• Encourages relaxation while decreasing sympathetic tone (Flight or Flight).
  • Prepares the body for stretching. Deep breathing while stretching allows for a greater ability to stretch.
  • Releases tight muscles associated with shallow breathing, such as the upper shoulder and neck musculature.
  • Can be used as a mindfulness mediation. Mindfulness has been shown to lower anxiety levels, which have been linked to heart disease.

Targeted Muscles

  • Diaphragm
  • Transverse Abdominus
  • Intercostal Muscles
  • Pelvic Floor

How to Perform

1Stand with feet hip width apart.
2One hand on your lower abdomen and the other on your chest.
3For the first 2/3rd’s of the inhale, breathe into your lower hand so it rises towards the ceiling and out to the sides, expanding the abdomen.
4For the last 1/3rd of the inhale, breathe into the upper hand, expanding the chest and rib cage three dimensionally.
5Without effort, simply exhale a long slow breath.
6Relax any tight muscles around your neck and shoulders with each exhale.

Common Challenges

  • For some it will take time to master belly breathing, especially from standing. The muscles around the abdomen and chest can be tight, leading most to take breaths from the shoulders and neck. Through repetition, the diaphragm and supporting musculature will improve it’s flexibility, allowing for deeper and longer breaths.

Load Sets Reps Tempo Rest
n/a 1 10-20 3 count Inhale: 3 count exhale n/a

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