I know I talk a lot about the competitive athletes that train with me, the fighters, the mountain bikers, the Kettlebell sports guys etc
But if I’m fair, most of my guys are simply in to train for life.
Which if we think about it, is the only competition really worth entering as it’s one that we ultimately all lose.
But as the saying goes, it’s about the taking part, not about the winning.
So when one of my older clients, a man named Shay who has had more struggles than most over his 50+ years on this earth sends me the following email, I’m naturally as proud as punch and have to share:
Just want to let you know that after today’s session which helped me develop my exhale breath I did some exercises when I got home.
My chest is now starting to fully expand on the inhale and sink on the exhale.
And I can put my arm behind my back and touch my fingers over my shoulder on one side. The other side is so much better and I don’t have right shoulder pain as I slide my arm up my back.
This is first time ever to be pain free doing this .
Could working on one exercise for breathing has triggered a positive response to my shoulder injury.
Look forward to discovering more relevant teaching , training and recovering routines.
So, could one simple breathing drill have helped release his shoulders?
In all likelihood, yes.
Breathing is a big deal.
Well, try going for a day without it!
But seriously, it’s massive.
Done well we utilise our full lung capacity, a good inhale and a better exhale. We fill up from the base of the lung, our belly expanding an instant before our chest lifts. We exhale in the opposite order, the chest sinking and the waist cinching in.
But as breathing requires the expansion and contraction of pretty much our entire torso, it can be negatively affected by so many issues.
And if we become “stuck” in a particular posture, it may restrict the amount we can move our diaphragm, and if we lose that we have to compensate with many other muscles.
And some of the go to’s our the neck and shoulders.
If we find ourselves breathing high in the chest using our neck muscles, I pretty much guarantee you’re shoulders are tight and most likely you struggle to fully exhale.
And if we can’t fully exhale we will struggle to stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system, ie the part of the CNS that handles stress management, recovery and relaxation.
And that aint good.
I’ve written on breathing drills several times in previous blogs (a quick search should bring them up quick) But if you want a proper look at better breathing, get in for an assessment where we’ll look at it and see what you need to do to breathe better.
Dave Hedges www.WG-Fit.com