I have three questions here:

  1. How do I brace my belly during a squat? I have tried bracing and inhaling before going down, then when coming back up I breath, but, this give me a bit of a headache.

  2. How do I breath and brace my belly during other exercise? I find it difficult.

  3. The personal trainer told me you must also brace your pelvic floor during exercise and I find that so hard, how do I accomplish this?

  • 1
    the correct way to breath in squats is before the movement your doing inhale and exhale after the complete motion... less weight and more reps will help your poster
    – user32742
    Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 15:33
  • 1
    If you're using a belt, this is related: fitness.stackexchange.com/a/41544/31284
    – C. Lange
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 16:02

2 Answers 2


The best way I can describe it is to breathe deeply into your belly - not your chest. Then imagine that someone is about to punch you in the stomach. The natural human reaction to someone who is going to punch you in the stomach is to kind of suck your gut “in and up.”

Also, in the squat, I like to contract my lats a bit as that helps keep the lower back tight. Now you should have a bunch of air in your stomach being compressed by the forces of your abdomen and back. This will help to protect your spine. Now do your squat. At the end of the rep. Let it out, but try to maintain some rigidity. Repeat.


Basically what @Frank said is spot on. One cue that my professor liked to use when he teaches patients how to brace, is to try and hold in a fart while also trying to let it out at the same time. It doesnt really make much sense at first but if you think about it and try it out, youll find that you end up tightening your core. In terms of breathing, you can try researching the Valsalva technique. Its mainly used by scuba divers when their trying to equalize pressure in their sinuses, but it can also be applied to powerlifting. The headache you are getting is likely because of an increase in blood pressure while you are squatting, followed by a sudden drop in blood pressure as soon as you relax and exhale. this is normal though.

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