In sport or activity, whether you train intensely or not, you may have noticed the importance of good breathing and its impact on your performance. Most athletes know the moment they breathe wrong that their posture and movement following is compromised.
In a previous blog post ‘’Breathing and Posture I‘‘, we discussed how the diaphragm influences the posture as a breathing muscle. Now, it’s time to highlight the diaphragm’s influence on postural stability as well.
The diaphragm’s role
When the diaphragm contracts properly, just as it should with breathing in, it is pulled down by its attachments, to the lower spine and the lower ribcage. This action helps increase the intra-abdominal pressure which creates an inner resistance to be counteracted by the spinal extensors from the back, the deep abdominals from the front and sides, and the pelvic floor muscles from below. A balanced contraction of all these muscles together creates a brace around the spine, which means an ideal stabilization of it is reached.
The diaphragm becomes a key component of both breathing and postural stability around the age of 3 months old. Our deep stabilization system is normally fully engaged by the age of 4.5 month, before the process of turning to the stomach begins. Even before that, the core stabilization is required by the baby in order to lift their legs up and arms up while they’re on their back for play and communication.
Where do you begin with your breathing self-assessment?
If the diaphragm is utilized well in our breathing stereotype, it means that it probably does so as well during movement and activity. That’s why a dysfunctional breathing pattern could be an important sign for anybody with a faulty movement stereotype or musculoskeletal troubles.
There are a few things you could do on your own to begin the journey in improving your posture and well-being:
- Self-assess your breathing pattern.
- Practice diaphragmatic breathing regularly to help change your breathing stereotype
- Self-assess and exercise the postural function of your diaphragm
- Include functional exercises in your routine that allow the deep stabilizing system to activate prior to movement.
To ensure the optimal approach to improving your movement behavior and getting the right advice when it comes to exercise prescription, it is best to consult with a DNS or functional movement trained therapist.
Mgr. Farah Droubi