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– So today, we're gonna talk
about diaphragmatic function
and why it's important when it comes to
both breathing and stabilizing.
Everybody knows that you breathe
with your diaphragm, but
what almost nobody knows
is that it's the main postural muscle
of your whole body, so it
kinda starts everything
as far as stability's concerned,
and if you don't use it correctly,
basically what ends up happening
is you overload joints from your neck,
shoulder, low back, hip,
basically anywhere in the body
if you can't get this
initial positioning right.
So, we'll give you a
couple of drills to work on
lying like this, and then we'll stand up
and work on kind of a skill progression
to help it translate
over into your workout.
So,
the hardest pushback I get when
we talk about breathing is,
most people don't think that they
can subconsciously change breathing.
Everyone thinks, "Well, I do it fine,
"I never think about it, like,
"why do I need to change it?",
but in fact,
almost everybody,
probably 95% of the people
in developed countries
breathe incorrectly.
So, they breathe with more
of a chest-dominant strategy,
which we know from development,
we're born immature, the CNS is immature,
and
at that point, we're chest breathers.
Around three months of age,
it all changes and we start being able
to use our diaphragm and
expand into the abdominal wall.
What also happens at that point is,
the infant realizes, "Hey,
I'm stable enough to move,"
and then they can move.
They can't cheat it, we can.
So, through stress, the way we train,
some people are queued into this,
previous injuries, all
these different things
can actually change our normal
diaphragmatic breathing pattern
into an upper chest strategy,
which we can't stabilize
correctly from that position.
So,
more about what we do want.
For starters, when we breathe in,
the chest needs to remain basically quiet,
like, I don't want movement
up here in the chest.
It's okay if it raises
a little bit this way,
but it cannot move headward ever,
that's never normal when you're breathing
or stabilizing for that to happen.
What happens here and
when we let her elevate
as she breathes in, if you see that,
I don't know if you can see that position,
but it actually overloads
the lumbar spine,
so you're literally
using your lumbar spine
and neck to breathe with,
and doing that 20,000 times a day
can become really detrimental over time.
Or, even one rep at a really heavy load
in that strategy can damage disc,
it can damage ligaments,
the spine itself can get damaged.
So anyway, what we wanna see first is,
as Anna breathes in,
where does it come from?
So, just go ahead and give us a nice,
long, slow breath in.
And so, she's pretty good at the top,
we get into the chest a little bit,
so I may have her, just as a starter,
say, okay, put a hand here
and a hand here, and when you breathe in,
I don't wanna see this hand move at all.
Good, and there, she's already better,
just with that queue a little bit
at the shoulders involved.
But Anna, just keep going.
What she's trying to
do is not only breathe
into the stomach, a lot of people think
that's diaphragmatic breathing,
but I need as much movement sideways,
backwards, and frontwards
all happening simultaneously
in order for that whole
diaphragm to activate.
So, if I put my hands around her waist,
I should feel, as she breathes in,
and with her, I do, I feel
a nice pressure backwards,
sideways, and into my thumbs here.
It's not as strong backwards,
and we already know that
she has a little bit
of a problem with that
that she's been working on.
She's super strong in her erectors,
but her pressurizing
function isn't very good.
Good.
And so, if I come down
here inside the hip,
we get a massive amount of
hip stability from right here.
And you can see, she
struggles just a little bit,
but we'll give her a break,
she has a little bit of cold,
so we won't judge her too harshly.
So, that's just the respiration function
in the diaphragm.
That's normal function, and from that,
we get all sorts of things.
We get sphincter function
in the pelvic floor,
you can get acid reflux because
of improper diaphragm function,
you get inhibitory neurotransmitters
that calm down your body, basically,
when you get diaphragmatic breathing.
You don't get those activated
with chest breathing.
But, for our point today,
we're just working on the stability,
that's why we're doing this.
So, what we can do to
challenge this really nicely
and see if she can work
with both her respiratory
and postural function of the diaphragm
is I'm gonna put a little
band underneath her,
just to make sure that she
doesn't arch her back, basically.
And we're gonna come into
literally a three-month position,
so she's slightly externally rotated
and her hips are basically slightly apart,
arms are up and relaxed.
The shoulder is not here, it's connected,
and the neck isn't here, it's elongated,
so you'll see her kinda do those things.
And now, what I want you to do
is create outwards pressure,
good job, and hold.
So, she's creating pressure all
the way around her midsection,
that's, like, the key right there.
And she's getting better at this,
so she's not working quite as hard.
And when you initially do this,
you may feel like you're
working way too hard,
and that's okay, but if you see,
I try to pull this out,
I cannot steal it from her, she's solid.
Then, if I ask her where
she feels that outward,
you feel that?
She feels it as, like, a core exercise,
but she is not hollowing, again,
see if maybe they can, yeah,
relax, let it go.
So, she's not sucking in, which sometimes,
people are told to draw in,
she's actually pressurizing.
So, push into my hand, like,
she's trying to break this belt.
Good.
And now, from here, now what I wanna see,
she's using that posture function,
so now, can she breathe, can
she maintain this pressure
and respire at the same time?
And she's doing a really
nice job with that.
Just holding that pressure
and working on breathing,
which now, it's gonna
be a little bit labored,
that's okay for the breathing
to be challenged in this position.
But, this is extremely difficult.
Holding this position neutral,
like, you'll see people do this position
from the gym and go to the back position,
and you'll see, I can just take that away.
And now, she may even feel this
in her back or her neck,
but I can tell you,
it takes it out of the core right away,
correct or incorrect?
Perfect, relax, take a break.
So, you basically can
work on those drills,
spending a couple minutes at a time.
You wouldn't wanna hold that long,
after you've laid there
for a couple minutes
and just worked on your breathing,
then what you can do is bring the legs up,
work on your pressure,
and hold it for, like,
five abdominal breaths,
and then come back down, relax,
reset, and do maybe five sets of that,
but that can be really strong
in activating the postural muscle
of your diaphragm and translating over
to keep you more stable
when you're working out.
And just day-to-day life, too.

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