Breathing techniques to help improve performance (Part 1 of 2)

Welcome to our two part series on how to practice ‘diaphragmatic breathing’ or ‘belly breathing’ by Coach Katie Shaw.

Part 1: What is it? How do you find it? Where do I use it?

Part 2: How to apply this technique to a CrossFit class

 Diaphragmatic breathing is done by strengthening your diaphragm. When we use diaphragmatic breathing we are decreasing oxygen demand by working easier and more effectively to send air in and out.

 [Wait, where is my diaphragm?! It’s the muscle found at the base of your chest and top of your abdomen.

Why do I need this? Breath dictates the way you move.

By stabilizing your core through breath, we’re able to effectively create stability and good posture which helps us utilize the muscles needed to lift. Bonus! It even reduces stress.

Breathe better, sustain longer workouts and become better strength and endurance athlete.

 Ok, I’m sold, how do I do this?

 The Basics of the Diaphragmatic Breathing

  1. Send air down to your belly
  2. Expand and draw your ribcage down
  3. Send your belly button to spine

Two techniques for to practice diaphragmatic breathing:

  1. Crocodile technique 
  2. Belly Breathing technique on your back

Crocodile Breathing

1.     Lay on stomach

2.     Place something on your back so you get the feedback that your belly is rising and falling (yoga block, tennis ball, etc.)

3.     Place forehand on hands

4.     Take long slow inhales

5.     Send all that air to belly

6.     Fill up on a 5 second count

7.     Hold and squeeze all that air out on a 5 second count *Inhales are as long as your exhales*

Belly Breathing

1.     Lay on back

2.     Place feet on wall (set legs at 90 degree angle to wall)

3.     Big toe, pinky toe and heel should be pressing on the wall

4.     Hands by side

5.     Ensure back is flat against the floor

6.     Breath in through nose

7.     Send all that air to belly

8.     Fill up on a 5 second count

9.     Hold and squeeze all that air out on a 5 second count *Inhales are as long as your exhales*

Try it out for 5 minutes twice a day!



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