[quote]Eli B wrote:
lay down on your back, put one hand on your stomach and chest. take a really deep inhalation in through your nose, only allowing your stomach to expand as you breathe in (i.e. make sure the hand on your stomach moves but the hand on your chest does not).
Next, purse your lips (as if blowing into a straw) and breathe out forcefully, again making sure your chest does move at all, and that you’re forcing the air out through your stomach.
Breathing out should take 1.5-2x as long as breathing in. Each breath should take around 10 seconds or more. Don’t hyperventilate.
The purpose of this exercise is to train the diaphragm and remind the brain of how to efficiently breathe. Breathing occurs when the chest cavity expands, lowering air pressure and creating a vacuum, which forces air into the lungs.
Normally, only the diaphragm and intercostals should have to contract in order to breathe in a resting state. The diaphragm flattens out, forcing abdominal contents downward and allowing air to flow into the lungs.
However, a lot of people end up using “forced inspiration” (i.e. getting the scalenes, pecs, traps, etc. to help expand the rib cage up in addition to the movement of the diaphragm ) for breathing at all times. You can visibly see someone doing this as their chest moves out and their shoulders shrug with each breath.
This is a disaster because these muscles aren’t built to contract 12 times a minute (the amount of breaths the avg person takes in) 24 hours a day. This leads to true “wear and tear” and prevents healing from taking place, especially when some heavy resistance training is thrown in.
The point is that you can do all the strength and mobility work you want, but if your scalenes are getting an extra 17,000 contractions in a day, you’re always gonna get some shoulder pain. [/quote]
Whoah you sound like you know your shit but can anyone else second this or can you link to additional resources?[/quote]
I second this. I had not heard it referred to as “straw breathing”, but the name does make sense. I had heard it referred to as “deep breathing exercises” or “diaphragmic breathing pattern restoration techniques”. I guess “straw breathing” sounds more appealing and less intimidating to general population though.
But yes, it is common for people to use a “forced breathing” technique, by utilizing the upper traps, scalenes, pec minor, etc and “raising” the chest cavity to make room for air, instead of using the diaphragm to “open” the chest cavity. Not only do you get the “wear and tear” on the muscles, but they also become tight and over dominant due to the repetitive usage it has received, causing an anterior upper cross syndrome which can lead to a lot of impingement symptoms, etc.
Here is a link: Healing the Healer: Breathing - AMSA
I think it got its name since some people have taught it actually using a straw to exhale through, rather than purse your lips. In the link they recommend exhaling pretty naturally, but I think for a resistance trained population, since the diaphragm is competing against trained muscle groups, some forced exhalation is a good thing.[/quote]
I completely agree with you on that. I would say not only just a resistance trained population, but just an athletic based population as well. First thing that happens when people get overly fatigued during their athletic participation or conditioning drills are to resort back to the forced breathing technique and not using their diaphragm enough. So by teaching the “straw technique” as you call it, you reinforce the behavior and actually teach a way for people to restore proper breathing techniques when highly fatigued or when pushing through some heavy resistance training.
For the record, I did not learn the technique through the article I posted earlier. It was just an article I had found to support the legitimacy of the technique for those who were uncertain about it.
Happy easter everybody!