Do you find that your breathing is shallow? Don’t worry, studies have shown that most of us are. Although many of us may be shallow breathers, shallow breathing can greatly impact your respiratory muscles, create tension in the body, undermine your posture and compromise core stability. Luckily, there are many core-specific exercises and techniques that can be practiced. Here’s how:
How-To: Core Strengthening Breathing Exercise
With this breathing technique, you can begin strengthening your core muscles such as the abdomen and lower back and as well as allowing your body to experience a good stretch.
Tone from the Inside Out
This routine will strengthen your innermost abdominals. First, you’ll do breathing sequences to awaken your deep belly muscles.
Next, you’ll incorporate the breath work into a few strengthening moves that will tone your core even faster. A yoga mat, a hand towel, and a few throw pillows or a small, cushy exercise ball will be needed for this exercise. Practice this routine at least 3 days a week, and your middle will become more defined—supple and sturdy, not just tight.
Belly and Chest Breathing
- Use a rolled-up towel, firm pillow, or small exercise ball, lie facedown and place prop under abdomen.
- Begin by taking five slow breaths over the course of sixty seconds. Concentrate on inflating abdomen and feeling belly press into prop.
- Your next 5 breaths, inhale until full, then hold, stiffening all muscles of abdomen at once, as if bracing against prop. Hold breath for 3 seconds, then slowly exhale.
- Finally, roll gently from side to side, massaging abdomen. Continue for a minute.
- Move prop under sternum and repeat the 3-step sequence, this time feeling rib cage press into prop.
This position improves rib cage movement so you breathe better.
- Begin by lying on your side with knees bent and arm under head.
- Then, place prop under waist, then directly underside ribs.
- In each position, repeat breathing series from Steps 1 and 2 of the belly and chest breathing exercise.
Bridge With Diaphragm Vacuum
When your diaphragm is stretched in this movement, the pelvic floor will also get a workout as well.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart.
- While inhaling, slowly begin to lift hips into bridge and extend arms overhead.
- While exhaling fully, let abdominal muscles go slack, then broaden ribs (you’ll feel diaphragm move and your core hollowing). Lower hips to floor and bring arms back to sides. Repeat technique 10 times.
Diaphragm Vacuum on Knees
This simple move improves your internal core muscles.
- Begin by sitting on your heels and lean forward with hands on knees, arms straight.
- Take a deep breath, then empty lungs and torso of air.
- Once empty of air, lean into hands, lower chin, and spread ribs apart so belly is sucked in and up.
- Hold 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat exercise 4 times.
This exercise works the deep core muscles in the body as well as the pelvic floor. If this exercise does not cause fatigue, try standing farther from the doorknob or think about using a thicker band.
- Attach end of exercise band to doorknob or another stationary object. Hold onto the other end of band in front of chest with elbows bent and hands shoulder-width apart.
- Take a step away from doorknob to add tension to band.
- Next, extend arms straight in front of chest, pulling hands slightly away from each other.
- Keep the body still and resist tension from band, hold the pose for 10 to 20 seconds while breathing into the belly and rib cage.
- Release band for 10 to 20 seconds. Do 5 to 7 reps
Having a strong core has many added benefits, one of which can minimize the risk of injury. If you are looking for ways to develop strong core muscles or learn more about how the core affects the rest of the body, contact our Atlanta chiropractors today at (404) 889-8828.