No matter what form of exercise you are doing, learning to breathe properly is vitally important for the following reasons:
1/ Oxygen is required in the process of converting glucose in the blood to energy. This is why our breathing is heavier during exercise, because more energy is required.
2/ Even more important than this is correct breathing will help protect your back, especially when lifting weights.
A general rule of thumb is to breathe out on the concentric (lifting) phase of a movement and breathe in on the eccentric (lowering) phase of the movement.
When you breathe out, your waist line momentarily reduces and your muscles surrounding your spine also engage to protect and support your spine during the lift.
Why do you think weight lifters and bodybuilders wear a weights belt? It's to keep your core tight and back supported.
I'm not a big advocator of using a weight lifting belt as it overrides your core muscles and can end up leading to a weaker back in the long term, but that's a story for another day.
Give these breathing tips a try next time you're in the gym and see how you get on.
Yours in fitness,