Protect Your Back

Spine & Ribs

Protect your back while performing overhead lifts.

There are a few simple things that I’ve found very useful and must be employed to lift effectively.

  • First you want to breath deep into your abdomen and allow the diaphragm to contract.  Now a portion of this air is going to be held inside for the duration of the exercise; you will still inhale and exhale using costal breathing. If you do end up using your diaphragm, just make sure you’re holding a portion of the air in with each breath.
  • Next make sure that the hips are forward, by doing this it causes the glutes and abdominals to tighten (keep them contracted throughout the lift).  If all of the conditions are met then you have a strong support base for your overhead lifts.

One thing to keep in mind when using a breath holding technique is you may become dizzy due to the venae cavae and aorta being compressed.  Also if you hold your breath for too long and the pressure in your abdomen raises above 106kg/cm2 then you will herniate.  So as always with everything and anything, exercise caution and use good judgement.


Yosef Kaplan ISSA CFT
Personal Trainer.

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