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Breathing Optimally

Take a deep breathe in and slowly exhale. Did your chest rise quicker than your stomach? You are making the same mistake as many people do. You are doing what is called Clavicular breathing, or chest breathing. By breathing through our chest thousands of times throughout the day, we can lead ourselves in to dysfunction in our chest and neck muscles. This is due to our chest becoming tight and inhibiting our posterior chain muscles. In order to breathe optimally, we must breathe 3-Dimensionally through our stomach. In proper strength training, this is the foundation of our lifts in order to set our core for stabilization. By breathing 3-Dimensionally, we are engaging our inner and outer core muscles to stabilize us into neutral alignment to make sure we are not putting ourselves in danger while executing the lift. A simple exercise for this is by lying on your back, place one hand on your stomach, and the other on your chest. Slowly fill your stomach with air through an inhale, focusing on having the hand on the stomach rise up before the one on your chest. A key point is the exhale should be just as long as the inhale. When I teach this I tell my client to imagine as if they are breathing through a straw, which really allows us to focus on breathing through our stomach. Give it a shot and try to implement it in to your daily lives.

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