Proper Breathing Techniques to Improve Lung Function

Olympic athletes or fitness newbies, learning to breath properly sets the tone for optimal performance. If you don’t think you’re active enough for breathing, that’s not true. Everyone needs to learn proper breathing techniques whether it’s for relaxing the mind or getting rid of those annoying side stitches, learning to breath through the diaphragm is a must!

So what is your diaphragm? It’s a massive group of muscles that form a dome-shaped, muscular partition separating the thorax from the abdomen. So how do you make it stronger? Start out learning to breath into the belly by following these steps.

1. Lie flat on your back with one hand above the chest and one hand on the belly (below the belly button).

2. Now, breath into the hand on the belly without allowing your chest to rise. Not easy, right? Right, most likely because you’re really good at breathing into your chest but not your diaphragm. So try again.

3. Focus, breath into the hand on the belly without allowing your chest to rise.

Still tough? That’s ok, Rome wasn’t built in a day either. Keep practicing, you’re using muscles that haven’t been working very efficiently for you so those muscles need to learn too! Once you master diaphragmatic breathing, the next step is learning to brace those core muscles more effectively. Apply this breathing technique to your workouts, running, lifting, yoga – it doesn’t matter what it is. Make your diaphragm stronger! You’re already on your way to a better performing YOU!

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About Emily Hutchins

For over 15 years, Emily has worked with various clients of all walks of life, and is rewarded in watching clients improve their lives through something as powerful as fitness. As Owner of On Your Mark Coaching + Training, Emily’s philosophy is quite simple, train hard, but train smart. Your body is built on a foundation of 4 principals; function, endurance, athleticism and recovery. With these 4 principals, you are building a lifetime of increased performance whether you are striving to lose those last couple pounds or completing your 100th Ironman. As a Nike Master Trainer and Nike+ Run Coach, Emily serves as a spokesperson for the brand, develops athletic content, leads Chicago area Nike classes and runs, makes personal appearances on behalf of the brand and leads Nike fitness summits worldwide.