The Number One Most Important Movement

Posted by on Apr 22, 2018 in Fat loss, Life | 0 comments

Happy Monday, hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We finished our weekend with the outdoor fire pit cranking, toasting bananas and dark chocolate in tinfoil for dessert, watching the warming sun fade, and the night sky shine upon us. Milly went to bed with chocolate covered lips and a smile of satisfaction.

Anyway, on to the post. You may be wondering what the most important movement is? We would be dead if we didn't do it... can you guess?

  Out of every single movement we do, this is by far the most important, yet so many of us are doing it ineptly. 


What am I talking about….   


BREATHING!!



Learning to breathe is one of the most important concepts I will probably ever share with you peeps, so listen up


There are essentially two ways to breathe. You can breathe through your belly using your diaphragm or you can breathe in your chest like most stressed adults do 🙂 


When you were born the first thing you did was breathe and there is a good chance that you were awesome at it. You pulled air deep down into your lungs with your diaphragm (breathing muscle) and your belly effortlessly raised up and down. 


Somewhere along the line you subconsciously retrained how you breathe. Instead of using your diaphragm you started to use shallow breaths up in your chest using accessory breathing muscles in your neck, shoulders and rib cage. Accessory breathing isn’t bad per se, in fact it is a life saving mechanism. Accessory breathing kicks in when a baby's primary breathing mechanism is compromised.  If the baby is in need of some emergency medical attention it will default into an accessory (emergency) breathing pattern. 


Here’s the thing, accessory breathing is for emergencies and not for your 24 hours/day, day in day out life. Your chronically stressful lifestyle flips your parasympathetic (rest and digest) breathing and switches it to a sympathetic (fight or flight) patterning. There are a number of ramifications that can occur. 

  • Forward Head Posture 
  • Neck Pain 
  • Loss of Thoracic Spine Mobility 
  • Dowagers Hump 
  • Poor Digestion 
  • Weakening of the Immune System 
  • Cardiac Problems 
  • Inflammation
  • Hormonal Problems 
  • Tiredness 
  • And probably Decreased Life Expectancy
 


The good news is that this can all be reset. Breathing is a subconscious activity so the key is to consciously upload some new breathing software. And as with everything in life the more you practise the better you get. 


There are a couple of drills I will share with you in a moment but first I really want to drive home the importance of good breathing. 


Breathing is the foundation of the house, it is the ultimate core exercise and without good breathing your strength in all other areas of your life will respectfully slow down and come to a near grinding holt. 


Real strength comes from a place of peace and I would happily argue that life is not designed to be lived in a shitty, stressful state but rather a calm, loving, fluid state that transcends from a state of deep diaphragmatic parasympathetic belly breathing. 


Drill 1 - Crocodile Breathing 

 

   

This is a cool little drill that gives you the feedback from the floor.

 

The Set Up

 
  1. Start in a prone (lying on your stomach) position on the floor.
  2. Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth
  3. Bring your fists together and rest your forehead passively on your hands.
  4. Keep your legs straight and your toes pointed down.
  5. Relax the body into this central position.

 

Tempo of Breath

 
  • Inhale  4-6 seconds
  • Hold  2-4 seconds
  • Exhale  4-6 seconds
 

While the tempo is somewhat important, your focus needs to be placed on the expansion of your belly. The expansion should be 360 degrees of your belly meaning you are not only breathing into the floor but you are also breathing from out of the sides of your belly too.

 

Drill 2 - Tactical Breathing in Side Lying

 

   

Another cool little drill that locks off chest breathing, positioning you for optimal belly breathing. Interestingly this is the first drill you learn in special ops training and regarded as one if not the most important drill. Being calm and composed in intense situations might just save your life and the lives of others.

 
  1. Lie down on your back and drop both knees to the right
  2. Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth
  3. Place your left hand on your butt
  4. Wrap your right arm across your chest holding the elbow of your left arm (this jams down on the chest making easier belly breathing)

 

Tempo of Breath

 
  • Inhale  4 seconds (nose)
  • Hold     4 seconds
  • Exhale    4 seconds (pursed lips)
  • Hold   4 seconds

  So there you have it. To quote Joseph Pilates

  "Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it. Since we cannot live without breathing it is tragically deplorable to contemplate the millions and millions who have never mastered the art of correct breathing."

  Harsh but fair.

  Paul "tactical" & Krystie "crocodile" Miller

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