What is the fuss about diaphragmatic breathing?
By Coach Jillian
The other day, Coach Jarrod posted a photo of the entire class all lying down on the floor. Don’t worry, nobody had passed out! If you’ve been to class during this work capacity cycle, you would have recognized that everyone was doing a breathing exercise. By practicing diaphragmatic breathing, we are training the body to use oxygen more efficiently, which in turn, helps us improve our work effort.
The diaphragm is the prime mover for inhaling and exhaling. It’s a thin, dome-shaped muscle that separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities. It naturally contracts and relaxes when you breathe.
“Ok, so if it naturally is working, then why are we practicing breathing?”
We want to connect the unconscious and conscious mind. You probably can list 15 things that you have done today without even thinking about. Go back in time and focus a little bit…would that have changed the quality of your tasks? Same goes for breath or breathing!
During a workout, most people start to have rapid, short breathes, and even pant when their bodies are under pressure. This then leads to fatigue more quickly. By practicing diaphragmatic breathing, you are training your body to use oxygen more efficiently, which in turn, can help improve your work effort. If you can breathe better, you can MOVE better.
Place one hand over your heart, and one hand over your belly
Inhale for through your nose for 5, deep, counts of breathe. Your chest will still slightly rise, but you should notice that most of the movement comes from your belly.
Exhale for the same 5 counts through your mouth. If exhaling through your nose feels more natural, that is fine too! Take as long to exhale, as you did to inhale.
In addition to helping with exercise, diaphragmatic breathing can help you calm down during a moment of stress. Slow down, shift your focus, and take a few deep breathes!