Diaphragm Exercises

The Diaphragm is a very important muscle of the body working over 14,000 times per day to keep you alive! Full movement of the diaphragm with deep breathing helps to mobilize your ribs and decrease back pain, it is important in the movement of the cerebral spinal fluid as well. The body actually has 3 diaphragms, the one below the lungs, a pelvic diaphragm at the bottom of the abdomen, and there is a diaphragm in your skull as well. All three diaphragms work in unison during respiration to keep the body healthy. This exercise works all three

1. Lie on your back with your feet flat on a wall, and knees and hips bent at a 90/90-degree angle.
2. Place a 4-6-inch ball between your knees.
3. Place your right arm above your head while holding a balloon in your left hand.
4. Inhale through your nose and as you exhale through your mouth, perform a pelvic tilt so your tailbone is raised slightly off the mat. Keep the lower back flat on the mat. Do not press your feet into the wall; instead, pull down with your heels.
5. You should feel the back of your thighs and inner thighs engage, keeping pressure on the ball. Maintain this position for the remainder of the exercise.
6. Inhale through your nose and slowly blow out into the balloon.
7. Pause for 3 seconds with your tongue positioned on the roof of your mouth to prevent airflow out of the balloon.
8. Without pinching the neck of the balloon and while keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth, inhale again through your nose.
9. Slowly blow out as you stabilize the balloon with your left hand.
10. Do not strain your neck or cheeks as you blow.
11. After the fourth breath in, pinch the balloon neck and remove it from your mouth. Let the air out of the balloon.
12. Relax; then repeat the sequence four more times.

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