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How to Use Your Diaphragm For Better Breathing

In the last blog post, found here, we discussed 3 benefits of good breathing. Now that we know all the benefits of using our diaphragm to breath, how do we get that to happen?

The easiest cue is to breath through your nose, both on the inhale and the exhale. Why does that work? Well, if we consider breathing through your nose versus breathing through your mouth, we see that your nostrils are much smaller than your throat, which means you have some resistance when breathing through the nose.

This resistance requires you to use your breathing muscle more, so your diaphragm becomes more active. Breathing through your nose also has the benefit of warming, filtering, and humidifying the air, along with regulating the pace. As silly as this may sound, it’s a truth that your nose is for breathing and your mouth is for eating.

We now understand why we prefer to breath through our nose, and how increasing our diaphragm use can improve our overall health. Next, we will go over a breathing drill that can be used to calm our nervous system, deepen our breath, mobilize our internal organs, and be used as an assessment of position tolerance.

Here is a video link to complete this breath work: Breathe 360

Remember, when you attain a full breath volume while lying on your back, this is your reference breath volume. You should be able to attain 90% of that reference breath volume in any position at anytime during the day. This is how you can use the breathing technique as a self assessment. Get into different positions and see if you can attain 90% of that breath volume. If you can’t, that means you don’t own that position.

Your breathing is the first muscle compensation when you don’t tolerate a position well. Get better control of the breath, and you will have better ownership of that position. It’s probable that the positions you don’t breath well in are also positions you don’t like or don’t perform well in. This can be any position including standing, squatting, lunging, pushup, pull up, or overhead reaching. Try any position of a movement you struggle with, and you will likely find that your breathing is not very good there. Stay in that position and work on breathing to own that position.

This is the tip of the iceberg when we look at breathing. It’s a great skill to develop and has long term effects that are more valuable than many exercises. We take for granted the way we breath and that we can influence it. By improving our breathing pattern, we are setting ourselves up for long term health and lasting gains.

Practice your breathing daily. Spending five minutes in bed before you fall asleep is a great way to calm your nervous system, but also assessing and practicing your breathing throughout the day can uncover unknown limitations allowing you to treat and excel beyond your prior limits. #snowbeastperformance

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