Strengthen your diaphragm and add another dimension to your current exercise regime by Dr. Vilash Boodhoo (Chiropractor).
Diaphragmatic breathing can be tricky to get right but once mastered it will enhance your current exercise regime and even assist your core strengthening.
Firstly lie on your back on a flat surface with your hips and knees slightly bent. For extra comfort and in the elderly, you can use a small pillow to support your head and neck.
With both hands gently on your belly, focus on breathing with your diaphragm.
As you breathe in feel your abdomen rise as your lungs fill with air.
While exhaling, the belly should fall as the diaphragm relaxes.
Once you are comfortable breathing this way, place a 200 gram – 500 gram object (e.g. pack of flour) on your tummy and repeat this type of diaphragmatic breathing.
Once you are strong enough, stand up with a good posture and attempt the breathing again.
Get more confident before incorporating this breathing with all your exercises e.g. core strengthening planks, bridges, cycling, etc.
Interesting facts about diaphragmatic breathing …
Observe how a young child breathes. Children are not conscious of holding their tummies in and they breathe with their diaphragms.
Using your diaphragm to breathe uses less effort than using your chest muscles which have to move your heavy rib-cage.
Breathing in this manner will assist in better posture and in improving core muscle strength.
Diaphragmatic breathing ensures that your lung fills to the bottom and you don’t just use the upper lungs.