Thoracic Breathing

Introduction

Breathing has an effect on many systems of the body besides just respiration.

  • Breathing massages internal organs, mobilises joints and tones and relaxes muscles
  • During exercise, breathing helps to contract abdominal muscles
  • The diaphragm (breathing muscle) moves down during inspiration (breathing in), allowing the ribcage to expand to the back and sides as much as possible
  • Breathing increases the flexibility of the spine

Motions

Start Position

  • Lie supine (on back)
  • Spine lengthened and neutral (normal curve of the spine in the lumbar region)
  • Hands placed on ribcage, elbows wide on floor
  • Arms relaxed overhead
  • Feet and knees four fingers width apart

Step 1

  • Inhale: Breathe in through the nose
  • Feel the ribcage expand sideways

Step 2

  • Exhale: Breathe out through the mouth
  • Feel the ribcage close

Repeat

  • Repeat Step 1 and 2 four times

Video