How To: Breathing Self Assessment

The most basic of exercises: breathing. Something you do 20,000 times a day should be something you want to learn more about. Belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, etc ... there are different types of breathing styles! But which one is right? Find out in this video and how to assess your own breathing pattern.


Here's a Quick Summary:


➸ You should be able to breathe with 360 degree expansion around the abdomen and ribs.


➸ Many people stick to shallow breathing throughout the day, and get used to breathing only in that manner.


➸ That presents a problem since this is something you do 20,000 times a day. You need to be able to be good at breathing ALL the ways, not just shallow breathing or “belly breathing”. Otherwise, when you need to breathe a little differently due to the situation you are in, you can get stitches in your sides or literally not be able to get enough oxygen into your lungs and tissues which can affect your athletic performance.


➸ I find people who have had abdominal surgery or have been pregnant will oftentimes need some work improving their breathing movements.


➸ It’s important to do a self assessment. Assess if you are a dominant breather through your: belly, rib cage, front side, back side or lateral rib cage. Do you use your shoulders? Do you also move through your lower back? Are there any of these options that you can’t do well?


➸ To assess whether you are belly or chest dominant, place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Take shallow breaths and see which moves more. Now take deep breaths and do the same thing.


➸ To assess whether you are expanding laterally through your rib cage, place your hands on either side of your rib cage (make sure you are on the bones!). Take shallow breaths and see if you get any movement into your hands. Now take deep breaths and observe the same thing.


➸ Whatever you notice, your exercise moving forward is to get better at the movements which are difficult for you.


Have questions?

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Disclaimer: I am a physical therapist, but I am not a physical therapist who has done a formal evaluation on YOU. All information in this post is for educational purposes only. It is always best to receive specific recommendations from your healthcare provider team.


#breathing #selfcare #physicaltherapy #exercise #inhale #exhale