: why do we take a deep breath whenever we want to lift something heavy?

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: why do we take a deep breath whenever we want to lift something heavy?

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It is not like one muscle only have one job. Especially in the torso where each muscle have two or three different jobs. If not specific jobs the muscles can all at least control the pressure in the body to help out with breathing and digestion. But this means that it can be hard to do two things at once, for example breathe and lift something heavy. These tasks often use the same core muscles. Lifting can prevent you from breathing at all as the muscles not involved in lifting does not have the strength to overcome the ones which do. So you instinctively take a deep breath preparing to hold your breath as you lift.

When you lift something with your arms, especially something out in front of you, the weight is well in front of your spine. The weight will tend to make your back bend forwards. To support that, you hold your breath to create pressure in your abdomen – this becomes a kind of pressure vessel which helps your back muscles keep that bend from happening.

Think about a balloon. If you put a single breath into it, it’s pretty floppy. If you blow it up until it’s full, it holds a much more rigid shape.

Our torso is no different. If you take in a huge breath, you can make your torso more rigid. This makes it easier to hold things without falling over/having your torso bend. This can help you gain additional leverage when lifting a heavy object.

It creates intra abdominal pressure causing the torso to become a hydrostatic skeleton which creates rigidity and spares the spine to a degree while increasing strength overall.