Updated: Nov 24, 2018
Most people have been taught to breathe incorrectly by the fitness industry or simply forgotten the way we are naturally meant to breathe.
You most likely have stopped breathing the way you did as a baby and this can be restored. A strong Diaphragm helps stabilize the spine, switch on your core and allow for greater oxygen transportation. When you exhale your nervous system relaxes, allowing greater effectiveness when stretching.
Mechanics of breathing
During inspiration the diaphragm descends allowing space, the rib cage then expands in all three planes, allowing external air to flow into the lungs, we have secondary muscles that assist this process. Our bodies have a different set of secondary muscles for inhalation and for exhalation.
Breathing and weight lifting posture are intimately linked
Many people have heard, breathe in as you lower a weight and exhale as you lift the weight? Sounds right, maybe it’s not!
Inhalation and exhalation are not to do with whether you are lifting or lowering a weight but it is based purely on the position of the spine during movement.
Inhalation facilitates extension abduction and supination. Breathing in!
Exhalation facilitates flexion, adduction and pronation. Breathing out!
Take a big deep breath in for me. Breathe into your chest? Not your diaphragm?
If you watch a baby breathe, they breathe into their tummies, utilising their diaphragm to its full potential, as we get older we stop doing this … Due to stress fast paced lives even holding our breath.
Breathing is the first thing I assess on my clients and the 1st thing I correct, whatever the goal of the client.
You want 360-degree breathing, into the tummy, back and sides, with a very small amount of chest expansion at the end of the breath.
I can’t do it!
It may be simply a case of practise, but some people, especially ones that have undergone a lot of stress, no matter how much you teach them just won’t be able to diaphragmatically breathe. Secondary breathing muscles have become over active and primary breathing muscles have become under active, these individuals will need exercises set on both breathing and relaxation techniques.
Exhalation allows for more effective stretching
If the nervous system relaxes when exhaling, then the muscles do, so why stretch without breathing? At InPeak we carry out Stretch wave therapy.
Stretch wave therapy is a cool combination of massage, breathing practise and stretch waves in a second to none treatment.