Inhale / Exhale!
When exercising, the usual way fit pros cue our clients to breathe is to ‘exhale on exertion’ which means breathing out on the hardest part of the exercise. For example if you’re doing a squat or a press up then you’d breathe in as you descend and breathe out as you ascend.
This is because when we inhale and fill our lungs with air, our diaphragms descends, our pelvic floor relaxes and at this point we have less of our core functioning. When we breathe out, our diaphragm and pelvic floor rises and our core fires up so it’s at this stage that it makes sense to load the body (i.e doing the hardest part of the exercise.)
However if you are postnatal and when you’re exhaling on exertion you experience any core or pelvic floor symptoms (leaking, pelvic pain, doming through the linea alba), then have a go at ‘exhaling through exertion.’ This means, try doing your exhale breath through the entire repetition of the movement and see if that makes a difference.
If you’re ever in doubt though which way you should be breathing, just breathe!
Jenny Burrell from Burrell Education has created this cool little graphic to demonstrate how your breathing is linked to movement in your core.