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Foundation of Health #4  - movement / adaptation

Breathe is Crucial

Breathe is Crucial

Ever wonder why your neck muscles and traps are so tight? Why your low back hurts when you lift? The very thing you do without thinking about might be the problem. Breathing is so important, without it you can’t live and chances are you are doing it all wrong. We are born and conditioned to breathe using our diaphragm, better known as the muscle of breathe. To be honest its not understood, but at some point between when we are born to now the switch gets flipped and we begin using secondary or accessory muscles to do the heavy work. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscular and membranous structure that separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities and is the primary muscle of respiration. It is a muscle that can be conditioned and reprogrammed with work to be more active and do more of what it was designed to do. It is your natural weight lifting belt! When breathing is done correctly the diaphragm will push down on the abdominal cavity allowing more air to go deep into the lungs. This in turn increases intrathecal pressure expanding the ribs and surrounding tissue of the lumbar spine engaging these muscles taking much pressure of the spine directly. This by default is the very thing that is needed to be used while lifting. Chances are you have been queued by a trainer, PT, or work out partner “breathe and brace” and unless they have explained to you what that meant, you probably just went on lifting thinking “I am breathing”. When used more, the diaphragm will get stronger allowing for more deeper, controlled bracing of your core. I remember the first time I was queued and braced correctly with breathing and while keeping a neutral spine, my weight went up and the lift was more effortless since more of my core was engaged. As they say “its not the little things, but rather its the larger more consistent things done correctly” that make the biggest impact. If you are sitting and reading this, go ahead, put a hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Breathe into your belly expanding it as though you were going to fill a barrel. Feel all that engages. You probably felt everything around your spine down to your pelvic floor engage or activate. I think its one of the coolest feelings in the world. This is how we should be breathing in our everyday life, but more importantly breathing when we are lifting. If this was the case there would be a lot less back injuries, but more importantly more stable core, low back and pelvic floor. If your looking to find your breathe or having unusual discomfort while lifting, come in for a movement evaluation and lets get you started on your movement program; you wont be disappointed!


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