correcting posture

I have been asked to put together some exercise for the club specific for tri-athletes. This is the first part of a series of tips and exercises I am putting together and will be sending out over the next few weeks to the message board. You will also be able to find them on our facebook page at:

I figured I would start with some basics, like breathing. This might seem simple but you would be surprised how many of us breath incorrectly.  I start all spine rehab with teaching people to breath correctly because all of your respiratory muscles are also postural muscles and serve a dual function.  If any of you have ever had any back or postural problems you probably do not breath correctly.

In order to breath correctly you have to be a belly breather and be able to perform abdominal breathing (inhale) and abdominal hollowing (exhale).  With abdominal breathing you push out the abdomen in order to lower the diaphragm to properly fill the lungs.  Most people who have had back problems will be paradoxical breathers or chest breathers.  A chest breather will not fully inflate the lungs because they do not lower the diaphragm nor will they fully exhale.  This results in short rapid breathing which also reduces a persons tolerance to CO2 and as swimmers we are all familiar with CO2 intolerance!

These exercises are very easy to perform and good for everyone to try even if you have never had any back problems.  Learning to be a better belly breather and practicing abdominal breathing and abdominal hollowing can also make you a better swimmer, runner and athlete as your body will become more efficient at breathing and processing oxygen which we all know is key to performance in an endurance athlete.

Michael “Chris” Lyons, D.C.