and reverse breathing (REVB). The study measured the maximum weight lifted and the movement during the lifting phase.

Key Findings

The study found that reverse breathing reduced the weight lifted. The Valsalva Maneuver helped complete the lift faster than other methods. Lung packing was effective in reducing the time and distance of the sticking region, making it easier to get past this difficult phase in the bench press.

Analysis of Breathing Techniques

Lung packing and the Valsalva Maneuver were the best for getting through the sticking region in maximum lifts. Holding breath didn’t really help; it didn’t decrease the weight lifted but made the lift take longer, including more time in the sticking region.

Advice for Athletes and Coaches

The study suggests that athletes can choose between lung packing and the Valsalva Maneuver based on what feels best and their experience for the best performance in a one-repetition maximum bench press. It’s advised not to use reverse breathing during maximum lifts because it can worsen performance.

Conclusions for Training

The study concludes that lung packing and the Valsalva Maneuver are helpful for getting past the sticking region in the bench press. Lung packing seems to be slightly better at reducing the time and distance of the sticking region. This information is very useful for athletes and coaches in strength sports to improve training and competition strategies.

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