What if I told you that you can strengthen your core all day long, everyday with out ever stepping foot into a gym? Core training is a buzz word in the fitness industry, however people fail to adequately strengthen their core. Just because you are using a stability ball, BOSU, or doing crunches does not mean you are strengthening your core. Breathing from your belly or diaphragmatic breathing activates your "core" muscles.
Chest breathing is the way most Americans breath. It is a very inefficient way to breath and leaves your midsection relaxed. Diaphragmatic breathing is the most efficient way to breath. Breathing properly is the foundation to activating the deep abdominal muscles-Transverse Abdominus, Multifidus and Pelvic floor (these are some of the muscles that make up a strong core).
What in the world is diaphragmatic breathing, you might be asking? The diaphragm is a muscle that when that contracts on inhalation and it allows the lungs to be filled with vital life-giving, energy producing, oxygen. When you exhale the diaphragm relaxes. As you exhale the lungs expel toxins. In the exercise when you exhale you will draw your naval into your spine and contract the muscles in your lower abs. Just this exercise alone will give you more energy, help decrease low back pain, and will strengthen your core.
- Lie on the floor with knees bent up towards the ceiling.
- Place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach.
- Slowly inhale through your nose and feel which hand rises
- As you inhale, if your stomach expands with your hand you are beginning to use your diaphragm to expand the longs.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth drawing your naval down towards your spine
- Repeat all day long!
Foundation of life starts with breathing. The foundation of a strong core is diaphragmatic breathing. I challenge you today to start breath with your belly. You will notice a flatter tummy and a strong midsection!