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Kamis, 31 Maret 2016

Feeling Light Headed After Squats and Deadlifts And How To Solve It

Some of us get light headed after doing squats. The good news is that you are not alone. This happens to more people than you think, so no need quit the gym before something bad happens.



What is the cause and what can you do to make sure everything is OK? There are a variety of possible reasons why this could happen, so see our list below and see what suits you best according to your personal situation.

1. Core Pressure (The Valsalva Maneuver)

You could be light-headed because of the pressure placed on your core when doing squats and dead lifts. Strengthening of the core is always essential for doing powerful lifts like the squat. Additionally, the way you breathe will have a massive impact on allowing your core to cope with the pressure placed on it during these lifts. The core is placed under a lot of pressure as it is the connection between your legs pushing against the floor and the bar pushing you down.
DO NOT inhale during the concentric (standing up during the squat) part of the movement because this opens up the core and massively decreases its ability to cope with pressure. By exhaling whilst restricting the amount of air that exits through your mouth, you force your core to tighten. When the core is tightened, it can withstand more pressure when you lift the weight further from the ground. Breathe in as normal when you go down and exhale whilst restricting the amount of air leaving your mouth to tighten your core when returning to a normal standing position. Dont worry about focusing on your breathing throughout your entire set, just focus on tightening your core by exhaling forcefully when you straighten your legs during the squat. It is recommended NOT to block airflow entirely with your mouth during the movement, as studies have shown that this will dramatically increase your blood pressure momentarily.
This helps most people with their light-headed feeling from squatting.

2. The Bar is on Your Neck

If you do back squats with the bar resting on your shoulders, then there is also a high chance that the pressure between the bar and your neck could be restricting blood flow to your brain. This could explain why the light-headed feeling only comes once you have place the bar back on the rack and off your neck, allowing blood flow to eventually get to your head.
As a solution, you could replace back squats with front squats, which will be harder to master at first, but will be beneficial for other reasons, like the fact that front squats minimize lumbar spine flexion, and stabilize the core better.   
Additionally, if you are going to do back squats then you should ease the pressure between your neck and the bar mid-set, either by lifting the bar off your neck with your hands if the weight is not too heavy or by racking the bar and spacing it from your neck for a few seconds to allow for some blood flow before finishing your set.

3. Lack of Oxygen

The light-headed feeling could also be from a lack of oxygen in your blood for two reasons. Firstly, you could not be breathing enough during the lift thus allowing less oxygen to enter your system. Secondly, the massive stress placed on your whole body during the squat forces your muscles to burn up more oxygen at a faster rate to cope with the load. Since there are so many muscles being used at the same time during the squat, oxygen is used up a lot quicker in throughout the body. You could feel light headed after the squat as oxygen levels return to normal.
Remember to breathe during your set and dont hold your breath. See Point 1 above to make sure that you are breathing properly during each rep. 

4. You Are Pushing Too Hard 

Dont push your squats through the dizziness. Many people pass out because they try to push through it. The risk of sustaining serious injury if you pass out with the bar on top of you is very possible. If you start feeling light-headed during your lift, make sure to place the bar back on the rack and sit on the ground so that you dont fall over and hurt yourself if you pass out. Most likely, you will start to return to normal after a few seconds. Rather safe than sorry!

5. Blood Pressure

Both people with low high and low blood pressure have experienced light headed symptoms during squats. The best way to help with this is make sure you dont hold your breath during the movement and to make sure you are always breathing properly - again.

6. The Exercise Intensity

The sheer intensity of the exercise could be placing your body under pressure that it is not used to. This is because so many muscles are recruited to work under a very heavy load all at once. The light-headed feeling could be similar to the feeling you would get if you were an amateur runner who ran a marathon. The difference is that the intensity is not brought onto the body over time, but all at once. If this is the case, take it easy, reduce the weight or rest longer in-between sets until your body gets used the movement and the weight. If you keep at it your body will adapt and be able to perform the workload without feeling faint afterwards.

7. Blood Circulation

During the squat, a large portion of the muscles in your body contract, forcing blood out of them, like squeezing a wet sponge and the water runs out. Once you finish squatting, the muscles relax, allowing lots of blood to run back into your muscles. Since a lot of blood runs back into the muscles (including large muscles like your legs), there is less blood momentarily available for your lungs and heart to send oxygen to your brain, causing the light-headed feeling your feel afterwards.
The countermeasure for this is to remain standing under the bar once you place it back on the rack. This way, your leg muscles dont relax fully like with sitting so your body gets a chance to return to normal instead of moving from one extreme to another (max intensity of squats to low intensity like siting). Hold onto the bar above you once you have placed it on the rack so that if you pass out you have something to grab on.

Try these causes and cures to see which one works best for you. Stay Strong!

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