Proper Breathing – POWERbreathe Can Help

Your primary breathing muscle is your diaphragm; a dome shaped thin sheet of muscle separating your rib cage from your abdomen.

When you inhale this dome shape flattens out as your diaphragm contracts, pushing down on the contents of your abdomen (your gut) and increasing the space in your chest cavity.

Because your gut has to go somewhere as your diaphragm descends, it forces it down and out and your tummy expands. Because of this, this natural, healthy and proper way of breathing is often referred to as abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.

If you do already have a good breathing technique it can often go awry when you start exercising as you demand more air and your breathing increases to compensate. This is when your breathing technique can change from good diaphragmatic breathing to reverse breathing i.e. pulling in your tummy as you breathe in and letting your tummy go as you breathe out.

Because your diaphragm is a muscle, you can train it like any other muscle to become stronger and helping you retain that good diaphragmatic breathing even when pushed to your limit. POWERbreathe targets your inspiratory muscles – not only your diaphragm but also your intercostal muscles, the tiny muscles in between your ribs, which are recruited during a slightly forced respiration.

You’ll notice when training with POWERbreathe that you have to work harder to breathe in. This is the effect of resistance training acting on your inspiratory muscles. When breathing out, POWERbreathe offers no resistance because when you exhale normally, your diaphragm and intercostals naturally relax and move back up, pushing the air from your lungs.

Why you should dig deep and breathe from your diaphragm

We thought we’d write a very quick blog on why it’s important to breathe deeply from your diaphragm, after all that’s why POWERbreathe was developed – to answer a need for training the breathing muscles (primarily the diaphragm) so that we all start to breathe again as nature intended, from the diaphragm and not from the chest.

Your diaphragm is the large muscle that’s located below your lungs. When you take a deep breath in your lungs expand with air and press down on your diaphragm, which in turn causes your abdomen to expand.

This deep diaphragmatic breathing is something we all did when we were babies, but with our busy and often stressful lifestyles we become shallow chest breathers and lose the benefits that deep breathing brings.

Remember how at a particular stressful moment we’re often told to “take a deep breath,” well this is because it helps to calm you down. Research has also shown that deep breathing exercises will help people with breathing problems, as it makes their breathing muscles stronger. Deep breathing exercise with POWERbreathe is also helpful to athletes because inspiratory muscle training exercises these breathing muscles to become stronger and more resistant to fatigue, while also helping them to take in as much oxygen as possible for improved stamina and ultimately performance.

Try this quick test:

1. Place your right hand on your abdomen and your left hand on your chest. As you breathe, see which hand rises more. If your left hand rises more, you are a chest breather. If your right hand rises more, you are an abdomen breather, pulling air into the base of your lungs.

If you’re a chest breather, don’t worry because you can develop your breathing muscles for a better breathing technique with POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training.

If you’re a belly breather, then the next stage is to make your breathing more efficient with POWERbreathe.

POWERbreathe trains your diaphragm and intercostals (the muscles between your ribs which contract during inspiration) to breathe in a strong, smooth and continuous motion, improving the mechanical efficiency of your ‘bellows’ and making them stronger and more resistant to fatigue.

Training your breathing muscles with POWERbreathe is probably one of the most effective things that you can do for both short and long-term physical health, and now you can see why we say POWERbreathe is for ‘anyone who breaths’.