Are you breathing the right way?

With the recent respiratory pandemic, there is no better time for you to learn how to breathe properly and more efficiently. Take a deep breath…What do you notice?  Did you fill your lungs completely or was your breath shallow? you feel tightness in any of your muscles? Did your belly or your shoulders move? Most people find that their chest and shoulders move and they only fill their upper lobes of their lungs. This is a very inefficient way to breathe!

So, how are you really supposed to breathe?  Here are a few quick tips:

1) Always start with great posture.  If your sitting and slouching, your ribs and diaphragm will not move well and your lungs will not expand properly.  Therefore, you will not move as much air in or out of your system.  If you sit for long periods throughout your day, you are  likely limiting your oxygen intake.  Try sitting in a slouched position with your legs crossed at your ankles….Take in a deep breath.   Can you fill your lungs?  Do your shoulders shrug up?  Do you feel tension in your upper back? Now, sit with your spine aligned and your feet flat on the floor and take in a deep breath.  Do you notice how much easier it is to fully fill your lungs with air? 

2) While many people focus only on inhaling to improve their breathing, most people only exhale 70% of the carbon dioxide from their lungs.  The practice of exhaling fully (until you can’t push out any more air) will not only increase your energy and endurance, but you will more efficiently fill your lungs with oxygen n your next inhale.   

3) Many people hold their breath when exercising.   This not only limits oxygen intake, but is also compromises their form and ability to stabilize.  So what is the best way to breathe when you exercise? The basic rule of thumb is to inhale as you lift a weight, and exhale as you lower the weight.   This requires you to slow down the speed of your reps…otherwise you will get short of breath and fatigue very quickly.    Controlling your breathing during exercise is a great way to control your form, speed, and endurance. 

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When low-handicap golfers get to the driving range, they don’t just aimlessly hit a bucket of balls Instead, they follow a process! If you are looking for a way to structure your range sessions and really make improvements in your swing, use our checklist of key steps. (Click here for Your New Range Routine)

Core Stability: Although this article references junior performance, the concepts actually apply to every golfer. We all have muscles that are “stabilizers” and “movers” and when we use them correctly, everything is easier. As we age, we may have a bit less mobility in our bodies, but it is still critical to use these muscles properly to prevent injury and perform at our best. Read my article here.

Stop Doing Crunches (aka sit-ups): Crunches are not functional. They only train one movement and there are very few activities that require training your abs in this way. Read our Top 5 Reasons to Stop Doing Crunches.

Balance: We all need good balance—to get out of a chair, sit at a computer, or efficiently swing a golf club. So how does your balance system work? Read my article on this from Health & Healing in the Triangle.

Manage Chronic Arthritis: Although most people view chronic arthritis as incurable or a fate that they will eventually face, recent research shows that you can effectively treat, resolve, and prevent arthritis pain and inflammation. Read my article on the “Body and Brain Pain Solution.”

Get our featured report “Top 10 Tips to Golfing without Pain” and more!

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