How posture and breathing affect movement

How posture and breathing affect movement

Breathing from your chest relies on secondary muscles around your neck and collarbone instead of your diaphragm. When this breathing pattern is accompanied by poor posture, many muscles in your upper body aren’t able to function properly.

The longer you sit during the day, the less your body is able to fight the forces of gravity and maintain a strong, stable core.

Tight accessory muscles around the chest cause a rounded shoulder and forward head posture. This weakens the back by inhibiting muscles that help maintain an upright posture, including the:

latissimus dorsi
middle trapezius
rhomboids
quadratus lumborum
Tight accessory muscles can also cause shoulder instability and impingement syndromes. The tightness can inhibit muscles and tendons that allow you to move your shoulder blades freely. These muscles and tendons include the:

serratus anterior
biceps tendon
posterior deltoid
supraspinatus
infraspinatus
Research has shown that people with ongoing mild-to-moderate neck pain or sore, stiff neck muscles have problems using the lungs and respiratory system to their full capacity.

Reinforcing proper breathing patterns
A slow, steady breathing pattern enhances core stability, helps improve tolerance to high-intensity exercise, and reduces the risk of muscle fatigue and injury. Taking balanced, equal breaths should be your goal.

A good way to practice balanced breathing is to take a deep inhale, count to four, and then release a deep exhale to the same count.

If you’re unsure of whether you’re a shallow breather, place your palm against your abdomen beneath your rib cage and exhale. Take a deep breath and follow the movement of your hand. If your hand moves as your abdomen expands, you’re breathing correctly.

If your hand only moves slightly but your shoulders elevate, you may want to consider practicing breathing exercises to strengthen your muscles and reinforce proper breathing patterns.

Performing deep breathing exercises along with general fitness training can increase the strength of the respiratory muscles. Breathing techniques such as roll breathing can also be used to develop full use of the lungs while controlling the rhythm of respiration.

If you have a neuromuscular disorder, lung disease, or injuries from trauma, you may want to purchase a breathing exercise machine to increase lung volume and encourage deep breathing.

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