How To Breathe Better
Diaphragmatic Muscle Techniques to Maximize the Benefits Your Respiration
Sam Lupovich – D.O.M.P; B.A. Hons
Take a deep breath in. Keep it in. Now take another sip in..and another. Now exhale..and before you inhale again, exhale some more..all the way out.. all the way..don’t stop! spit it out if you have to! where DOES it stop?
How is it that we find these extra ways to squeeze more out of respiration?
The diaphragm is the major muscle of respiration- a large dome-shaped muscle that sits below the lungs and separates the thorax from the abdomen. When you breathe in, the diaphragm contracts and flattens to allow enough space and pressure for the the lungs to fill up with oxygen. When we exhale, the diaphragm releases and air (carbon dioxide) is pushed out as it relaxes back to its domed curve.
If we can identify which muscles insert and attach, we can focus on where to contract and relax. And like any other muscle, train them to open and close wider. Think of it as improving the range of motion of your diaphragm through active, indirect stretching. Once it becomes more flexible, you’ll be able to breathe better and easier!
To give you a quick gist of the anatomy, the muscles of the diaphragm arise from the lower part of the sternum (breastbone), the lower six ribs, and the lumbar vertebrae of the spine, attaching to a central membranous tendon.
I like to simplify this and categorize these diaphragmatic muscle origins into 3 chambers:
- Thoracic (chest)
- Ventral (belly)
- Dorsal (lumbar area)