Why you need to learn to breath efficiently to improve your core stability - part 2
Our core serves a highly important and functional role in everyday activities, stabilising our lower back and allowing us to move more efficiently.
As I highlighted in my previous post, practising proper DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING is crucial for maximising core strength and reducing injury by creating intra-abdominal pressure. Breathing can often be the hidden reason behind movement dysfunction and improper muscle use, leading to pain and injury.
Do you notice any of the following when you move and breath?
• Elevation of the chest - brings the diaphragm away from ideal position for maximal activation
• Breath holding when performing tasks
• The inability to maintain the intra-abdominal pressure during the normal respiratory cycle
• Imbalanced abdominal activity with excessive contraction of the rectus abdominis (the six pack), and lack of activity of the sides and back of the abdominal wall
• Belly breathing pattern where only the front of the abdomen expands
These could be signs that you are not stabilising your core efficiently through breathing.
How to improve your breathing
The DEAD BUG is a progression from the diaphragmatic breathing drill mentioned in my previous post. This is a common exercise, but the way you do the exercise is critical to the effect it has.
• Whilst you move two limbs everything else stays still.
• We are trying to maintain tension through our core to resisting the pull of our body to pull us up into spinal extension (ie our ribs flare and lower back arches off the floor) – created by taking our arms overhead and bringing our legs up.
• We are using our breathing to create the IAP needed to keep our ribs, pelvis and skull in line, and maintain core stability. In order to achieve this the diaphragm, pelvic floor, transverse abs, obliques, and mulitidus at the back all need to work simultaneously.
Do not overuse the abs!
• A lot of people will flex the spine when they do this and brace the abs. Deadbug in a hollowed position will strengthen the abs but you will be not encouraging the core to stabilise reflexively by creating intra abdominal pressure in the same way that the breathing does. It is therefore counterproductive for ideal diaphragm activation to occur, and will overrecruit the abs.
• If you find yourself having to do this, then you need to make the exercise easier.
• The secret lies in driving the tension laterally, resisting the temptation to force your back and belly into the floor, and learn to stabilise reflexively.
In the video you can see me touch my right side during the exercise. I have some dysfunction in this area, and the sensory touch helps me to switch the are on. Try it, develop awareness and let me know how you get on!
Online coaching is available to help athletes of all ages and abilities to achieve their best and fulfil their potential. Contact us for more details.