TRAINER, OLIVER WHITE
One of the fundamentals often overlooked is diaphragmatic/abdominal breathing. If you're not back to the gym yet or you're looking to improve on some fundamentals, this is a great short exercise you could try at home that makes a big difference when you do get back in the gym.
A simple breathing exercise like this will teach you how to channel your breath into your abdomen and create internal pressure. This in turn will make you more stable, lowers your chances of injury, slows your rate of breathing and prepares your body for intense exercise
Before stepping into any machine or squat rack, or onto any deadlift platform, it's absolutely essential to learn to create this internal pressure. This exercise should get you going and take no more than 5 minutes each time.
1. Lay on your back. Begin by placing your hand on your stomach and filling that with air, then holding it for 4-5 seconds.
2. After a few repetitions, shift the focus to the gap that naturally occurs between your lower back and the ground.
3. After your next sharp inhale to the abdomen, your aim is to reduce that gap to absolutely nothing so that it's pressed absolutely flat against the ground.
4. Continue this exercise for approximately five minutes and your body will subconsciously begin to understand the position your back needs to be in when you create internal pressure before a movement.
To advance the movement, you can place a weight on your stomach before creating internal pressure.
Other benefits of abdominal breathing include: -Increased supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells, muscle blood and bones, -relaxes muscle spasm -supports muscle growth -lowers effects of cortisol (often called "the stress hormone) on your body
This is not just useful for working out, breathing in this way can help you to calm your body and your mind at times when you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
If you want to make a start at getting some positive momentum and getting back to the gym or exercise in general, take five minutes today, learn this essential skill and take the first step to getting some positive momentum into your fitness regime. If you’re already in a positive swing, why not perfect this and thank yourself next time you’re exercising!