Movement and Mindset: Diaphragm Breathing & Stability Breath

 

We get questions all the time about breath. Keeping it simple, we teach two basic breaths—diaphragm breathing and stability breath. Yes, there are hundreds of ways to get creative with your breath and to practice breath work, but you NEED these two breaths at your foundation of breath work and movement.

Diaphragm breathing is the basic human breath. You inhale through your nose while your diaphragm and pelvic floor (parallel to each other) lower and exhale through your nose while your diaphragm and pelvic floor naturally return back to neutral. We call it diaphragm breathing because your diaphragm is the major muscle of respiration and stability. It is very important to utilize your diaphragm for what it’s designed to do.

A stability breath is the breath that humans instinctually utilize to stabilize and/or transfer energy through their body. This breath is initiated the same way as the diaphragm breath. However, on the exhale the pelvic floor and all the surrounding core musculature meet the resistance of the internal pressure that has been created.

For a strong and dynamic core you need two things:

  1. Task-specific internal pressure (yes, you need your internal pressure system)
  2. All the muscles playing the game (not just transverse abdominis)

Practice diaphragm breathing and stability breaths. With external stressors and movement compensation patterns, I guarantee that these may not come as natural to some of us as they once did when we were small humans. Our bodies do remember, so practice intentional as this breath work will transfer over into every bit of life.


Want more?

Here’s another “Movement and Mindset” post on preparing for labor. Our YouTube channel has lots more “Movement and Mindset” videos.

If you want to read more about stability breath and intra-abdominal pressure click here.

Speaking of sit-ups, here’s how to add them back into your postpartum workout.

 

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