This week we will move onto a progression for retraining breathing patterns .Once you are satisfied that your client has mastered crocodile breath it is time to progress the movement and make it more challenging .
Important points to remember .
- The diaphragm is our primary muscle of breathing , roughly 70% of the work of breathing should be done with the diaphragm , chest breathers use only 30% .
- Belly breathing pushes the abdominal organs down creating intra abdominal pressure and stabilises the spine .
- Neck pain , Thoracic outlet syndrome , lower back pain , rounded shoulders , low blood ph levels and headaches can all be a result of chest breathing patterns CHECK THE BREATHING PATTERN FIRST!!!
Place them up against the wall with the heels , butt and back of head against the wall . With the hands in the under arrest position ask for a belly breath , a chest breather will very often breath right up into the chest . For an athlete or anyone interested in improving performance this wall test will clearly demonstrate the imbalance between the muscles in the front and back . In fact i would urge you to use this wall test as a baseline to test your general mobility and flexibility .
If you cannot keep your points of contact ie. heels , butt , back of head and neutral lumbar spine when taking a belly breath then you know that when you are running , boxing , swimming doing yoga most of your movement is dominated by the tight strong muscles in the front and the muscles at the back which should be strong and reliable are inhibited and weak .
This is a muscle imbalance that leads to compensation and eventual injury . Strive to be able to demonstrate a good wall test as a prerequisite for you or your client starting an exercise program or just being in decent shape for life . Losing points of contact mean you do not have balanced movement and there is work to be done starting with the breath .
If you follow developmental patterns when progressing your client the breathing remains the same but the position changes . So you always cue for the ribs to stay down and for belly breathing . From lying on the back the next position is on the side , all fours , kneeling and finally back to standing .This is how babies eventually learn how to walk from first lying on their backs to rolling onto the side etc . Many of the corrective exercises and progressions on this site will follow this sequence , first taking people down to the floor and going through all the progressions a baby does .
Please remember if you were to go out and learn how to Tango or Play piano it would take a few weeks before you could twirl your partner around the dance floor or play a piece for the grand parents .So too breathing corrections take a little time before they happen naturally and with little effort , be patient and encouraging to your clients .
PS. I apologize for the dog choir in the background but in Thailand this is part of neighborhood life although i do think the dogs know when i am taping and bark loudly on purpose . lol