Are You Breathing Properly? Here’s What You Need to Know About Your Diaphragm

I’ve started a new series I’ve dubbed “Muscle Monday” (although by the time this makes it to the blog it’ll probably be Tuesday) where I’ll focus on a specific muscle group in the body. You’ll learn about why these muscles are important and gain tips and tricks for keeping them strong, loose and performing optimally. Today’s topic is the diaphragm!

What is the diaphragm?
The diaphragm is my favorite muscle (that’s right—it’s a muscle) in the body because it’s so critical to survival and helps you perform daily activities. The primary role of the diaphragm is breathing and if your diaphragm stopped working, you would literally die because you couldn’t breathe.

Why should you care?
Most people really don’t give much thought to their breathing since it happens automatically, but the challenge is that almost all teens and adults have developed poor breathing techniques that don’t utilize the diaphragm to its fullest capacity. When the diaphragm isn’t working as it should, our bodies rely on the neck and shoulder muscles for breathing, meaning these muscles get overworked and tense. Sound familiar?
Another important role the diaphragm plays is keeping your core strong and stable. Although most people don’t know it, the diaphragm is actually the top of your core! It must work well for breathing so that it can work well for your core. 

What can you do today to help your diaphragm?
The simplest thing you can do to use it properly is to be a belly breather. You can practice diaphragmatic breathing by placing one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Feel the hand on your diaphragm moving while the one on your chest stays still.
Be on the lookout for more muscle-specific content in the coming weeks. Want more info on the diaphragm? Click here to get my FREE Connecting the Core program!

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Dr. Stephanie Duffey

We Help Motivated Women Feel Physically Amazing So They Can Be Active, Empowered, And Energized Without Frustrating Pain Or Injury.