In this installment, legendary powerlifting coach Mark Rippetoe discusses the benefits of a technique that the fitness industry generally considers to be dangerous, despite such advocates not having presented even a single incident of injury with this technique as causation.
For each rep of the squat, Rippetoe teaches the Valsalva maneuver: take a huge breath, and hold it until you’ve finished the rep. The recommendation to breathe in on the decline and out on the way up, which you’ve likely been taught at some point, has no evidentiary basis. Further, with a few reps of experimentation on your own, you will quickly notice a more rigid, safer back — and more weight being moved — when holding a deep breath.
Rippetoe also finishes up the squat video series with a note about the exercise: the squat is quite a complex exercise when taught properly. But if you want to reach your strength goals, you do need to squat properly — and so you are going to need a visit with a qualified coach: